For the second-straight week, two New England D-III football teams appeared on the most recent NCAA East Regional Rankings, which were posted (and announced) earlier today.
Western New England, which checked-in fifth one week ago, secured the sixth position in this week’s rankings, while Endicott College checked in tenth overall.
WPI, which secured the ninth position last week, did not appear on the ten-team list.
Salisbury University remained the top team in the East region for a second-straight week, while Wesley College and Delaware Valley checked in second and third, respectively. Union College, which boasts an impressive 9-0 record, slid into the fourth position while the College of Brockport checked-in fifth.
SUNY Cortland, Hobart, and Stevenson University secured the seventh, eighth, and ninth positions.
Endicott and Western New England conclude their respective regular-season campaigns this Saturday, November 16th with the Golden Bears hosting Husson University and the Gulls visiting Nichols College.
WNE, which defeated Endicott earlier this season, secured the conference’s automatic bid to the upcoming NCAA Tournament – we will learn who their first-round opponent will be on Sunday, November 17th.
The Gulls of Endicott will most likely represent the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) in the New England Bowl. Endicott competed in its initial New England Bowl last fall but lost to the U.S.Merchant MarineAcademy, which competes in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).
A pair of New England D-III Football teams appeared on today’s NCAA East Regional Rankings, which were unveiled for the first time this season.
Western New England, which leads the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), checked-in fifth on the ten-team list, while WPI, which is currently in a three-way tie for first place in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), secured the ninth position.
Salisbury University was the top team – the Sea Gulls boast a 7-0 record heading into the tenth week of the 2019 season, while Wesley College and Delaware Valley checked-in second and third, respectively. Union College, which currently sits atop the Liberty League (LL) with an 8-0 record and 5-0 conference mark, secured the fourth position.
Ithaca College, the College at Brockport, and SUNY Cortland checked-in sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively, while WPI and Wilkes University rounded out the poll.
Western New England, which has won all five conference games this fall, including a 42-31 win last weekend against Endicott College, can clinch its conference crown this Saturday, November 9th with a win over Becker College.
WPI, which saw its seven-game winning streak snapped last Saturday against MIT, will look to rebound on Saturday when they host Coast Guard Academy.
Katie Zimmerman was named earlier this month the first coach of the Western New England women’s ice hockey program, which is scheduled to begin competition in 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: Diana McNamara)
By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports
Katie Zimmerman seems very excited to coach the first Western New England women’s ice hockey team, which is scheduled to play its first contest during the 2020-21 school year.
“Being able to start my own program at the college level is very, very special,” said Zimmerman, who arrives in Springfield after assisting the Amherst College women’s ice hockey team since the 2014-15 season.
“I have categorized it as a life experience (because) it is going to be both exciting and challenging, but also a full-circle feeling to build a program and help grow the game at the next level.”
A forward for the Hamilton College women’s ice hockey team, Zimmerman led the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) in goals scored during her junior and senior seasons, while also earning a pair of all-league selections.
In addition to assisting coach Jeff Matthews at Amherst, Zimmerman has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.
Noontime Sports recently caught-up with Zimmerman to discuss her excitement for starting the women’s ice hockey program at Western New England.
On getting a startup program started:The very first thing to do is to make sure people know about the program. So, what I have done is introduce or reintroduce myself to former colleagues and coaches at both the youth and high-school level, as well as camp directors and advisors to educate them about this new program. I have let people know that this is an exciting opportunity, not just for myself, but for so many people that are going to be able to support it, including the first-ever student-athletes that will have a chance to write the first chapter of the program’s history. Besides spreading the news, it is also time to begin building relationships with prospective student-athletes, too.
I am really excited about this opportunity. I believe in this program, and I am looking for recruits who are just as excited as I am.
On learning from prior startup women’s ice hockey programs:I do have contact with coaches that have started their own NCAA Division I and III programs, so it is very interesting to speak with them and learn how they got their programs started. There are so many interesting aspects of building an inaugural team.
On spreading the word of the new program to the entire country:The midwest and northeast are hockey hotbeds. Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Michigan are the three top states for girl’s hockey, so those are target areas, but I am casting a wide net for potential student-athletes that want to join our program. I have seen some impressive players come out of California, Colorado, and even Texas and Florida, so I am definitely spreading the news outside the northeast and making sure to focus on bringing in individuals that will set the tone for the program’s culture. I have been really lucky to chat with so many people that have provided me with ideas as to what I should do with recruiting, to the hockey x’s and o’s stuff as well, but it has been very helpful learning more about how my colleagues and coaching friends have started their respective programs.
On publicizing the news through social media: I recently launched a WNE women’s ice hockey Instagram account and plan to follow up with Twitter and Facebook soon. Social media is a primary mode of communication for so many people these days and I am excited to get some good content out there.
Katie Zimmerman competed for Hamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). (PHOTO COURTESY:
On falling in love with the sport of hockey:My love for hockey began in the driveway. I grew up on a street with many other young kids, and I would jump into street hockey games whenever I could. I loved ripping around the neighborhood on my roller blades that I had my seventh birthday party at an inline skating arena. I vividly remember going to the arena with my mom and seeing a roller hockey game being played, and I asked my mom if I could play. She signed me up on the spot. I was one of only two girls in the roller hockey league for three years before I transitioned to ice hockey at 10-years-old. I grew more and more serious about ice hockey as time went on, and my love for the sport only grew.
