Tag: SUNY Cortland

Noontime’s D-III Lacrosse Championship Predictions

Middlebury College’s Emma White and the Panthers defense has been a unit to watch this postseason. (PHOTO COURTESY: Will Costello)

By Matt Noonan

The time has come to crown not one, but two NCAA Division III lacrosse champions.

This weekend, six teams – four women’s and two men’s – will contend for the ultimate prize of a national championship.

But before the games commence, it is time to share my picks – well, more my thoughts, to exact, as to who I think will win this year’s titles.

Let’s begin with the four teams competing for the women’s national championship in Salem, Virginia.

NCAA D-III Women’s Semifinals & Championship Predictions

Middlebury College over Gettysburg College: It’s too bad this matchup had to occur in the semifinals – it would have been great to see both teams square off on Sunday in the championship.  

This weekend will be the last time Carol Cantele and Barb Jordan will pace the Gettysburg sidelines – the Bullets enter the last weekend of the season with a 13-game winning streak.

Cantele credits the opponents her team faced two months ago to prepare her squad for a challenging postseason run, which began with an extra session win over Roanoke College in the second round.

Jordan Basso is the player to watch on Gettysburg – the sophomore attack from Rye, New York leads the Orange and Blue in goals (65) and points (101).

Middlebury was idle last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but their championship momentum from 2019 has remained with the Navy Blue and White, which is seeking its eighth title in program history, as well as its third crown since 2016.

The Panthers’ defense has been a unit to watch this postseason. They have limited its three postseason foes to six goals or less, and have received a major boost from goalie Annie Enrietto, who has turned aside 21 shots in her team’s last three contests. She denied 11 shots on Sunday during her team’s second meeting of the season with Colby College.  

Jennifer LaRocca and the TCNJ women’s lacrosse team scored back-to-back wins last weekend over Salisbury University and SUNY Cortland. (PHOTO COURTESY: Jimmy Alagna/TCNJ Athletics)

Tufts University over The College of New Jersey (TCNJ): TCNJ’s path to championship weekend wasn’t an easy one.

The Lions had to beat three teams, including Salisbury University and SUNY Cortland in back-to-back games last weekend, which is not an easy task. But perhaps their wins over the Red Dragons and Sea Gulls will provide TCNJ with enough momentum to beat Tufts, a squad that has ended the Lions’ last two postseason trips.

Like TCNJ, Tufts enters its semifinal matchup with a great deal of momentum, which began after the team’s last setback to Amherst College in April. After losing to the Mammoths in overtime, the Jumbos have been on a roll, winning their second-straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament crown while scoring three impressive postseason wins.

Perhaps the Jumbos’ most impressive win of the postseason came on Sunday evening as Tufts converted seven of 12 free position goals against Franklin & Marshall to clinch its third trip to the semifinals since 2019.

Last season, the Jumbos came close to winning their first-ever national title but saw their hopes dashed by an extra Salisbury tally by Delaney Hill. Tufts would respond, netting three-straight goals in less than two minutes, but its final marker by Caroline Walter concluded the Jumbos’ comeback.

The loss to Salisbury, along with an extra session defeat to Amherst might be enough motivation for Tufts to find a way to beat TCNJ for the fourth time in the last three years.

Middlebury over Tufts in the 2022 NCAA D-III Title Game: Get ready for an all-NESCAC championship.

Middlebury and Tufts almost met in the title round three years ago when both teams appeared in the national semifinals. But Tufts saw its season conclude against Salisbury, which would then fall to Middlebury in the championship.

So, let’s try this again.

Middlebury beat Tufts earlier this spring by seven goals, thanks to a four-point (three goals, one assist) effort from Jane Earley, along with a hat trick by Susan Rowley.

Tufts would win the next meeting by one goal when the two teams met in the NESCAC Championship earlier this month. The Jumbos’ defense highlighted the win, especially at the very end as the unit denied a pair of free-position attempts by Hope Shue.

The Jumbos’ 9-8 win over the Panthers snapped Middlebury’s 42-game winning streak, which began with a 16-1 victory over Springfield College on March 8, 2019.

Since falling to Tufts, Middlebury has looked impressive. They tallied 22 goals in back-to-back games against SUNY Geneseo and the University of Chicago, before relying on its defense to slow down a Colby squad that had produced 33 goals in back-to-back postseason contests.  

