D3 Football Notebook: Brockport, Ithaca Highlight Week 10 Action In New York

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Brockport clinched the Empire 8 title with a 35-25 win over Alfred last Saturday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Brockport Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

An exciting 35-25 win last Saturday over Alfred provided Brockport with the Empire 8 crown.

The Golden Eagles, who checked-in 10th this week on the latest D3Football.com Top 25 Poll, once again received a boost from its defense, specifically Austin Dean, who concluded last Saturday’s till with the Saxons by recording nine total tackles, including three-and-a-half tackles for a loss of 18 yards and two sacks for a loss of 11 yards.

On offense, quarterback Joe Germinerio completed 14 of 17 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns, while Christian Hollister clinched the win with a one-yard touchdown run late in the fourth.

The win provided the Golden Eagles with their ninth-straight of the season – they will attempt to finish 10-0 this weekend when they visit St. Lawrence on Saturday, November 11 for a 1:00 p.m. kick-off.

Alfred, which falls to 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the Empire 8, will cap its regular season with a visit from Hartwick on Saturday. Hartwick enters the early afternoon clash on a three-game losing skid – their last win came early last month when they defeated Morrisville State, 52-34.

Ithaca capped its Liberty League slate last weekend with a convincing 20-3 win over Union College, which entered the contest on a seven-game winning streak.

The Bombers held the Dutchmen to a just 188 yards of total offense, thanks to Dan Loizos, who led Ithaca’s defense with 12 total tackles, including five solo stops, one forced fumble and one tackle for a one yard loss.

Ithaca’s David Prudhomme concluded the game with eight points on a pair of field goals and extra points – his longest field goal of the contest was a 33-yard boot.

With the win, the Bombers head into the final week of the regular season with the best record in the Liberty League at 4-1. They’ll face SUNY Cortland this week, which is always a must-see, must-follow contest.

Union will cap its regular season slate with a visit from RPI. Both teams enter this week’s clash with identical 3-1 conference ledgers.

Other news and notes from the Empire State: Matthew Murphy highlighted his team’s come-from-behind win last weekend against Dean by booting a 20-yard field goal midway through the third quarter to help SUNY Maritime edge Dean, 17-14, in Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) play … the Privateers’ eight wins matches their record from 2011 when they SUNY Maritime won eight of 10 contests, including a 21-14 win over Gallaudet … Merchant Marine’s Brice Moore was tabbed this week’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Offensive Athlete of the Week after leading the Mariners to a 62-27 win over Catholic University. Moore completed two of three passes for 81 yards, while rushing for a game-high 104 yards on 20 carries and two scores … the Mariners head to Coast Guard Academy this weekend to contend for the Secretaries’ Cup. The game will be streamed ive on ESPN3 at noon … Buffalo State returned to the win column last Saturday with an exciting 24-20 win over Hartwick, thanks to a late touchdown pass from quarterback Kyle Hoppy to Had Bryant.

Noontime Sports Team Of The Week: Plymouth State Univ. Panthers

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After securing a hard-fought 17-7 win over Bridgewater State last weekend, the Plymouth State football team was voted this week’s Noontime Sports Team of the Week. (PHOTO CREDIT: Plymouth State Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

The Plymouth State University Panthers were selected as this week’s Noontime Sports Team of the Week following our weekly Fan Poll, which appeared on Twitter yesterday (Monday, October 9th).

One of four teams selected for this week’s honor, the Panthers earned 67 percent of the votes, while MIT and Middlebury College collected 13 percent. Merchant Marine gained just seven percent out of a total of 78 votes.

Last week, the Western New England Golden Bears earned our initial weekly honor following an exciting overtime win over St. Lawrence University.

Plymouth State picked-up its fifth win of the season by defeating Bridgewater State, 17-7, last Saturday, thanks to Mitch Banuskevich, who amassed 208 yards of total offense, including 168 yards on 31 carries.

Banuskevich was selected to this week’s Noontime Sports Offensive team of the Week.

Prior to their win over the Bears, the Panthers defeated Worcester State, 16-6.

Plymouth State enters this week (week seven) with a 5-1 overall recorded and 3-1 ledger in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) play. The Panthers will host Framingham State on Saturday, October 14th at 1 p.m.

Framingham State enters the week winners of five-straight, including a recent 32-16 victory over Fitchburg State, which saw senior Jaquan Harris tied the NCAA Division III record with five interceptions.

Extra, Extra: The Plymouth State Panthers appeared in a pair of Top 10 polls this week, including the Grinold Chapter New England Division III Poll where they earned a two-way tie for sixth with Curry College … Prince Gbaley was selected as a nominee by HERO Sports for this week’s Hero of the Week on Defense/Special Teams. Gbaley recorded a pair  of interceptions in his team’s 17-7 win over Bridgewater State, while returning a 35-yard punt for a touchdown in the third quarter. 

