Tag: Springfield

New England D3 Football: 10 Games to Watch in Week Three

Will Kirby and the Trinity College football team will begin their 2022 campaign at Tufts University on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Trinity College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand-new week of New England NCAA Division III football begins this evening with Western Connecticut visiting Westfield State.

Tomorrow, we have a slew of games to watch – and yes, follow, too! – which means it’s time to share our weekly picks, along with our predictions.

Last week, we picked five of ten contests correctly to bump our season record to 12-8. Hopefully, we can pick a few more games correctly this week – fingers crossed!

Enjoy the games, everyone, and make sure to circle back for our week three roundup on Saturday, as well as any leftover thoughts on the Noontime Sports Podcast.

Noontime’s D3 Football Games to Watch: Week Three

Bridgewater State at Plymouth State (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Bears, which have struggled in its first two contests. Plymouth State has been a pleasant surprise, winning back-to-back games to secure the top spot in the MASCAC standings. Look for the Panthers to lean on its ground game to score an important conference win. PREDICTION: Plymouth State over Bridgewater State

Montclair State at Salve Regina University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Somehow, some way, the Seahawks have found ways to win games this fall. But on Saturday, the early-season momentum will end against a Red Hawks squad that is eager to bounce back from a week two setback to Delaware Valley. PREDICTION: Montclair State over Salve Regina

TCNJ at Endicott College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Can the Gulls pitch its third-straight shutout? It’s certainly possible. Endicott’s defense has been a unit to watch through two contests, thanks to some big plays made by Hector Johnson, Tyler Davis, and Jackson DeAngelo. PREDICTION: Endicott over TCNJ   

Curry College at Dean College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Both teams are winless, so someone is going to provide their first-year head coach with a victory. PREDICTION: Dean over Curry

Union College at Springfield College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 12 p.m.): Springfield faces a challenging week three test against a Union squad that is averaging 59 points through two contests. If Springfield is going to be successful, they must find a way to slow down a high-powered Dutchmen offense that is led by quarterback Donovan Pacatte. PREDICTION: Union over Springfield   

Williams College at Colby College (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.): The Ephs’ title defense begins in Maine on Saturday, but the biggest question surrounding coach Mark Raymond’s squad is who will be playing quarterback against the Mules. We’re not sure (as of Friday morning), but it is likely you’ll see Jack Dickinson or Luke Bobo under center. PREDICTION: Williams over Colby

Bates College at Wesleyan University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.): Coach Matt Coyne returns to Middletown, Connecticut leading a Bobcats squad that produced three wins last season. The Cardinals return some key members from its six-win season – we expect Wesleyan to be in the mix for the NESCAC crown this fall. PREDICTION: Wesleyan over Bates

Trinity College at Tufts University (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.): The Bantams finished second in the NESCAC last season, but the hope for this season is for Trinity to win its first conference crown since 2018. And they certainly have the players to accomplish this goal. Expect a high-scoring affair on Saturday with the Jumbos. PREDICTION: Trinity over Tufts

Framingham State at UMass Dartmouth (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1:30 p.m.): Seeing UMass Dartmouth drop its final non-league matchup to Anna Maria College last Saturday was shocking – can we say a head-scratcher? If the Corsairs are going to bounce back, they will need to beat a Rams squad that has scored four-straight wins over the Blue and Gold since 2017. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth over Framingham State

Middlebury College at Amherst College (Saturday, Sept. 17 @ 2 p.m.): Coach Bob Ritter begins his final season with Middlebury with a week three visit to Amherst, a squad that we believe might surprise some NESCAC fans this fall. Nick DiPrinzio says “accountability” will be the word he and his Amherst teammates will use this fall to hopefully produce a winning season. PREDICTION: Amherst over Middlebury

Noontime’s 10 Games to Watch (Week One)

Connor Degenhardt and the New Haven Chargers face Bowie State hoping to win their first game against the Bulldogs since 1995. (PHOTO COURTESY: Clarus Studios)

By NoontimeSports.com

A brand new season of college football has arrived — let’s celebrate!

In honor of the opening weekend of college football, it’s time to share our first installment of Noontime’s 10 Games to Watch.

This season, we will pick games from all three levels, including New England FCS and Division II schools for our weekly post. Last year — and yes, previously — we focused on Division III football, not D-I or D-II.

