Tag: Southern Athletic Association

Rhodes Women’s Lacrosse Seeks Its Seventh-Straight SAA Title

Baylee Barker and the Rhodes College women’s lacrosse team will attempt to win its seventh-straight SAA crown on Sunday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Rhodes College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Since their inaugural season in 2014, the Rhodes College women’s lacrosse team has been a squad to watch in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA).

Rhodes has captured six-straight league crowns and recently clinched its fifth-straight undefeated conference season when they defeated Berry College earlier this month by a score of 24-3.

The 21-goal victory over the Vikings was followed by an impressive 26-3 win this past weekend against Birmingham-Southern College, which provided Rhodes with a spot in Sunday’s SAA Finals.

Rhodes will meet Sewanee in this year’s SAA Championship with the winner advancing to next month’s NCAA Division III Tournament.

Sunday will mark the second time the Lynx and Tigers square off in the SAA Championship as Rhodes defeated Sewanee in 2015 to claim its initial title in program history. The three-goal (13-10) victory would be followed by Rhodes’ first-ever national postseason win against Meredith College.  

Franklin & Marshall defeated the Lynx in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament.

Rhodes enters its seventh-straight conference championship riding a six-game winning streak, which began last month with a 19-8 victory over Transylvania University. Prior to their win over the Pioneers, Rhodes scored some impressive non-league wins against Colorado College (11-10 OT) and Illinois Wesleyan University (18-5). Additionally, Rhodes survived a shootout last month with Rowan University (17-15).

Emily Bruner is one of many players to watch on the Lynx – the junior attack from Gaithersburg, Maryland leads the team in points (103) and assists (90). Baylee Barker leads the squad in goals (62) while Payton Bennett has chipped in 51 goals and 21 assists.  

Bruner’s 103 points are the most recorded by any SAA student-athletes while Barker and Bennett are in the Top 10 goals scored.

Sewanee’s Hattie Fogarty is also in the SAA Top 10 in goals and points and will certainly be a player to watch on Sunday after leading her squad to a 14-9 victory over Centre College in the SAA semifinals.

Fogarty concluded her team’s contest with the Colonels by tallying five goals on 11 shots to go with a season-high six ground balls.

Fogarty and the Tigers rank second in the SAA in goals scored with 287 but will face a challenging test on Sunday against the league’s best defense, which has yielded 124 goals in 16 contests (that is an average of 7.75 goals per game). Rhodes’ defense held Sewanee to a season-low six goals in last month’s meeting with the Tigers being shut out in two frames (second and third quarters).  

In addition to Rhodes’ impressive attack and midfield, fans should certainly keep their eye on the squad’s goalies: Emma Bradley and Olivia Wood. The duo combined for nine saves in this previous meeting with Sewanee, and lead all SAA goalies in goals-against average.

Sunday’s championship, which will take place at Mason Field in Memphis, Tennessee, is scheduled to commence at 1 p.m. eastern.

Centre Looks To Capture Its Second-Straight SAA Title

Will Hubbs and the Centre College men’s lacrosse team are two wins away from capturing their second-straight SAA title. (PHOTO COURTESY: Teresa Poplin)

By Matt Noonan

Another busy and exciting weekend of NCAA Division III lacrosse has officially arrived with the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) set to crown a men’s lacrosse champion.  

The six-team tournament, which began last Saturday with a pair of quarterfinal matchups will resume later today with two semifinal contests with the winners advancing to Sunday’s championship in Danville, Kentucky.

Top-seed Centre College, which won all its league matchups this season, is two wins away from capturing its second-straight league title.

The Colonels will welcome Rhodes College to campus this evening with a face-off scheduled for 7 p.m.

Centre beat Rhodes earlier this month by a score of 11-4. Will Hubbs highlighted the win with four goals – he also scooped one ground ball – while Ridr Knowlton located the back of the net twice. In addition to the Colonels’ offensive output, Centre’s defense limited Rhodes to just one goal in two periods while pitching a shutout in the opening frame.

Since beating the Lynx, the Colonels have won two more games, beating Hendrix College (13-10) and Sewanee (16-9).

