Tag Archives: Stonehill College

Around The Rim With Bob Whitney: Welcome Back College Hoops

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Former Braintree High and Kimball Union star Nic Timberlake in action last year for Towson University. Timberlake is now a redshirt freshman for Towson this winter after last season’s injury-riddled campaign. (PHOTO COURTESY: Bob Whitney)

By Bob Whitney | @WhitneyBob

In case you haven’t noticed the 2019-20 college basketball season is off and running, highlighted by a nationally-televised doubleheader last evening featuring the top four teams in the men’s basketball preseason rankings: Michigan State, Kentucky, Duke, and Kansas.

For all of us veteran purists, it was hoop heaven, the talent was amazing but the quality of play was spotty at best given such a huge stage on opening night.

That aside, it is my pleasure to pen a weekly hoop column for the hard-working Matt Noonan and his many followers here at Noontime Sports.

I have covered one of the Power Five conferences – the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), to be exact – for the last eight seasons, but this year I will focus on a little bit of everything but the primary focus will remain on all that is happening in New England – and that is a lot!

First of all, check out the Noontime Sports Men and Women’s New England D-III Basketball Preseason Top 10 Polls: (Men’s Basketball | Women’s Basketball)

A few thoughts from the basketball polls.

  • No surprise that Amherst College is perched at the top of both rankings. They have been the gold-standard regionally and a regular participant in the NCAA D-III Tournaments for years.
  • Speaking of Amherst, the men’s program suffered a sudden jolt in September when legendary coach David Hixon (after 42 seasons at the helm) opted to take a non-health sabbatical to deal with some family issues. The big question is can the program move on without Hixon’s leadership?

    Those close to the program feel that with the elevation of trusted assistant Aaron Toomey, who played under Hixon and helped win NCAA titles in 2012 and 2013, the transition should be seamless.

  • A game to watch (and to gauge how Toomey and his squad are managing the transition) is on January 10 when New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rival Middlebury College travels to Amherst.

ODDS AND ENDS

  • There have been a number of rule changes introduced with the most important one being the extension of the 3-point arc from 17 inches to the international standard of 22 feet, 1 3/4 inches. Although testing of this change in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) last year found little change in shooting percentage, it was felt by the officiating honchos that it would alleviate congestion in the paint by forcing defenders to guard shooters further away from the basket. Stay tuned on this change.
  • All eyes will be pointing to Cambridge, Mass this season to see if the Harvard University celebrated senior class, led by awesome point guard Bryce Aiken, can finally win an Ivy League title, as well as earn an automatic tournament bid to the NCAA Tournament.

    Better yet, the Crimson will have some home-cooking help in March as this year’s conference tournament moves from the storied The Palestra to Lavietes Pavilion, March 14-15.

    The Ivy poo-bahs move to a conference tournament for men and women was a no-brainer – the atmosphere is pulsating and the quality of play is as good as it gets.

  • A shoutout to former Marquette University assistant Brett Nelson who assumes the reins at Holy Cross after Bill Carmody‘s decision to retire from the coaching ranks.
  • Did you know that we have a number of the top coaches in the women’s college game led by the legendary Barbara Stevens, who ranks fourth in wins among college coaches at Bentley University, Harvard’s Kathy Delaney-Smith, Stonehill College‘s Trisha Brown, Springfield College‘s Naomi Graves, and Babson College‘s Judy Blinstrub. If any of you have a daughter that may be destined to play at the college level the price of admission to catch one of these coaches in action will help with a final decision.
  • In my eight years following ACC men’s basketball, I had the privilege to hear firsthand from some of the great coaches in the game, including Coach Mike KrzyseskiRoy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Rick Pitino, and Mike Brey. Buzz Williams was a real stitch in the press room. But most impressive among this elite group of coaches was the University of Virginia‘s, Tony Bennett.

    Obviously, Bennett’s run to the national title was the big news last year but most noteworthy was his recent decision to forego a well-deserved a big raise. Bennett felt that his family was blessed and thankful for what they have and felt that the money would be better spent in funding a program to help athletes transition to careers after basketball. Bennett is destined to be the voice of the ACC once Coach K and Roy retire.

A FINAL THOUGHT

Best wishes to Kristen McDonnell who left the Braintree high school girls basketball program after a ten-year run which included four D-1 state titles and a bunch of sectional crowns. McDonnell is seeking a new challenge as the Norwood high school boys head coach.