So, before a busy weekend of games begins, allow us to share our initial picks for the 2022 college football season.

Noontime’s Games to Watch for Week One (Friday, September 2 and Saturday, September 3)

Bentley at West Chester (Friday, Sept. 2 @ 6 p.m.): A new era of Falcons football begins this evening with first-year coach Alvin Reynolds guiding Bentley against a Golden Rams squad they beat last year by a score of 41-17. PREDICTION: Bentley over West Chester

Holy Cross at Merrimack (Friday, Sept. 2 @ 7 p.m.): Last year, Dan Curran’s Warriors scored an upset win, defeating the Crusaders on the road, thanks to a three-score effort in the second quarter. Can they duplicate their effort this evening in from of their home crowd? PREDICTION: Holy Cross over Merrimack  

Western New England at Springfield (Friday, Sept. 2 @ 7 p.m.): Springfield was picked to capture its third conference crown this fall – tonight, look for the Pride’s defense to lead them past the Golden Bears in the “Battle of Springfield.” PREDICTION: Springfield over Western New England

Framingham State at Brockport (Saturday, Sept. 3 @ 12 p.m.): The Rams’ conference title defense begins with some challenging foes, including tomorrow’s foe, which beat Framingham State last season, 31-0. PREDICTION: Brockport over Framingham State

Husson at UMass Dartmouth (Saturday, Sept. 3 @ 12 p.m.): This is truly a toss-up – I can see both teams winning this contest. But in the end, Husson’s Nic Visser will throw one more touchdown than UMass Dartmouth’s Dante Aviles-Santos to lead the Eagles to a thrilling opening day win. PREDICTION: Husson over UMass Dartmouth

Endicott at St. Lawrence (Saturday, Sept. 3 @ 12 p.m.): The Gulls overcame a slow start to beat the Saints last season. They’ll use a faster start to score an opening-day win this year. PREDICTION: Endicott over St. Lawrence

Ithaca at Bridgewater State (Saturday, Sept. 3 @ 12 p.m.): A challenging opening day matchup awaits the Bears of Bridgewater, which should be in the mix for the MASCAC crown this fall. PREDICTION: Ithaca over Bridgewater State

Sacred Heart at Lafayette (Saturday, Sept. 3 @ 12:30 p.m.): The Pioneers have been quite successful against the Leopards in previous meetings with Sacred Heart winning their last five meetings. PREDICTION: Sacred Heart over Lafayette   

New Haven at Bowie State (Saturday, Sept. 3 @ 1 p.m.): If the Chargers want to advance deep in the NCAA Division II postseason, they will need to beat teams like Bowie State, which advanced to the quarterfinals last fall for the first time in program history. New Haven has won three of four meetings with Bowie State – last year, the Bulldogs outlasted the Chargers, 21-13. PREDICTION: Bowie State over New Haven  

Stonehill at Bloomsburg (Saturday, Sept. 3 @ 2 p.m.): A new chapter of Stonehill football begins on Saturday – the Skyhawks moved up to Division I this year and will compete in the Northeast Conference. But before they compete against any conference foe, they should be able to score their initial win as an FCS program against a squad they defeated last year by a score of 35-13.

The Early Outlook: New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference

Brian Bubna and the MIT football team have represented the NEWMAC in the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2018 and 2019. (PHOTO COURTESY: Paul Rutherford)

By NoontimeSports.com

Our early season/preseason college football coverage has begun — you may have seen our initial post on the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), but now, it is time to turn our attention to the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

NEWMAC Teams:

  • Catholic
  • Coast Guard Academy
  • Merchant Marine Academy
  • MIT
  • Norwich
  • Springfield
  • WPI

2019 Conference Refresh: For the second-straight season, Brian Bubna and the MIT Engineers secured the league crown — the Engineers of Cambridge shared the title with the Engineers of Worcester (WPI).

MIT represented the conference in the NCAA Division III playoffs, but saw their bid for a national title conclude in the opening round against Muhlenberg College, which advanced to the national semifinals against North Central. The Cardinals edged the Mules before rolling past University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to secure the national championship.

WPI ended its 2019 campaign with a 9-1 record, along with a 35-6 victory over Western Connecticut in the New England Bowl.

Both teams are expected to be in the mix for the conference crown this fall — the same could be said for Merchant Marine and Springfield College. And perhaps a few more?