Centre has not competed in nearly two weeks, but perhaps the extra rest could help the Black and Gold, which captured its first SAA Tournament title since 2014 last spring when they beat Rhodes.

“It’s good in a sense that we get a little time to rest, recharge, and get healthy,” Centre coach Grant Zimmerman said, via CentreColonels.com.  

Rhodes has won two of its last four contests, including its SAA quarterfinal tilt with Berry College last weekend. The Lynx topped the Vikings, 19-10, and enter tonight’s semifinal matchup riding a two-game winning streak.

Coach Dave Zazzaro’s Lynx have won just four games this season but have faced some challenging competition that could help the Red and White attempt to claim its first postseason crown since 2018.

The other SAA semifinal pits Sewanee visiting Birmingham-Southern College with a face-off scheduled for 4 p.m. (ET).

Birmingham-Southern enters today’s semifinal match riding a four-game winning streak, which included an end-of-season victory over Rhodes.

Reid Harrison secured the two-goal (14-12) win over the Lynx by netting his second tally with 22 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, which halted a three-goal run by Rhodes.

Like Centre, Birmingham-Southern has not competed since April 14, so it will be interesting to see if the squad’s momentum remains with the Panthers, which saw its bid toward an SAA crown conclude last April in the conference semifinals.

The Tigers of Sewanee have won six games this spring and defeated Hendrix in its opening-round matchup last weekend. Luke Valentine led Sewanee with four goals and one assist to go with three ground balls and one caused turnover. Davis Gillenwater notched a hat trick and Phelps Thomas stuffed the stat sheet with five points on three assists, two goals, and one ground ball.

All three student-athletes will be players to watch today in an important matchup with the Panthers.

Look For Centre Men’s Lacrosse To Continue Its Momentum From 2021

Will Hubbs and the Centre College men’s lacrosse team were picked to capture the SAA crown this spring. (PHOTO COURTESY: Teresa Poplin)

By Matt Noonan

Last season, the Centre College men’s lacrosse team made history by winning their first-ever NCAA Division III Tournament game against Denison University.

The one goal (12-11) victory against the Big Red did not spark a deep postseason run but left an impression on many that Centre is indeed ready to compete for the ultimate prize: a national championship.

“I honestly believe that we put in the work necessary to win and it’s just an amazing feeling to actually see it come to fruition,” Coach Grant Zimmerman said shortly after his team beat Denison last May.

That hard work — and yes, effort, too — has translated into the Colonels securing the top spot in this year’s Southern Athletic Association (SAA) men’s lacrosse preseason poll, which was released last Friday. Centre collected four of seven first-place votes; Rhodes College garnered a pair of first-place nods while Berry College secured one tally.

Centre is deserving of four first-place votes — perhaps a few more, especially after an impressive 2021 campaign saw the squad win 12 of 14 contests while capturing its first SAA Tournament title since 2014.

But for the Colonels to duplicate their success this season, they will need to rely on some key members of last year’s squad, including Will Hubbs, a junior attack from Louisville, Kentucky, that led the SAA with 38 goals while registering eight hat tricks in 14 games.

Hubbs, who was named the SAA Offensive Player of the Year, is just one of a few players to watch on Centre this spring — fans of the Yellow and White should also keep their eyes on JR Brockman, Graham Robbins, and Will Morrison.

Centre will commence its 2022 campaign on Saturday, February 12 with a visit to Wittenberg University, a team that has won two of three meetings against the Colonels. Last March, the Yellow and White captured their first-ever win against the Tigers, thanks to Jack Shannon and Ridr Knowlton.

The victory over the Tigers was followed by seven consecutive league wins, including a pair of conference tournament victories against Berry and Rhodes.

Following their trip to Springfield, Ohio, Centre will conclude the first month with a pair of non-conference meetings with Elmhurst University and Ohio Wesleyan University. Both squads concluded their respective 2021 campaign with a winning record but did not qualify for the NCAA Division III Tournament.

As we know, every contest, both non-conference or conference, is important. And for Centre to continue its success from one year ago, scoring some early-season wins could help the squad to continue its yearly pursuit of winning a conference tournament title, along with a deep postseason run.

