Tag: The College of New Jersey

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

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.

D3 Lacrosse: What We Learned In The Month of March

The month of March has been a busy one for a slew of NCAA D-III teams, including the Centenary College men’s lacrosse team. (PHOTO COURTESY: Centenary College of Louisiana Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

The final day of March has arrived – can you believe it?

I can’t, but what I can say is it has been a busy few weeks in the NCAA D-III lacrosse world – hopefully, you have stopped by to read our various player perspective interviews, along with our weekly notebooks this month! – but before we usher in a brand new month, along with the second half of the season, I thought we could revisit some of the storylines (and yes, headlines, too) from the past few weeks.

Salisbury University Women’s Lacrosse is off to a fast start

Let’s begin with Salisbury University, specifically the women’s team, which recently scored its eighth-straight win, as well as its third conference victory. The Sea Gulls are averaging 15 goals per game – so far, they have deposited 124 shots – and appeared to be in mid-season form earlier this month when they beat The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), 14-8.

Seniors Alexis Strobel (12 goals and 37 assists), Lydia McNulty (21 goals and three assists), and Julie Talbert (11 goals and two assists) have highlighted the Sea Gulls’ impressive attack, which has also received a boost from sophomore Erin Scannell, who has recorded career-highs in goals (26) and points (27).

With five games remaining, the Sea Gulls appear to be the team to beat in the Coast-To-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) – one game to watch next month is Salisbury’s regular-season finale against St. Mary’s College, which has won three of four contests thus far. The Seahawks’ lone setback occurred earlier this month against Salisbury (14-10 setback).

John Carroll University boasts two NCAA D-III Goal Scorers

Skyler Blake and Colleen Grombala of John Carroll University are currently leading all NCAA D-III lacrosse players in goals – yes, I know this can change with games set to commence later today and this evening.

Blake, who is a graduate student, has been a player to watch through eight contests – the Dublin, Ohio native recently established a new single-game record for goals in a game with 10 against Marietta College on Wednesday, March 17. As of this afternoon, Blake and the Blue Streaks have won five of six contests this spring – they will return to the field this Saturday, April 3 when they host Heidelberg University, a team they beat earlier this season by a score of 32-1.

Grombala is also a graduate student – the Beverly Hills, Michigan native has picked up where she left off in 2019 by tallying 48 goals and 13 assists through nine contests this season. She registered a season-best nine points on nine goals earlier this month in a conference clash with Capital University before recently stuffing the stat sheet against Ohio Northern with four goals, one assist, seven ground balls, and six draw controls.

The JCU women’s lacrosse team, which has won nine-straight contests this spring, will host Heidelberg this evening with opening draw set for 7 p.m.

Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse scores an exciting first win

Earlier this month, I had the chance to converse with CJ Seling, who is the head coach of the Centenary College of Louisiana men’s lacrosse team – we chatted a few days after the Gents scored their first win of the 2021 season.

The Gents recently restarted their lacrosse program and defeated the University of Dallas earlier this month – the win is certainly a step in the right direction for the Maroon and White, which is currently the only NCAA squad in Louisiana.

As of this afternoon, Centenary boasts a 1-8 record but I’ll be rooting for them in their next two contests against Southwestern University and Dallas.

Averett University men’s lacrosse has shown improvements in its fourth season

Speaking of younger (or newer programs), the Averett University men’s lacrosse team, which is in its fourth season as a varsity squad, has captured four of eight contests this spring, including a 13-7 victory earlier this month against Brevard College.

The four wins are the most for the Cougars, who are scheduled to compete this Saturday, April 3 against William Peace University. This will be the first of two meetings between the two schools this season.

As of this afternoon, first-year Liam Taylor leads the Navy Blue and Yellow with 24 points on 18 goals and six assists.

Keep your eyes on Christopher Newport men’s lacrosse next month

The Captains have been a great story this spring – as of this afternoon, the Blue and White have won six of seven contests, including a 10-9 overtime win against the University of Lynchburg.

The one-goal win over the Hornets was the first for Christopher Newport in four attempts (Lynchburg would even the season series six days later with a 12-5 win).

Despite a recent loss to Lynchburg, Christopher Newport has looked quite impressive this month – they are scheduled to face some challenging foes in Colorado College, Salisbury University, and Washington and Lee University over the next few weeks.

The Captains and Sea Gulls will square-off this Saturday, April 3 in Maryland with a face-off set for 4 p.m. I would highly recommend streaming the game.


NCAA D-III Lacrosse Blogs from March 2021


Additional news, notes, and links:

  • The Washington and Lee women’s lacrosse team has won six-straight contests and will commence the second half of their schedule tomorrow when they visit Shenandoah University. After visiting the Hornets, the Generals will play four more contests before competing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Tournament.

    One week ago, Landon Shelley recorded her 100th career assist in her team’s 17-2 victory over Randolph-Macon.

  • The George Fox University women’s lacrosse team will enter the second half of their schedule with a 7-0 record – the Bruins recently scored back-to-back wins last weekend against Willamette University. Andrea Garcia-Milla highlighted her team’s seventh win with six assists to go with five ground balls and one caused turnover.

  • The first weekend of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) action is set to commence this Saturday, April 3 with three contests. Trinity College men’s lacrosse will visit Connecticut College at 11 a.m. followed by Bates College women’s lacrosse visiting Colby College. Connecticut College women’s lacrosse will entertain Tufts University at 3 p.m.

  • SUNY Cortland men’s lacrosse will enter the month of April with a 2-1 record – they recently defeated Clarkson University, 11-9, thanks to four goals and one assist from Zak Jones.