D3 Football: 10 Games To Watch In Week Five (New England & Northeast)

10 Games To Watch

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports)

Ah, it’s Friday, which means it’s time to dish out some weekly picks! It also means a brand new weekend of college football (and high school and professional) is upon us, too.

Any who, here are 10 Games to Watch this week in New England and Northeast D3 Football, as always, make sure to stay connected on Facebook and Twitter throughout the weekend for news, scores and updates!

Brockport at Cortland: The Golden Eagles have soared to four-straight wins this season, including an impressive 38-7 win over St. John Fisher two weeks ago. Their momentum should certainly continue this week against the Red Dragons. PREDICTION: Brockport 28, Cortland 21 

Buffalo State at Alfred: This is a big-time test for the Bengals, who are a perfect 1-0 in Empire 8 play this season. Buffalo State scored an impressive win last week, tallying 24 unanswered points over the final two frames to beat RPI. They certainly will need to play their best against a quality Saxons foe, which has yielded at least two touchdowns per game this season. PREDICTION: Alfred 30, Buffalo State 21 

MIT at Merchant Marine: If the Engineers are going to secure another NEWMAC win, their offense will need to match the Mariners’, who have scored 31 points or more in three games this season. Slowing down Brice Moore won’t be an easy task, but this Engineers defense should be up for the challenge. PREDICTION: Merchant Marine 38, MIT 26 

Husson at Endicott: Endicott clearly gave Hobart a challenge last week, but can that momentum continue this week, especially against a talented Husson squad that is coming off a disappointing setback to Western New England one week ago? If Endicott is going to win this one, they must find a way to slow down John SmithPREDICTION: Husson 21, Endicott 17 

Williams at Trinity: A pair of 2-0 squads are set to meet in Hartford on Saturday in what should be an interesting NESCAC affair. Trinity’s offense has put up a lot of points in its first two contests, so the Ephs must find a way to slow down their passing and rushing attacks. Keep an eye on Williams quarterback Bobby Maimaron and wide receiver Justin Nelson in this one. PREDICTION: Trinity 30, Williams 20 

Alfred State at SUNY Maritime: Conference play officially begins for the ECFC and this could be an interesting contest to follow, especially since Alfred State did provide a challenge to Rochester a few weeks ago. The Privateers were off last week, but have scored some important wins this season, including a 38-31 win over Merchant Marine. PREDICTION: SUNY Maritime 28, Alfred State 14 

St. Lawrence at Western New England: The Golden Bears returned to the win column last week by defeating the Eagles of Husson, thanks to 21 unanswered points over the final two frames. This week, they must continue that second half momentum against a talented St. Lawrence unit, which provided challenges to Ithaca College two weeks ago. PREDICTION: St. Lawrence 28, Western New England 20 

Hobart at Ithaca: The Bombers were off last week, but return to action this week against a solid Hobart squad that relied on its passing game to defeat Endicott. Ithaca must find a way to slow down Shane Sweeney, who ranks second in the Liberty League in touchdown passes (eight). PREDICTION: Hobart 24, Ithaca 21 

Union at Morrisville State: Since falling to Husson, these Dutchmen have found ways to grind out wins, including last week when they squeaked out an exciting third-straight victory over Curry College. This week, they must rely on all units – offense, defense and special teams – to defeat Morrisville State. PREDICTION: Morrisville State 30, Union 20 

Hartwick at Utica: Can the Pioneers win their initial Empire 8 contest of the season? If they do, it will entail finding a way to slow down an impressive Hartwick passing attack. PREDICTION: Hartwick 31, Utica 22 

Teams To Watch In 2017: Western New England Golden Bears

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WNE Quarterback Anthony Service and the Golden Bears should be in for an exciting 2017 campaign. (PHOTO CREDIT: Western New England Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

We continue our preseason New England D3 Football coverage with a preview of the Western New England Golden Bears’ football team. 

Team Name: Western New England Golden Bears

Noontime Sports Preseason Ranking: The Golden Bears checked-in as our top team in New England – the poll was posted on Monday, July 31st.

2016 Season Recap: The Golden Bears’ exciting postseason run concluded last fall in the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament with a disappointing 30-24 setback to Alfred. Yet, before the season concluded against Alfred, WNE scored 11-straight wins, including a pair of victories over Endicott College and Salve Regina University. Halfback Nick Connell highlighted his team’s important win over the Seahawks by rushing for four scores and 170 yards on 30 carries. Connell was one of many student-athletes that made the 2016 campaign one to remember.