While Tufts’ run to the national semifinals has been exciting – and yes, impressive, too – it just seems like their luck or momentum will disappear in the third meeting with Middlebury, which seems determined to conclude its current campaign with some hardware.


NCAA D-III Men’s Championship Predictions

Ryan Puglisi and the Union College defense shined last Sunday against York College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Clara Lodice)

Union College over Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT): Who doesn’t like an underdog story?

Union may not be the favorite, but it seems as if many within the D-III world are pulling for the Dutchmen to win their initial national championship.

The Dutchmen have enjoyed an impressive season, winning 18 of 20 contests with perhaps their most exciting wins occurring last weekend over Gettysburg College and York College. Both wins were exciting but also proved this year’s Dutchmen can win a championship.

For Union to complete its storybook season with a title, they will need to find a way to slow down an RIT squad that has produced 20 goals or more in four postseason contests this spring.

The Tigers won their first-ever championship last year by outlasting Salisbury in double-overtime.

RIT has beaten Union in its last 20 meetings, including an NCAA Tournament clash in 2019. The Tigers won both meetings last spring, including an 11-9 victory in the Liberty League (LL) semifinals.  

Marley Angus highlighted RIT’s one-goal win over Union last month as the senior midfielder concluded the game with four goals, two assists, and two ground balls. Keaton McCann led Union with five goals on eight shots.

McCann has been a player to watch on Union this postseason. The senior attack from Briarcliff, New York has recorded three goals or more in four contests while netting the game-winner last Saturday against Gettysburg.   


NCAA D-III Championship Weekend Schedule

WLAX D-III Semifinal: Middlebury vs Gettysburg on Saturday, May 28 at 12 p.m.

WLAX D-III Semifinal: Tufts vs. TCNJ on Saturday, May 28 at 3:00 p.m.

MLAX D-III Championship: RIT vs. Union on Sunday, May 29 at 1 p.m.

WLAX D-III Championship: Middlebury/Gettysburg vs. TCNJ/Tufts on Sunday, May 29 at 3:30 p.m.

All three women’s games will occur in Salem, Virginia while the men’s championship will take place in East Hartford, Connecticut.

It’s Been A Successful Start For UMass Boston Men’s Lacrosse

UMass Boston men’s lacrosse has won three-straight contests this season. (PHOTO COURTESY: UMass Boston Athletics/Mary Jo Murphy)

By Matt Noonan

Last season, the UMass Boston men’s lacrosse team did something it had never accomplished: win a Little East Conference (LEC) crown, as well as secure a spot in the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Despite losing its first-ever national postseason contest to SUNY Cortland, the Beacons’ success — well, more its momentum from one year ago has continued this season with a 3-0 start.

UMass Boston picked up its third win of its 2022 campaign yesterday with a 16-8 victory over Lasell University. The non-league win was highlighted by Gavin Admirand, who produced a season-best eight points on five goals and three assists to go with three ground balls.

Prior to their win against Lasell, UMass Boston scored an opening day win — an overtime victory, to be exact — against Nichols College (11-10) before they rallied to beat Roger Williams University by a score of 18-14.

While Admirand will be a player to watch this spring, the same could be said for Michael Claflin (11 goals and six assists), Darragh Fahey (seven goals and seven assists), and Jack Dobrzynski, who has won 32 of 54 face-off attempts.

UMass Boston will seek its fourth-straight win this Saturday, March 12 against the University of New England before traveling to Texas next week to compete against Hendrix College and Southwestern University.

RIT Looks To Continue Its Early-Season Momentum Against Stevens

RIT’s Quinn Commandant registered seven points last Saturday against York College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Rich Barnes)

By Matt Noonan

It’s been a few months — well, close to a year since RIT men’s lacrosse celebrated its first-ever national championship (the Tigers outlasted Salisbury University in double-overtime last May).

And as expected, the winning ways have continued for the Tigers, who have not lost a game since falling to Williams College in the NCAA Division III Tournament in 2019.

RIT’s momentum has continued over the last few weeks with impressive non-conference wins recently against Nazareth College (25-9) and York College (16-9).  

The win over the Spartans — the program’s third-straight since win against the Green and White — was highlighted by a seven-point (three goals and four assists) effort from Quinn Commandant, a senior attack from Rockwood, Ontario, that has tallied 10 points in two contests. Commandant also recorded one caused turnover and a pair of ground balls in his team’s third win of the season while Luke Pilcher led all scorers with five goals.

