Colby College secured the second seed with a 13-2 overall record, including a 9-1 mark against NESCAC opponents, and will host seventh-seed Bowdoin College on Saturday. Tufts University, which is the third seed, will host Trinity while the fourth seed Wesleyan University will entertain Hamilton College.
All three matchups are scheduled to commence at 12 p.m.
Middlebury has appeared in 20 consecutive NESCAC Tournaments, winning 10 titles in 12 championship appearances. They have won two of the last three NESCAC titles with Tufts claiming the league crown last year en route to an appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship against Salisbury University (the Sea Gulls edged the Jumbos, 14-13).
Following the conclusion of Saturday’s quarterfinals, the four winning teams will advance to the highest remaining seed, which will host both the semifinals (Saturday, May 7) and championship (Sunday, May 8). The winner of this year’s NESCAC Championship will secure the league’s automatic bid for the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament, which is scheduled to begin Saturday, May 14.
Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to the first official weekend of March lacrosse.
As usual, we have some great matchups to watch (and follow, of course) so let’s share the games we will be watching, beginning with the University of Lynchburg visiting Salisbury University (men’s lacrosse).
The Sea Gulls enter a postseason preview with the Hornets riding a three-game winning streak, which includes recent wins against Gettysburg College and Stevens Institute of Technology. Logan Posner highlighted his team’s win against the Ducks by recording a career-high six goals to go with an assist.
Posner is one of many Sea Gulls to watch tomorrow — the same could be said for Cross Ferrara, a graduate student that has recorded 12 goals and four assists in three contests to go with seven ground balls and two caused turnovers.
As a team, Salisbury is averaging 17.00 goals per game while its defense has limited its last two opponents to six goals or less.
Middlebury has not competed in two years but is expected to contend for a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown, along with Tufts University, Colby College, Wesleyan University, Hamilton College, Amherst College, Trinity College, and Bowdoin.
The Panthers enter the 2022 season as a young squad with a few members of its championship squad back, including midfielder Erin Nicholas, who guided Middlebury to a field hockey championship last November.
Middlebury enters Saturday’s meeting with Bowdoin riding a 25-game winning streak and beat the Polar Bears in their initial contest of 2020 by a score of 16-12.
Here are a few more games to watch this weekend (times are eastern standard time):
Colby College at Tufts University (men’s lacrosse) Saturday, March 5 at 12 p.m.: The Jumbos will kick-off their 2022 campaign with a visit from the Mules, a team they beat last April by a score of 29-11, thanks to Bryce Adam, who recorded a career-high nine points.
Rhodes College at Birmingham-Southern College (women’s lacrosse) Saturday, March 5 at 12 p.m.: Two of the top teams in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) will meet on Saturday with BSC looking to bounce back from a setback last weekend against Reinhardt University.
Cornell College at Illinois Tech (men’s lacrosse) Saturday, March 5 at 12 p.m.: The Rams have won two of three contests this season with hopes of winning their second-straight contest on Saturday against the Scarlet Hawks.
Brockport at Denison University (women’s lacrosse) Saturday, March 5 at 1 p.m.: The Golden Eagles will play their first game of the season after their previous two meetings with Ithaca College and the University of Rochester were postponed.
St. John Fisher at St. Lawrence University (men’s lacrosse) Saturday at 2 p.m.: The Cardinals will enter Saturday’s non-conference meeting with a great deal of momentum following back-to-back wins against Ithaca and SUNY Cortland.
Kenyon College at Catholic University (women’s lacrosse) Sunday, March 6 at 3 p.m. eastern: Catholic will host Kenyon in its first-ever matchup on Sunday with hopes of capturing its second-straight win.
Marymount University at Whittier College (men’s lacrosse) Sunday, March 6 at 4 p.m.: The Poets have won four-straight contests and will attempt to stretch their current winning streak to five against a Saints squad that is looking to snap a two-game losing streak.
Another season of New England college football — and yes, preps and high schools, too — are slowly ending. But the 2021 season is still on my mind.
After not seeing so many local teams compete last fall due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was an amazing feeling to pace the sidelines these last few months and watch numerous student-athletes compete on the gridiron.
There were some of the “usual suspects” that either won or were in the mix for their respective conference title to some new teams, especially in NCAA Division III that deserve our attention going forward.
Before we officially say so long and farewell to a fun season of coverage, allow me to revisit a few stories that I certainly will remember from this season.
Holy Cross not only won its third-straight Patriot League title, including two in the same year, thanks to a shortened spring season to go with their first postseason victory in program history. And despite losing on Friday in the second round of the NCAA FCS playoffs to the University of Villanova, the future is very bright for coach Bob Chesney’s squad.
Harvard University captured their 137th meeting with Yale University last month, thanks to a game-winning touchdown pass from Luke Emge to Kym Wimberly. The 34-31 victory by the Crimson clinched their first eight-win season since 2015.
Sacred Heart University made its second-straight appearance in the NCAA FCS Tournament, but came up short to Holy Cross, which edged the Pioneers in the opening round by a score of 13-10. The Red and White will graduate some key pieces from this year’s squad, but will attempt to win their third-straight Northeast Conference crown next fall.
Bentley University and the University of New Haven were two teams to watch in New England NCAA Division II.