Merchant Marine outlasts Coast Guard in lone 2020 contest: The Mariners captured their 16th Secretaries Cup last November with a 24-14 win over Coast Guard, thanks to a game-high 151 rushing yards and one touchdown from Ian Blakenship.

Blakenship will be back under center this fall when the Mariners begin their 2021 campaign at FDU-Florham on Friday, September 3 at 7 p.m. The senior signal-caller from McRae, Georgia has rushed for six touchdowns in three seasons, including four during his team’s 2019 campaign, and has tallied 451 rushing yards in 11 contests. He will certainly be a player to watch for the Mariners this fall — the same could be said fullback Ceaser Gonzalez (103 rushing yards and one touchdowns against Coast Guard last November), Eric Davidson (linebacker) and Joshua King (linebacker).

Last November’s contest also provided us a glimpse of a few Coast Guard players to watch this year, which include Jared Colletti (wide receiver), Finnegan Hall (kicker), and Michael Palermo (linebacker).

Catholic will play six home games this fall: For the first time since 2014, the Catholic Cardinals will compete on their home turf six this time this season, including three times in September against McDaniel College (Sept. 4), Endicott College (Sept. 18), and Christopher Newport (Sept. 25).

Coach Mike Gutelius and the Cardinals did compete once this spring when Catholic outlasted Wilkes University, 27-22. The game was highlighted by an impressive 65-yard touchdown pass from Brady Berger to Preston Jeffrey.

Berger graduated this past spring after being named the Jone Dowd Role Model Award Winner. Jeffrey will be back for his final season with the Cardinals after recording career-highs in games played (eight), receptions (12), receiving yards (205), and touchdown receptions (two) during the 2019 season.

From a local angle, keep your eyes on three Massachusetts natives that will be competing this fall for the Cardinals: Mark Cheffers (wide receiver/Winchendon), Austin Haggerty (defensive back/Westford), and Griffin Renzella (linebacker/Wellesley).

Our Early-Season Favorite(s): It was just one game last November, but the Mariners of Merchant Marine should certainly be in the mix for the NEWMAC title — the same could be said for MIT, Springfield, and WPI.

There are certainly some unknowns when it comes to MIT, Springfield, and WPI, but all three programs have been in the mix in the past, which makes us think it could be a four or possibly five-team race for the top spot.

Coast Guard and Catholic could also be in the mix, and perhaps the dark horse is Norwich, which will begin its 2021 campaign against Salve Regina University, a team that should certainly content for the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) crown.

Similar to the ECFC, there are some early-season favorites, but also some teams that could surprise us.

D3 Basketball: Sunday’s Conference Tournament Roundup

NSConfTournRoundUp

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It took two overtime sessions, but in the end, the Tufts University men’s basketball team was able to outlast Colby College, 102-94, to secure their first-ever New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament Championship.

With the win, the Jumbos secured the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA D-III Tournament – the Powder Blue and White will find out their first-round opponent tomorrow when the pairings are released.

Eric Savage, who sent the game to overtime with a late three-pointer at the end of regulation, led all players with 27 points to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists. Luke Rogers also recorded a double-double of 25 points and 19 caroms while Brennan Morris finished with 16 points and six rebounds.

Tufts, which entered the 2020 NESCAC Tournament as the top seed, beat Colby last month, halting an 18-game winning streak that began with a 103-97 win over Ramapo in November. The Mules rebounded after their initial loss of the 2019-20 season by winning four of their final five regular-season contests before beating Bates College in triple-overtime in the NESCAC quarterfinals and Amherst College last night in the semifinals.

Dean Weiner paced the Mules with 23 points off the bench while Noah Tyson registered a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds to go with two steals and one assist. Matt Hanna concluded the game with 21 points on 7 of 13 shooting.

Despite the setback, the Mules should receive an at-large bid to the national tournament after winning 24 of 27 contests and securing the second seed in the NESCAC Tournament.

The Bowdoin College women’s basketball team captured their first NESCAC crown since 2009 earlier this afternoon by defeating Tufts, 70-60. With the win, the Polar Bears secure the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA D-III Tournament.

The setback to the Polar Bears was the first for the Jumbos, who entered the 2020 NESCAC Tournament Championship on a 26-game winning streak. Tufts will receive an at-large bid to the postseason and will learn their first-round opponent tomorrow afternoon.

