Tag: St. John Fisher College

10 D-III Lacrosse Teams to Watch in 2023

Jane Earley has won two national championships with Middlebury College. (PHOTO Courtesy: Will Costello)

By Matt Noonan

It’s been a few days – OK, a little over a week since the NCAA Division III college lacrosse season concluded, but before we officially say farewell to the 2022 season, I thought I would share a ten teams – five men and five women’s squads – that I believe could contend for a national championship next May.

Men’s D-III Lacrosse Teams to Watch in 2023

Bowdoin College: The Polar Bears were a team to watch this spring — hey, I thought they were the team that was going to win the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown last month. Despite ending their season in the quarterfinals against RIT, Bowdoin is certainly a squad to keep an eye on next spring. Coach Bill Mason will welcome back some key members of this year’s team, including Will Byrne (68 goals, 33 assists), Patrick Fitzgerald (53 goals, 16 assists), and Ethan Barnard (342 face-off wins) that will certainly help Bowdoin contend for both a conference and national title.

RIT: Coach Jake Coon and the 2022 Tigers joined an elite group of teams that captured back-to-back titles in NCAA D-III lacrosse history, but could they really contend for a third consecutive crown next spring? I believe they can, despite losing some talented upperclassmen, but if the Tigers are able to win their third-straight title, they would become the first team since Salisbury University to capture three-straight championships (Salisbury won three consecutive NCAA titles in 2003, 2004, and 2005).

Tufts University: The Jumbos’ run toward a national championship was quite exciting with the Powder Blue and Brown scoring two impressive postseason wins against St. John Fisher College and Salisbury. Tufts’ season concluded in the semifinals with a 26-15 setback to RIT. Like Bowdoin, Tufts will return some key pieces from its 19-win squad next spring that will certainly be players to watch, including Jack Boyden and Tommy Swank.

Union College: The Dutchmen’s run toward its first-ever national championship was exciting — can I say entertaining, as well? Union should be in the mix again next spring, despite graduating some key members of its 2022 squad. Dan Donahue will return between the pipes next season after an impressive second year with the squad that saw the Weston, Massachusetts native record a career-best 240 stops and 17 wins.

York College: Despite ending its season in the national semifinals, the Spartans run toward a championship was highlighted by two postseason victories over Christopher Newport and Southern Virginia. They will lose some key veterans that were either graduate students or seniors this spring, but will welcome back Ben Mayer, a first-year attack from Palm Harbor, Florida that led the Green and White with 90 points on 58 goals and 32 assists.

Others to watch: Albion College, Amherst College, Christopher Newport, Denison University, Dickinson College, Gettysburg College, RPI, Salisbury University, St. John Fisher, Wesleyan University, and Western New England

Women’s D-III Lacrosse Teams to Watch in 2023

Middlebury College: After being idle for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Panthers continued their previous momentum from 2019 and their first three matchups in 2020 by winning 22 of 23 contests this spring, including the national title game. Jane Earley guided Middlebury to its second title in three years, as well as its eighth in program history. Earley, who established new single-season records for goals (80) and points (99), will be one of many players to watch next year.

Salisbury University: Despite ending their 2022 campaign without some hardware, the Sea Gulls were once again a team to watch after finishing the 2021 season as national champions. Coach Jim Nestor will welcome back some key pieces from its 2021 and 2022 squads, including Erin Scannell, who led Salisbury with 55 goals, which should help Salisbury be in the mix for its fifth crown in program history.

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ): After scoring two impressive postseason wins over Salisbury University and SUNY Cortland last month, the Lions’ momentum vanished in the national semifinals with an 18-7 setback to Tufts. The loss, however, could help the Lions understand what they must do to contend for the program’s 14th national championship. TCNJ has not won a national championship since 2006.

Tufts University: For the second-straight season, coach Courtney Shute‘s Jumbos fell short of winning the program’s initial title. But perhaps this year’s defeat to Middlebury will be the inspiration to win the crown in 2023? Like every team, the Jumbos will graduate some key pieces from this year’s squad, including goalie Molly Laliberty and midfielder Anna Clarke.

Washington and Lee: The Generals ended their season by matching their program record for wins with 19. Washington and Lee saw its bid toward a national title conclude in the quarterfinals against Gettysburg College, but the loss will certainly fuel the Blue and White next season, which returns some impressive talent that has guided the unit to 33 wins in its last 37 contests.

Others to watch: Capital University, Colby College, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg College, Ithaca College, Kenyon College, Pomona-Pitzer, Rhodes College, Roanoke College, SUNY Cortland, SUNY SUNY Geneseo, University of Chicago, Wesleyan University, and William Smith

Salem State Set To Face Tufts In NCAA Tournament

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Salem State’s Marcus Faison and the Vikings will take on Tufts University in the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament’s First Round on Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Salem State Athletics)

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

Salem State University men’s basketball coach Chris Harvey knows his Vikings will be challenged on the opening day of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Winners of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC), the Vikings earned a date with Tufts University this Friday at St. John Fisher College (Pittsford, N.Y.) with tip-off scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Salem State and Tufts did not meet this season, but did compete against each other last year at the New England Big 4 Challenge. The Jumbos beat the Vikings, 90-77, thanks to 25 points from Vincent Pace and 20 points from Tom Palleschi.