Noontime’s D3 Men’s Lacrosse Teams to Watch in 2022

By NoontimeSports.com

Yesterday, we unveiled a few NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse teams to keep an eye on this upcoming season.

Now, let’s switch gears to the men’s side, however, let’s highlight some teams that are starting to take that “next step” in their journey to competing with RIT, Salisbury University, and Tufts University for the national crown.  

All three teams (listed above) will once again be in the mix of the 2022 national championship — the same being be said for Christopher Newport, York College, Cabrini University, and the University of Lynchburg — but there is a slew of other programs that could certainly surprise some small college lacrosse fans in 2022.


Babson College: The Beavers’ 2021 season concluded in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament – the Green and White entered their postseason match with Tufts riding a five-game winning streak, which included a New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championship.

Babson averaged 15.17 goals per game and should once again be the favorite in the NEWMAC — sure, they will be challenged by Clark University, Coast Guard Academy, and Springfield College, but coach Rocky Batty will welcome back some key members of the 2021 squad next spring, including goalie Mac Mowat and Ryan Donovan, who led the squad in assists (eight) and points (18).


Centre College: The Colonels enjoyed perhaps their best season in program history, capturing both the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) regular season and tournament crown while winning the program’s initial national postseason win with a 12-11 victory over Denison University.

Can Centre continue its success in 2022? That is the question, but perhaps they can, especially with some key members of its 2021 squad returning, including goalie Wills McCutcheon and Will Hubbs. Both student-athletes received end-of-year honors from the SAA while coach Grant Zimmerman was tabbed the SAA’s Coach of the Year.


Colorado College: Coach Sean Woods and the Tigers came close to advancing to the NCAA Division III semifinals this past May but lost to RIT in the quarterfinals.

Despite the setback, CC was a team to watch (and yes, follow) in 2021 as they ended their season with 13 victories, which is tied for the fourth-most in a single season. The Tigers earned its eighth trip in program history to the national tournament and scored a pair of wins against Centre (19-6) and Transylvania University (20-12). 

This season, Woods won’t be pacing the sidelines as he accepted the head coaching role at Amherst College, but CC will be in good hands with Mike Horowitz, who played lacrosse at Muhlenberg College, but recently spent time as an assistant with Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Anders Erickson returns for his senior season — the Lone Tree, Colorado native led the team last spring with 86 points on 42 goals and 44 assists to go with 105 shots and 23 ground balls. Winston Chodnicki is also back and will be spotted at midfield taking faceoffs.


Denison University: A new era of Big Red lacrosse will begin next spring with Eric Koch being named the new head coach – the former Washington & Lee assistant head coach replaces Mike Caravana, who this past May that he would be stepping down and departing a program he oversaw for 28 seasons.  

Denison captured its 19th North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) crown with a 12-10 win over Kenyon College but saw their run toward a national title conclude in the opening round with a 12-11 setback to Centre.

The Big Red produced eight wins in 10 games this past spring but will once again be in the mix for not just an NCAC crown, but also a deep playoff run.

Camden Bowdy returns for his team’s 2022 campaign and will certainly be a player to watch after leading the team with 23 assists. He established a new single-game record in April by tallying 12 assists in his team’s 29-2 win over Wabash College.


Hope College: The Flying Dutchmen captured their second Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) this past spring to go with their first-ever NCAA Tournament win (Hope defeated Benedictine University in the opening round).

Hope has become a team to watch in the Midwest as they have won at least 10 games or more in four of their last five seasons.

Jack Radzville will be the player to watch in 2022 after producing a career-best 104 points on 56 goals and 48 assists to go with 39 ground balls and seven caused turnovers.


Illinois Wesleyan: Last season, the Spartans did what no team in program history has done: advance to the NCAA quarterfinals.

Illinois Wesleyan saw it’s impressive 2021 campaign conclude with a 30-5 setback to Salisbury, but their momentum should continue next spring, especially with some key members of their 15-win squad returning, including Rick Smith, who led the unit with 74 points on 49 goals and 25 assists.