Keep shooting. See you next week!

D2 Lacrosse: New England Top 5 Men’s & Women’s Polls (March 11th, 2019)

NS D2 LAX TOP 5

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax

With a new season of New England Division II lacrosse underway, it is time to unveil our first men and women’s top five polls of the season, as well as our teams on the rise, too.

Our weekly lacrosse polls are powered by our friends from Zelos Athletics, who are ready to get you set for a brand new lacrosse season with their FusionSport technology.

Stay connected with our New England lacrosse coverage on Twitter by following @NoontimeLax today! 


New England Men’s D2 Top Five Poll | Monday, March 11th, 2019 

1. Merrimack College

2-1, 0-0 NE10

2. Saint Anselm 

0-1, 0-0 NE10

3. Bentley University

2-0, 0-0 NE10

4. Assumption College

2-2, 0-1 NE10 

5. Southern New Hampshire 

2-2, 1-0 NE10

On the Rise: Franklin Pierce and Saint Michael’s 


New England Women’s D2 Top Five Poll | Monday, March 11th, 2019 

1. Assumption College

4-0, 1-0 NE10 

2. Bentley University

2-0, 1-0 NE10

3. New Haven 

2-1, 1-0 NE10

4. Merrimack College

1-3, 1-0 NE10

5. Stonehill College 

3-1, 0-1 NE10

On the Rise: Franklin Pierce and Saint Anselm 

New England College Basketball Notebook: Hauser Named Associate Head Coach at Assumption College

NEW ENGLAND HOOPS NOTEBOOK

By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11) 

In a time where the news-cycle tends to be slow – hello, summertime! – we do have some news to share from the New England College basketball world below:

Stay connected with Noontime Sports on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube! Also, have a story (or idea for a future blog post)? Let us know by sending us an email to NoontimeSports@gmail.com 

Mass. College Sports: Recapping The 2015 College Sports Season

Allyson Fournier capped her four-years in Medford by guiding the Tufts softball team to three national championships. (Photo Credit: Boston.com)

Allyson Fournier capped her four-years in Medford by guiding the Tufts softball team to three national championships. (Photo Credit: Boston.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

2015 was a special year for college athletics in the Bay State.

And before we press fast-forward to 2016, let’s take a look back at some of the biggest stories and headlines from this past year.

* The Tufts University men’s lacrosse team captured its third NCAA title, including the program’s second consecutive crown with a 19-11 victory against Lynchburg.

* Allyson Fournier navigated the Tufts softball team to its third consecutive title as the four-time All-American pitcher helped the Jumbos defeat Texas-Tyler, 7-4.

Tufts concluded the 2015 season with a 51-0 record, while becoming the first Division III softball team to win three consecutive national championships.

* The Boston University men’s ice hockey team captured the Beanpot and Hockey East – the program’s eighth conference title – while earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

The Terriers advanced to the ‘Frozen Four’ championship, but fell to Providence College on Causeway Street in Boston.

* Amherst College saw its men’s soccer program capture its initial NCAA title earlier this month with a 2-1victory against Loras. Bryce Ciambella netted the game-winning goal in the 55th minute to lift the Jeffs to victory.

* The Williams College women’s soccer team won its first-ever championship, thanks to a first half marker by Kristina Alvarado, which helped the Ephs defeat Washington (Mo.), 1-0.

* On the gridiron, the Assumption College football team captured the Northeast-10 Conference championship, defeating New Haven, 17-14. Cody Lynn connected with Alex Shain on a one-yard touchdown strike midway through the fourth quarter, which helped the Hounds rally from a five-point deficit.

The Hounds then went onto capture a first-round NCAA Division II tournament game, defeating Bowie State by a score of 51-29. Marc Monks accounted for four touchdowns during his team’s 11th win of the season.

* The Tufts football team finished its eight-game slate with a 6-2 record, winning six games for the first time since 2001. The Jumbos capped their campaign with a 31-28 victory against Middlebury College.

* Amherst College concluded its 2015 football season with an 8-0 ledger, along with the program’s sixth New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown. The Jeffs won the championship last season and shared the crown with Middlebury College and Wesleyan University in 2013.