    Staying within the conference, the SUNY New Paltz men’s lacrosse team played its first-ever conference game earlier this week against SUNY Plattsburgh. The Hawks, who are in their second season as a varsity squad, did not compete in a single SUNYAC contest last spring due to the season being cut short due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

  • The Worcester State University women’s lacrosse team scored its first-ever win against Bridgewater State University last Friday (10-7) before capping the weekend with a second-straight win over the Bears in overtime.

  • Dickinson College men’s lacrosse scored perhaps the most exciting win of March last Saturday when they outlasted Muhlenberg College, 11-10, in four-overtimes.

D3 Lacrosse Notebook: Lynchburg Looks To Continue Its Early-Season Success

Nicki Santora netted five goals, including the game-winner in double-overtime in Lynchburg’s 13-12 win over Mary Washington last Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: University of Lynchburg Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

It’s been an exciting few days for the University of Lynchburg women’s lacrosse team, which scored an impressive double-overtime win last Saturday against the University of Mary Washington before securing the final spot in this week’s Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) D-III poll.

The Hornets’ win over the Eagles was their first in their last 13 attempts and should provide Lynchburg with some additional momentum heading into their next contest on Wednesday, March 24 against Christopher Newport.

Lynchburg’s 3-1 start is a testament to a trio of graduate students – Kelsi Trevisan, Carly Sandler, and Nicki Santora – who have combined for 44 points on 32 goals and 12 assists. Additionally, senior Leah Dumas has been a player to watch, especially last weekend when the Kennebunk, Maine native posted season-bests in points (five) and goals (four).

As a team, the Hornets are averaging 21.5 points per contest – they produced season-highs in goals (22), assists (11), and points (33) in their season-opener against Averett University last month before combining for 17 goals earlier this month against Meredith College.

Lynchburg is currently one of four teams in the Old Dominion Conference (ODAC) that has won at least three games thus far – Ferrum College has won four of seven matchups while Washington and Lee and Roanoke College each boast identical 3-0 records.

Washington and Lee, which is ranked third in the latest IWLCA poll, has also enjoyed a successful start to its 2021 campaign, as well, winning three-straight contests while averaging 22.00 goals per game.

The Generals, who are currently in first place in the ODAC, will look to extend their early-season winning streak to four games on Saturday when they visit Mary Washington for a 12 p.m. opening draw.

Allie Schwab is one of many players to watch on the Generals this season – she currently leads the Blue and White with 20 points on 10 goals and 10 assists, and is second in the ODAC in that same category behind Ferrum’s Erin Reynolds (16 goals and five assists).

Washington and Lee might be the favorite to win the conference crown later this spring, but Lynchburg is one of a few teams in the ODAC to watch over the next few weeks – the same could be said for Randolph-Macon College, Shenandoah University, and Roanoke College.


News and Notes from the NCAA D-III Lacrosse World

  • Franklin & Marshall is this week’s top team in the latest IWLCA Poll – the Diplomats, who were previously ranked second in the Top 25 coaches poll, will play their first game of the 2021 season next Saturday, March 27 against Ursinus College.

  • The Salisbury University women’s lacrosse team has enjoyed an impressive start to their 2021 season, winning five-straight contests, including back-to-back games against ranked opponents: Mary Washington and St. Mary’s (Md.). Salisbury will host The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) on Saturday, March 20 with opening draw set for 1 p.m. TCNJ enters the game with a 1-0 record.

  • As of this afternoon, it appears as if just two members of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) will be playing games this spring. And they are the following: the University of Redlands and Chapman University. Both schools will play each other four times next month – it is possible we could see a fifth match-up on Saturday, May 1 – but as of now, the Bulldogs of Redlands will keep their focus on their initial foe of the 2021 season: Cal Lutheran University.

  • US Lacrosse Magazine republished a must-read from Lindsey Farrell, a former student-athlete with the McDaniel College women’s lacrosse team, about how the school made her who she is today.

  • Congrats to Kat Walton of Capital University, who recently recorded her 256th career point in the Crusaders’ recent win over Ohio Northern.

TCNJ Cancels Football, ‘High-In Person Contact’ Activities For The Fall

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TCNJ Lions Logo (TCNJAthletics.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) will not be playing football this fall. In fact, TCNJ will not be competing in any ‘high in-person contact‘ activities throughout the fall semester, according to President Kathryn A. Foster, who shared the news through the school’s website.

Friday’s announcement follows a few other schools, including Bowdoin College and UMass Boston, that announced earlier this week that they would not be playing sports this fall either. Additionally, Morehouse College, a member of NCAA D-II, canceled its upcoming cross country and football season earlier today while Pratt Institute (N.Y.) announced yesterday that none of their fall athletic programs would be competing for an American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) crown.

Foster expressed sympathy toward the school’s student-athletes that won’t have a chance to compete for the Lions this fall, including those that partake in intramural and club sports. But Foster did say that coaches and trainers can “arrange workouts and other individual fitness activities” while the Student Affairs staff will organize “low-contact recreational and cultural offerings.”

“I know how unfortunate and deeply disappointing this is for the many performers and athletes, coaches, and supporters who were looking forward to a fall season,” Foster said in today’s announcement. “I look forward to it, too. Yet the science on COVID-19 finds that activities with high in-person contact or proximity have the greatest likelihood of broad and rapid virus spread, a circumstance that at TCNJ could mean (a) shutdown of the campus.”

COVID-19 hasn’t been kind to the Garden State, which currently has recorded 172,000 confirmed cases and 14,872 deaths. But like most states in the northeast, including New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, the numbers and data are trending in the right direction, which could mean sports could return to TCNJ this winter.

Said Foster, “If all goes well in fall, we may be able to allow some performance and winter sports preparation.”