Connor Kiichle returns, as well — the Vancouver, Washington native placed second on the team in points with 66 while Blake Muschewske is back after finishing second on the team with 21 caused turnovers (Jesse Prettner also recorded 21 caused turnovers last season but has graduated).

Illinois Wesleyan concluded its previous campaign one win shy of matching their program record for wins in a single season with 16 (the Green and White won 16 games in three consecutive seasons: 2017, 2018, and 2019).


UMass Boston: The 2021 season was one to remember for the Beacons, which not only captured their first-ever Little East Conference (LEC) crown but also made their debut in the NCAA Tournament.

Gavin Admirand recently became the program’s first student-athlete to secure preseason All-American honors from Lacrosse Magazine — the Mansfield, Massachusetts native led UMass Boston last spring with 54 goals and 68 points while placing second on the team with 23 assists.

Admirand will be one of a few Beacons to watch in 2022, but the biggest question facing UMass Boston heading into a new season is can they repeat as conference champions?

Other teams to watch: Endicott College, Wesleyan University, Western New England, Transylvania University, Union College, Babson College, Coast Guard Academy, SUNY Cortland, John Carroll, Gettysburg College, and St. John Fisher

Noontime’s Monday Roundup: Berry Captures The SAA Crown

By Matt Noonan

Another busy weekend of spring football is in the books.

This past weekend featured a slew of exciting outcomes, including an NCAA D-III conference championship tilt that saw Berry College edge Hendrix College by a score of 21-20.

Last Saturday’s win over the Warriors capped an impressive spring season for a Vikings squad that needed overtime one week earlier to beat Centre College to secure a spot in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) title game.

The Blue and White have now won seven consecutive meetings against the Orange and Black since 2014.

Gavin Gray and Jonahan Maisonave each recorded one touchdown in the win while the Berry defense finished with four interceptions and forced two fumbles. Devin Grier led the Vikings defense with three interceptions and Jack Carroll produced a team-high 13 total tackles, including nine solo stops and two tackles for a loss of seven yards.

Miles Thompson, Jacob Wood and Tajae White each recorded one touchdown for Hendrix.

Prior to Berry and Hendrix meeting in the SAA title game, Trinity University beat Birmingham-Southern College on the same field by a score of 38-15 – the game was played at War Memorial Stadium in Arkansas – while Centre College topped Austin College and Millsaps College beat Rhodes College on Sunday.

All eight teams will be idle until next school year, but Berry should be able to continue its spring season momentum into next fall, as well as be the early-season favorite to win its sixth-straight SAA title.

Other news and notes from a busy weekend of spring football:

  • The Wilmington College football team began its spring season with a come-from-behind win over Capital University. Quarterback Kyle Barrett capped a 16-play, 99-yard drive by tossing his second touchdown of the evening to Itika Wynn Jr. with 39 seconds remaining before the Wilmington defense denied Capital a chance to respond on its final series.

  • Bryan Moore, who is the head coach of the Wilmington football team, said it was “unbelievable to be back out there tonight” after the Quakers edged the Crusaders.

  • Jaedyn Prewitt recorded season-highs in passing yards (458) and touchdown passes (four) last Saturday as Whitworth University capped its spring season with a 56-23 win over Pacific Lutheran.

  • The Brevard College football team “christened the newly-expanded Ives-Lemel Family Field” last Saturday with a 27-3 win over Huntingdon College. The win evens the spring season series between the two schools at 1-1 – the Hawks beat the Tornadoes last month by a score of 26-18.

  • Brevard quarterback Eli Carr tossed a season-best four touchdowns in his team’s second-straight win over Huntingdon while completing 12 of 20 passes for 194 yards. One week earlier against Averett University, the Asheville, North Carolina native recorded a career-best in passing yards (212).

  • The Bluffton University football team scored its second-straight spring victory last Saturday, as well as third win of the 2020-21 school year as the Beavers topped Anderson University, 35-27. Bluffton’s current 3-0 mark matches its start from 2016, which saw the Purple and Gray finish its campaign with a 7-3 record.