* The Babson College men’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals for the first-time in program history after rallying past Trinity College (Conn.) in the regional final. Joey Flannery sent the game to overtime with a layup late in the second stanza before Matthew Droney punched the Green and White’s ticket to the semifinals with a trifecta with 54 seconds remaining in overtime.

Babson ended its 2014-15 campaign with 29 victories, along with their first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championship since 2004.

* The MIT women’s lacrosse team captured the program’s first-ever NEWMAC crown, defeating Wellesley College and Springfield College. The Engineers season concluded with the program’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory against Regis College (Mass.).

MIT’s Emily Young finished her first season with the Cardinal and Gray by tallying 86 points on 75 goals and 11 assists.

* The Williams women’s tennis team capped its 2015 season with a 5-4 victory against Emory in the national championship. Linda Shin secured the title with a second-set victory.

Williams has now defeated Emory for the title four times (2002, 2010, 2013 and 2015) and lead Division III in women’s tennis titles with nine crowns.

* The Merrimack College men’s lacrosse team won the program’s first-ever NCAA Division II tournament game by beating Adelphi in the quarterfinals. The victory avenged a conference tournament setback to the Panthers.

* Stonehill College signal-caller Matt Foltz made headlines during the fourth week of the season by engineering a trio of touchdown drives during the final 62 seconds as the Skyhawks rallied to beat LIU Post, 40-37. Foltz capped the rally with a last-second heave to Corey White in the end zone.

Friday Feature: Stonehill College’s Matt Foltz Shines In The Fourth Quarter

Sophomore Matt Foltz guided Stonehill College to an improbable come-from-behind victory last weekend against LIU Post. (Photo Credit: Stonehill College Athletics)

Sophomore Matt Foltz guided Stonehill College to an improbable come-from-behind victory last weekend against LIU Post. (Photo Credit: Stonehill College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan 

Matt Foltz was speechless when asked to describe his heroic performance from one week ago.

The Stonehill College sophomore signal-caller couldn’t recall a past experience of engineering a trio of scoring plays in 62 seconds to guide a squad to an improbable victory.

“I have never experienced anything like it,” Foltz said on Wednesday after receiving the Golden Helmet Award at the New England Football Writers Luncheon at Harvard University. “I was just trying to do my job and afterward you can’t believe it happened.”

Stonehill entered the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s game trailing LIU Post, 30-13, but trimmed the deficit with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Foltz to senior wide-out Corey White, which brought the visitors with 10 points. The Pioneers responded with an eight-play, 97-yard drive to push ahead, 37-20, with 2:13 remaining.

Robert Talley – the head coach of the Skyhawks – considered pulling his signal-caller with the game potentially out of reach, but decided to keep Foltz in the game.

With Foltz under center, the Skyhawks engineered a quick scoring drive that resulted in a 13-yard touchdown strike to freshman tight end Kaleb Lutton that brought Stonehill within 10 points (37-27) with 1:02 remaining.

Stonehill’s defense kept momentum on their side, forcing LIU Post to go three-and-out before the offense – again led by Foltz – engineered a four-play, 43-yard scoring drive that concluded with an 11-yard touchdown reception by sophomore Dave Harrison with just six seconds left.

The Skyhawks – now trailing 37-34 – continued their rally on the ensuing kickoff by recovering an onside kick at the LIU Post 41 yard line. And with just one second left remaining, Foltz again located the end zone with a 41-yard jump ball to White, who hauled in the game-winning reception on the left side.

“I saw (Corey) in the end zone and I know he is one of the most physical and gifted guys on the team. He is big and strong and athletic, so if there is one guy you want to throw a jump ball to it is probably Corey,” Foltz said of his final toss of the afternoon.

“I saw him in the end zone and there were a couple other guys around him, and at that point I was just throwing up a prayer, hoping he would come down with it.”

The win was Stonehill’s fourth consecutive of the season, but it was also their second fourth quarterback comeback in a span of three weeks. Against Merrimack College, Foltz led a pair of scoring drives in the fourth quarter to help the Skyhawks overcome a 20-10 deficit. The final result: Stonehill 24, Merrimack 20

Said Foltz of his fourth quarter success, “Everyone on our team never quits on each other and I think the team chemistry this year is great. I also think it is the preparation we all put in. When it comes to crunch time and high pressure situations (we) reveal who we really are and as a whole team it shows we put in the time and we put in the effort.”

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