Key Losses: Nick Connell (Running Back), Mohamed Camara (Wing), Trent Vasey (Tight End), Terrence N’Dabian (Wing), Blair Cook (Linebacker) and Obi Etuka (Defensive Back)

Players to Watch: Anthony Service (Quarterback), Dante Aiken (Running Back), Mark Dietrich (Wide Receiver), Josh Henry (Tight End), Justin Townsend (Wing), Dillon Martin (Guard), Kurtis Jolicoeur (Bear), Sam Olsson (Defensive Back), Sam Edouard (D-Line), Tim Huffam (Linebacker), Kevin McLaughlin (Bear) and Sean Stergas (D-Line).

2017 ScheduleFor the fifth-straight season, the Golden Bears will begin its campaign against Springfield College – kickoff for this game is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 2 (at WNE). WNE has won the last three meetings against the Pride, while Springfield captured the 2013 contest by a score of 49-40. WNE will then host Westfield State (one week later) before embarking on an important three week stretch, which includes contests against Husson, RPI, and St. Lawrence. Those three games should tell us a great deal about a squad that should once again be in position to capture its conference’s crown (Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC)). Of course, games against Endicott (Oct. 14th) and Salve Regina (Oct. 28th) will be important tests as well – one should also not overlook the team’s final two regular season foes: Curry College and Nichols College. Both teams will be ready to challenge the Golden Bears.

Season Outlook: Last season’s setback to Alfred in the NCAA Tournament should provide this squad with some motivation as they attempt to return to the postseason for the second-straight season. WNE returns 15 of 24 starters from last season’s squad, but there are some question marks surrounding its running game and secondary. Halfback Dante Aiken, who rushed for 617 yards and seven touchdowns last fall, will most likely be the lead-back – he will be asked to fill the void left by Nick Connell, who rushed for 13 touchdowns last fall, along with 1,231 yards. Connell is back, however, but as an assistant coach – he could certainly help Aiken become one of the best backs in the league. The other question mark: the team’s secondary. Defensive back Obi Etuka graduated last spring, but luckily the team does return a good chunk of secondary players that should be able to step-up when needed. Coach Keith Emery and his staff seem optimistic about their team’s secondary. Excluding the two question marks, WNE does return a great deal of talent that will make them ‘the team to watch’ this fall.

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 Hockey: Friday Night Roundup

By Matt Noonan 

Here are the scores and highlights from last night’s men’s and women’s hockey games.

Men’s Hockey

Providence 1, Merrimack 0: Noel Acciari‘s second goal of the season proved to be the difference as the Friars defeated the Warriors in North Andover.

Boston College 5, Boston University 1: Johnny Gaudreau recorded a first period goal along with two assists as the Eagles beat the Terriers at Boston University.

New Hampshire 4, Massachusetts 1: Steven Iacobellis evened the game at 1-1 in the first period, but that was the closest the Minutemen got as the Wildcats added three more goals — one in the second, two in the third — to secure the win.

St. Lawrence 3, Harvard 1: Jimmy Vesey recorded a power play goal in the second, but that wasn’t enough to jumpstart a Crimson comeback.

American International 8, Bentley 7: Jon Puskar recorded two goals and three assists, which helped the Yellow Jackets win a wild contest in Watertown.

New England College 2, UMass Boston 1: Jeremy Finger‘s power play goal in the second wasn’t enough to jumpstart a rally as the Beacons dropped their first game of the season in Boston.

Babson 3, St. A’s 1: Michael Phillips‘ second period strike provided the Beavers with the lead for good as Babson picked up its second win of the season.

Women’s Hockey

Harvard 3, St. Lawrence 2: Dylanne Crugnale registered two assists as the Crimson defeated the Saints.

Boston College 6, Vermont 1: Emily Field netted her fourth and fifth goals of the season as the Eagles defeated the Catamounts in Vermont.

Franklin Pierce 4, UMass Boston 2: Alyssa Sullivan recorded two points (one goal, one assist), but that wasn’t enough to lift the Beacons to victory.

Mass. College Football: Afternoon Scoreboard

By NoontimeSports.com 

Here are the scores from this afternoons’s contests.

* BC 34, Virginia Tech 27

* No. 17 N. Illinois 63, UMass 19

* Fordham 32, Holy Cross 30

* Stonehill 42, Pace 14

* Merrimack 31, Assumption 21

* AIC 43, New Haven 34

* Bentley 24, So. Conn. 19

* Framingham State 58, Mass. Maritime 12

* Gallaudet 40, Becker 34

* Norwich 38, Mount Ida 19

* Anna Maria 42, Castleton State 14

* Fitchburg State 26, Westfield State 23

* Plymouth State 34, Worcester State 31

* West Conn. 35, UMass Dartmouth 12

* Western New England 38, Curry 28

* Colby 37, Tufts 0

* Amherst 17, Trinity 16

* Wesleyan 16, Williams 14

* St. Lawrence 32, WPI 15