Some of my all-time best friends have been former teammates and many of my favorite moments revolve around hockey. And when I’m not coaching the sport, I’m a passionate follower of the National Hockey League (NHL) and a loyal Detroit Red Wings fan!
Some favorite memories of the game:I could write a book about my favorite memories. When I was a senior in high school I played for a team in Michigan called Victory Honda, and that year alone holds so many of my all-time favorite hockey memories. The best part of that year was that it felt like we were all best friends, both on and off the ice – I still keep in touch to this day) – which made every moment at the rink so much fun. I also had a blast playing in college, where every game-day felt like a holiday.
Just hours before the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues squared-off in the seventh game of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals, Western New England announced some exciting news that they would be adding women’s ice hockey, the school’s 20th varsity sport, during the 2020-21 school year.
The exciting news of the school adding women’s ice hockey was shared by Matt LaBranche, Western New England’s Director of Athletics, Recreational Sport & Physical Education, who looking forward to seeing the team compete in 2020.
LaBranche also announced the hiring of Katie Zimmerman, who becomes the first head coach in the program’s history. Zimmerman previously served as an assistant at nearby Amherst College and has prior coaching experience with USA Hockey and SUNY Cortland.
Zimmerman also played Division III hockey forHamilton College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
According to Wednesday’s release, Western New England will join 66 other colleges that sponsor women’s ice hockey at the Division III level.
Nichols College announced on Thursday that Brandon Linton has been named the 20th men’s basketball coach in program history.
Linton replaces Scott Faucher, who guided the Bison to 28-3 record this past winter, including an appearance in the NCAA Division III sectional finals (elite eight).
“Nichols College is a special institution that offers a world-class experience for our student-athletes both on and off of the court,” said Linton in Thursday’s release. “I cannot wait to begin the process of getting to know our current players and continuing to build on the foundation they have created.”
Linton is no stranger to Division III basketball as he played for Clarkson University in the Liberty League (LL) and spent time as an assistant under coach Tim Gilbride at BowdoinCollege.
The second week of the New England D3 football season is upon us – let’s go!
Similar to last week, it is time to dish out our 10 Games to Watch for week two, as well as our predicted winners for each contest.
Last week, we went 6-4 with our picks, so lets see how we do this week (fingers crossed for a perfect 10)!
Make sure to stay connected with our Noontime Sports Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today!
Bridgwater State at Endicott College (Friday, Sept. 7th | 7 p.m.): The Bears fended off a late rally by Buffalo State to secure an opening day win last weekend, as well as some momentum heading into Endicott’s first-ever Friday Night Lights home contest. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 24, Endicott 14
Mass. Maritime at SUNY Maritime (Friday, Sept. 7th | 7 p.m.): Who wants some chowder? Perhaps the Privateers? SUNY Maritime captured the Chowder Bowl last year and should win it again this evening. PREDICTION: SUNY Maritime 37, Mass. Maritime 35
MIT at Curry College (Friday, Sept. 7th | 7 p.m.): Coach Brian Bubna earned his first win on the sidelines as a head coach last Friday evening. Can he win his second game against a Curry squad, which produced 44 points in its opener last week? PREDICTION: MIT 28, Curry 21
Salve Regina University at Montclair State (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): The Seahawks soared back to beat Worcester State last Saturday, so can they do it again on against a team they topped last year by a touchdown? PREDICTION: Salve Regina 24, Montclair State 20
Western Conn. at Dean College (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): The Bulldogs put up 41 points last week – is this a sign of things to come? Maybe, but can they do it against a solid West Conn. team? PREDICTION: Dean 35, West Conn. 31
WPI at No. 25 RPI (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): This is almost a ‘must-win’ for the Engineers of Worcester, who have aspirations of winning its first-ever NEWMAC crown this fall. As usual, RPI-WPI is a must-see, must-watch game, so this is a big early season test for coach Chris Robertson‘s squad. PREDICTION: RPI 28, WPI 20
Framingham State at SUNY Cortland (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 12 p.m.): This is a big test for coach Tom Kelley and the Rams, who will look to slow down a Red Dragons squad, which rolled past Fitchburg State last Saturday. Framingham State has the offense to keep-up with the Red Dragons, but can their defense make the big stop when needed? PREDICTION: SUNY Cortland 38, Framingham State 28
Springfield College at Kean University (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 1 p.m.): Junior quarterback Chad Shade stole the show last week, rushing for a career-best six scores in his team’s first-ever win at home against Western New England. He’ll probably have another big game this week against a solid Kean squad. PREDICTION: Springfield 28, Kean 21
Westfield State at Western New England (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 1 p.m.): The Golden Bears will attempt to provide first-year coach Jason Lebeau with his first win on the sideline when they host Westfield State, which captured its first game of the season last Friday over Nichols. PREDICTION: WNE 28, Westfield State 21
Castleton University at Fitchburg State (Saturday, Sept. 8th | 2 p.m.): Both teams will look to bounce back after week one setbacks. Our thought is Castleton will find a way to beat the Falcons on the road. PREDICTION: Castleton 24, Fitchburg State 17