“It’s going to be a tough match-up for us,” Harvey said of his team’s first-round contest against the Jumbos.

“Coach (Bob) Sheldon is as good as an offensive coach that you will find and they’re playing good defense as well, so it’s cliché, but we will have to bring an A-effort to stay in the game, and if we do that and get a little bit of tempo going then we’ll have a fighting chance.”

The Jumbos, who advanced to this year’s NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid, enter the postseason winners of 20 contests. They saw their bid toward a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown conclude last Saturday with an 81-65 setback to Williams College.

Despite not facing the Jumbos this season, Harvey and his crew would consider themselves ‘very familiar’ with Tufts – in a way, they believe their last meeting, along with some current film study will help with crafting a game plan for defending the Powder Blue and White.

“We’re very familiar with Tufts (despite) not playing them this year,” Harvey said. “We played them last year and didn’t have success (against them), but we know a little bit about their (current) personnel and we’ll have to dive into film here and try to piece together a plan of attack.”

Part of that so-called ‘attack’ will be attempting to find a way to slow down Tufts’ offense, which has averaged 83 points per game this season. Not only can they score inside the paint, but also outside the half circle, too.

In order to be successful, the Vikings will need every member of its roster to step-up, whether it is on offense or defense. They’ll need their seniors and captains – Marcus Faison and Shyheim Davis-Smith – to guide them, along with some long-range field goals from Jacob Lindland. Additionally, they’ll need Faison and Drew Healy to control the glass on defense.

“We have to do what we do,” said Harvey, “and make sure how we play gets the most of our focus in practice. We’re not going to recreate Tufts, every set they run, every tendency they have, every individual player stuff … I am just a believer in really focusing on what you’re doing and put a lot of focus on that, what they’re doing and at the end of the day just go in confident with your game plan and try to execute and adjust in the flow of the game when you can.”

The winner of Salem State-Tufts will meet host St. John Fisher-St. Lawrence on Saturday, March 4 at 7 p.m.

Mass. College Football: Framingham State Prepares For SUNY Cortland

The Rams will look to earn their 11th straight win on Saturday when they travel to Cortland, New York to face SUNY Cortland! (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

CAMBRIDGE, MA – It took 40 years, but Framingham State’s football team finally accomplished their ultimate goal of winning a New England Football Conference Championship.

“It was tremendous,” exclaimed head coach Tom Kelley, who was a four-year defensive starter for the Rams during the 1970’s. “It hasn’t sunk in yet, but I keep telling people it will.”

The Rams overcame a week one defeat to the Endicott College Gulls by rattling off 10 consecutive wins, which included last weekend’s championship victory against Salve Regina.

“We knew we had the talent, and we knew we had the players, and sometimes chemistry is a big part of that and we knew that and the coaches jumped in and picked everything up by the bootstraps,” Kelley said. “We challenged [our players] every week and they met the challenge.”

Framingham State will be faced with an enormous challenge this weekend when they venture into the NCAA Div. III Football tournament for the first time in school history and travel to Cortland, New York to face SUNY Cortland.

The Red Dragons, unlike the Rams, have been to the tournament eight times. Saturday’s tilt marks their third appearance in five seasons.

“They’ve been there, they’re the big dog and they certainly are the big dog and they’ve got the experience, they’ve got the players and I think they don’t respect us a whole lot and that’s OK,” stated Kelley.

“We’re a small state school [heading into the tournament] for the first time, and if I was probably sitting in their seat I’d feel the same way.”

Kelley knows that in order for his team to be successful, especially against a Red Dragons offense that averaged 37.4 points per game, they’re going to have to rely on their defense.

“Our defense has just been outstanding. I just love our defense and we’re going to go as far as our defense takes us at this point,” stated the head coach.

SUNY Cortland senior quarterback Chris Rose finished his team’s nine-game slate with 19 touchdowns, while the halfbacks combined for 1,753 net yards and 18 touchdowns. The Red Dragons offense ranked number one in the conference in scoring offense, too.

Framingham State junior defensive end Alex Torti, who was this week’s Div. II/III Golden Helmet Award recipient, believes the Rams defense can stop this offensive juggernaut if they play flawless football.

“They’ve got a fantastic offense. Their offensive line is big, strong, fast. Their running back [Dorian Myles] is fantastic, the quarterback is great and all around they’re a very solid team, they’re good at whatever they want to do,” explained Torti, who finished the NEFC championship game with two fumble recoveries and a touchdown.

“We’re going to have to be really on our game and have everything straight, and eliminate mistakes. I’m hoping that we can pullout another ‘W’ this week and keep it going.”

NEFC teams haven’t enjoyed a great deal of success in the postseason and have bowed out in the first round the last four years. Curry College advanced to the second round in 2007, but saw their season conclude with a 38-7 loss to St. John Fisher College.

No matter the outcome of Saturday’s game, Kelley is just thankful for the support he received over the past few months from former coaches and players that have returned to the Framingham campus to assist the squad in their quest for NCAA glory.

“Probably the best thing about this whole ride is the amount of former coaches [and players] that have embraced the program again and have come back and really supported us along the way, and that’s been probably the most emotional [aspect],” explained Kelley.

“Once things settle down, I will really enjoy what happened this past year.”

For more information on this clash, check out the SUNY Cortland pregame notes, which were provided the Red Dragons athletic department by CLICKING HERE.