Maddie Hasson helped Bowdoin win their 25th contest of the season by recording a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds to go with three assists and two steals. Sela Kay finished the game with 18 points and seven rebounds. 

Erica DeCandido led the Jumbos with 27 points and 10 rebounds while also tallying three assists, two blocks, and one steal.

Men’s Basketball

Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship: St. Joseph’s (Conn.) 88, Albertus Magnus 84: Coach Jim Calhoun is headed to the NCAA D-III Tournament, thanks to Delshawn Jackson Jr., who led the Blue Jays (and all players) with 46 points. Jackson, who recorded his 1,000th career point earlier in the title game, finished 16 of 23 from the field, including six of nine from beyond the arc.

St. Joseph’s led the Falcons, 44-25, at the break, but Albertus Magnus stormed back and closed the gap to four-points by outscoring the hosts, 59-44. Tyreek Perkins and Terry Dawkins combined for 47 points in the setback while Jahmerikah Green-Younger finished the game with 10 points.

New England Women’s and Men’s Basketball (NEWMAC) Championship: Coast Guard Academy 89, WPI 86 (OT): The Bears overcame a 25-point deficit at the break to not only force overtime but win their third NEWMAC Championship in program history. Coast Guard capped an impressive three-game, five-day tournament run that saw the Blue and Orange defeat Emerson College in the quarterfinals and Springfield College in the semifinals. Tyler Perez and Noah Baldez combined for 43 points while Packy Witkowski chipped in 19 points on 6 of 12 shooting. Garrett Stephenson paced WPI with a double-double of 26 points and 11 rebounds. 

Women’s Basketball

Little East Conference (LEC) Championship: Eastern Connecticut 49, Rhode Island College 44: Three members of the Warriors netted 12 points or more, including Danielle O’Brien, who finished with 15 points on five of nine shooting as Eastern Connecticut outlasted Rhode Island College and captured their seventh LEC title in program history. Maci Dorantes led Rhode Island College with 11 points off the bench.

NEWMAC (NEWMAC) Championship: Smith College 70, MIT 56: Elle Jo Whalen netted 20 points and pulled down 15 rebounds, including 12 defensive caroms while Jessie Ruffner added 15 points on 5 of 13 shooting as the Pioneers defeated the Engineers and claimed their first-ever NEWMAC Championship. Smith jumped out to a 21-4 lead and never looked back. Kylie Gallagher led MIT with 17 points while Jocelyn Luizzi added 16 points and 15 rebounds. 

 

New England D3 Lax: Matt Colombini Is Ready To Lead Emerson College Men’s Lacrosse

Matt Colombini - a former assistant at Colby and Wheaton - has been named the Emerson College men's lacrosse coach. (Photo Credit: Wheaton College Athletics)
Matt Colombini – a former assistant at Colby and Wheaton – has been named the Emerson College men’s lacrosse coach. (Photo Credit: Wheaton College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Matt Colombini is excited to be back in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

The former Colby College and Wheaton College assistant coach recently accepted the men’s lacrosse head coaching position at Emerson College earlier this week.

“I am really excited to be back in the NEWMAC,” said Colombini.

“In the one year that I was gone, you saw Coast Guard take a huge jump into the playoff mix, MIT enjoy another successful season, and Babson and Springfield play to one-goal games. There is definitely some parody throughout the league, so it is very exciting to get back into it.”

Colombini inherits a Lions squad searching for its initial league victory since the school became the 11th member of the NEWMAC three years ago.

Emerson graduated a trio of players from last season’s roster, but return juniors Diego Rosende and Jack Bushell, who combined for 31 points on 24 goals and seven assists. Sophomore Cameron Radenberg will also be player to watch on attack after concluding his initial season with eight points on five goals and three assists.

The Lions also return a pair of goaltenders, including sophomore Bailey Kennedy, who started 11 games last season and finished seventh in the conference with 129 saves.

“We’re going to have to use the first week of fall ball to see where we’re at, while putting some guys in different positions,” said Colombini. “Afterward we will install various schemes and find offenses and defenses that fit best for our guys.”

It has only been a few days, but Colombini’s optimism and excitement could result in an exciting next chapter of the Emerson men’s lacrosse program.

“My biggest goal heading into this upcoming season is to help Emerson compete against each team in the league, while earning our first-ever NEWMAC win,” said Colombini.