Drew Hutchison, a senior goaltender from Otonabee, Ontario, turned aside a season-best 16 shots to pick up his third win between the pipes.    

RIT’s win against York was impressive. The Spartans entered the non-conference meeting with some early-season momentum from back-to-back wins against Arcadia University and Washington and Lee. But now, the Tigers will look to continue its early-season momentum against Stevens Institute of Technology on Wednesday, March 9.

The face-off between RIT and Stevens is scheduled for 5 pm. eastern.

RIT and Stevens have only met once with the Tigers beating the Ducks in the NCAA quarterfinals in 2018. A win on Wednesday would provide the Tigers with not just their second win against the Ducks in program history, but their 22nd consecutive victory dating back to a 17-4 win against Ohio Wesleyan University on February 15, 2020.

Following a visit to Stevens, RIT will cap the week with a trip to Collegeville, Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 12 to compete against Ursinus College.  

RIT is one of five Liberty League (LL) squads to win three games thus far — as of early this afternoon, the Tigers are one of four squads to boast a perfect record.

RPI has also enjoyed a successful start to its 2022 campaign with the Engineers winning five-straight contests. RPI will host MIT this Saturday.

Union College has won three games and will look to score their fourth-straight win against a New England foe tomorrow when they visit Williams. The Dutchmen recently beat Springfield College by a score of 14-7.

Ithaca College and William Smith are two of three Liberty League women’s squads to begin their season with back-to-back wins. The same could be said for Clarkson Universitythe Golden Knights recently edged SUNY Cortland this past weekend by a score of 11-10, thanks to Sydney Roderick (two goals and three assists) and Julia Lavarnway (three goals and one assist).

Last Saturday’s win marked the first time the Golden Knights were victorious against the Red Dragons, a team that had won the last four meetings.

Clarkson will attempt to win its third-straight contest on Thursday when they visit SUNY Canton.

Checking In On The D3 Football Coaching Carousel

Dan Swanstrom will be returning to the University of Pennsylvania after spending five seasons as the head coach at Ithaca College. (PHOTO COURTESY: University of Pennsylvania Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

The football coaching carousel never stops, especially in NCAA Division III.

As noted, both this morning and over the last few days by D3Football.com, three schools, including Ithaca College, will be looking for a new head coach to lead their respective program onto the gridiron this fall.

Dan Swanstrom, who guided the Bombers to 32 wins and 11 losses in five seasons, is returning to the University of Pennsylvania as the Quakers’ new offensive coordinator. His final day at Ithaca College is next Monday, January 31.

Penn head coach Ray Priore announced Swanstrom’s hiring on Monday and is excited to welcome back his former quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator that helped the Quakers share a pair of Ivy League crowns in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s great to have Dan rejoin the Penn Football Family after leading Ithaca to great success over the last years,” Priore said in a statement on Monday. “He returns with a tremendous work ethic, an incredible amount of football knowledge, and a passion for the game.”  

Swanstrom inherits a Penn offense that ranked last in the Ivy League in touchdowns (24) and points (191).

In his final season at Ithaca, the Bombers won eight of 10 contests, including five of six Liberty League (LL) matchups. Ithaca concluded its campaign with a heartbreaking defeat to SUNY Cortland in the 62nd meeting between the two schools last November.

According to D3Football.com, this year’s Cortaca Jug Game between Ithaca and SUNY Cortland will be played at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, November 12.

“I can’t put into words how special my time at Ithaca has been,” said Swanstrom, via D3Football.com. “I would like to thank the players, coaches, and fans for the cherished experiences and the meaningful relationships.”

Swanstrom isn’t the only one making a transition from Division III to Division I as it was announced yesterday that Chris Wilkerson, who guided the University of Chicago for the last nine seasons, has been named the new head coach at Eastern Illinois University.

Wilkerson, who is an Eastern Illinois alum, guided the Maroons to an 8-2 record last fall, including a 7-2 mark in the Midwest Conference. UChicago’s offense shattered numerous single-season records while halfback Nicholas D’Ambrose placed second in the nation with a school record of 1,714 rushing yards.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve as the head football coach at UChicago for the past nine seasons,” said Wilkerson, via athletics.uchicago.edu. “I want to thank all the players and coaches for their commitment and passion for Maroon football.”

North Central will also have a new head coach — the school’s athletic director Jim Miller recently announced Brad Spencer will be taking over for Jeff Thorne, who recently accepted the offensive coordinator role with Western Michigan.

Thorne will reunite with Western Michigan coach Tim Lester as the two coached together at North Central under Jeff’s father John Thorne.

As the head coach of North Central, Jeff Thorne guided the Cardinals to the school’s first-ever championship in 2019. They fell short of winning their second title last month against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.  

Other coaching changes/notes:

Postseason Roundup: RPI Outlasts Endicott; New Haven Rolls Past Bentley

Mike Ingraffia tossed two touchdowns on Saturday in Endicott College’s NCAA D-III Tournament game against RPI. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway)

By NoontimeSports.com

Mike Ingraffia’s second and final touchdown pass with 2:50 remaining in the fourth quarter brought the hosts within one score, but that would be the closest they would get as RPI held onto defeat Endicott College, 20-14, in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division III Tournament.   

With the win, the Engineers secured a date with SUNY Cortland, which fended off a late rally by Springfield College in its opening round contest.

George Marinopoulos completed 18 of 27 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns with two scores landing in the hands of Vinnie McDonald, who led all receivers with seven grabs for 122 yards.

McDonald caught his team’s first and final score – the initial touchdown with 2:07 remaining in the first quarter provided the visiting Engineers with a lead that would expand to 14-0 early in the second quarter when Marinopoulos connected with Peter Lombardi for a four-yard score.

Endicott would respond on the ensuing possession with a 66-yard touchdown strike over the middle from Ingraffia to Geoffrey Ingrando to pull the hosts within one score (14-7) at the break.

RPI would push ahead, 20-7, midway through the third quarter when Marinopoulos located McDonald on a fade pattern in the end zone to provide the Engineers with a two-score cushion that would be reduced to a six-point lead when Ingraffia connected with Kobe Gaudette for a 20-yard touchdown with 2:50 remaining.

Endicott attempted an onside kick on the ensuing possession, which was quickly recovered by the RPI special teams.

RPI concluded the game with 338 yards of total offense on 74 plays while Endicott tallied 190 on 48 plays.

Saturday’s game marked the first time Endicott has hosted an NCAA Tournament game.

University of New Haven 38, Bentley University 13: Connor Degenhardt registered four touchdowns, including three on the ground as the Chargers beat the Falcons for the second time in three weeks to secure a second round NCAA Division II meeting with top-ranked Kutztown University next Saturday, November 27 with kick off scheduled for 1 p.m.

Degenhardt completed 8 of 11 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown while rushing for 38 yards on 11 carries and three scores.

New Haven’s Zach Mauro led all rushers with 119 yards on 33 carries while Dev Holmes recorded four catches for 104 yards and one touchdown.

The Chargers erased a 6-3 deficit late in the second quarter with a pair of touchdowns from Degenhardt that provided New Haven with a 17-6 lead at the break that would morph into a 24-6 advantage after three quarters.

Despite the setback, Bentley’s Stephen Sturm concluded his career by tossing his 58th touchdown while eclipsing 8,000 passing yards.

Delaware Valley 62, Anna Maria College 10:Justin McMillian returned an 82-yard kickoff to start the game while Ryan Kent converted a 37-yard field goal as the AMCATs fell to the Aggies in their first-ever NCAA postseason contest.

Delaware Valley’s Daquan Bohannan and Casey Decker combined for three touchdown passes while Julian White rushed for a game-high 101 yards on four carries and one score.

Muhlenberg College 45, Framingham State 0: Michael Hnatkowsky completed 27 of 36 passes for 352 yards and four touchdowns as the Mules rolled past the Rams in the opening round of the postseason. Michael Brooks led Framingham State’s defense with nine total tackles, including eight solo stops.

SUNY Cortland 26, Springfield College 21: Patrick Ladas capped a 17-play, 75 yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run with 2:43 remaining, but that would be the closest the Pride would get to the Red Dragons hung onto win the 34th meeting between the two schools.

Ladas rushed fro a game-high 88 yards on 28 carries and three schools while Ryan Deguire added 44 yards on six carries.

Jaden Alfanostjohn rushed for a pair of first half scores with his second quarter touchdown providing the hosts with a lead they would not relinquish.