Both teams met twice last month, including in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Tournament. Two weeks earlier, the Falcons and Chargers squared-off in an early November contest with New Haven not only winning the game, but also securing their first Northeast-10 Conference (NE10) crown since 2012.
The Chargers lost to Kutztown University last weekend in the second round of the playoffs, but they will certainly be a team to watch next season — the same could be said for the Falcons.
Bentley’s Stephen Sturm was one of a few NE10 signal-callers to watch this fall as he concluded the season with a league-high 23 touchdown passes.
Saint Anselm’s Drew Willoughby, who was named the league’s Rookie of the Year, threw for a league-high 2,803 passing yards to go with 22 touchdowns. He averaged 311.4 passing yards per game.
Anna Maria College won its first-ever Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) title with seven wins, which is the most victories any AMCATs squad has recorded in a single season. And despite losing to Delaware Valley in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament, coach Dan Mulrooney’s squad will certainly be a team to watch next fall, both in and outside of the ECFC.
The 2021 Williams College football team made history by becoming the first squad to win nine games in a single season.
The Ephs capped their campaign with three impressive wins over Amherst College (24-19), Trinity College (42-3), and Wesleyan University (25-0) to clinch a 9-0 record, their first perfect season since 2010.
Colby College could be a team to watch next fall as they matched their 2013 squad with four wins.
The Mules captured their second-straight Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) crown with a pair of victories over Bates College (10-2) and Bowdoin College (21-10).
Tom Kelley and the Framingham State University football team won their third-straight Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown outright. The Rams concluded their season with an 8-3 overall record for the third consecutive season, as well as posted a perfect 8-0 league mark for the second-straight year.
The Rams will continue to be the team to watch (and yes, follow) in 2022, but will certainly be challenged by a slew of teams in the MASCAC.
Endicott College captured its first conference crown since 2013, as well as hosted its first-ever NCAA playoff game.
Coach Paul McGonagle’s Gulls will certainly be a team to watch next fall — the Green and White are young and will return a slew of talent from this year’s squad on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Mike Ingraffia and wide receiver Shane Aylward.
After starting its season with a 1-3 record, Springfield College bounced back with six-straight wins to capture its second New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) crown. The Pride ended their season with three important wins against Catholic University (28-14), MIT (17-7), and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (28-23).
NCAA D-III Football Teams to Watch in 2022: Bridgewater State, Husson University, Salve Regina University, Plymouth State, Trinity College, Tufts University, UMass Dartmouth, University of New England, and WesternConnecticut.
It’s hard to believe, but another season of New England NCAA Division III football has officially concluded — that was fast, eh?
Luckily, we still have plenty of end-of-season wrap-up content coming your way, so stay tuned for future posts and podcasts. But in the meantime, enjoy our end-of-season poll, which finds Williams College, Endicott College, and Framingham State in the top three spots.
1. Williams College (9-0, 9-0 NESCAC): The only New England team to finish without a setback, the Ephs concluded the 2021 season as the first team in program history to win nine games in a single season.
2. Endicott College (8-3, 5-1 CCC): Despite seeing its season conclude in the opening round of the 2021 NCAA Division III Tournament, the future is very bright for a squad that features a slew of rising seniors and juniors.
3. Framingham State (8-3, 6-0 MASCAC): The Rams were a pleasant surprise this fall, rebounding from an 0-2 start to win their third outright conference crown.
4. Trinity College (8-1, 8-1 NESCAC): The Bantams could be the “team to beat” next fall in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) after ending its season with back-to-back wins over Amherst College and Wesleyan University.
5. Western New England (7-4, 5-1 CCC): The Golden Bears may have ended with a difficult setback to the United States Merchant Marine Academy, but this team was resilient, especially after a midseason loss to Endicott College.
6. UMass Dartmouth (9-2, 6-2 MASCAC): The Corsairs matched their win total from 2003 by winning their final six contests, including their first-ever New England Bowl.
7. Husson University (7-3, 4-2 CCC): These Eagles provided a lot of challenges for non-conference and conference foes this fall.
8. Salve Regina University (8-2, 4-2): The 2021 Seahawks looked somewhat like the 2016 Seahawks that won eight games.
9. Springfield College (7-4, 6-0 NEWMAC): “The Brotherhood” bounced back from a 1-3 start with a six-game winning streak that resulted in a conference crown, along with an impressive showing against SUNY Cortland in the opening round of the postseason.
10. Bridgewater State (6-4, 6-2): The Bears concluded their season with a Cranberry Bowl win over Massachusetts Maritime Academy, which should provide the Red and White with some much-needed momentum heading into the offseason.
11. Anna Maria College (7-3, 5-1 ECFC): The AMCATs were a tremendous story this fall as they not only captured their initial conference crown but also competed in their first national postseason.
12. Wesleyan University (6-3, 6-3 NESCAC): These Cardinals provided a great deal of excitement with some dramatic come-from-behind wins this fall.
13. Castleton University (6-4, 4-2 ECFC): The Spartans were a fun team to watch down the stretch as they finished with six wins for the first time since posting an identical 6-4 record in 2017.
14. Plymouth State (5-5, 5-3 MASCAC): These Panthers were a team to watch during the second half of the season, especially mid-October.
15. MIT (5-4, 3-3 NEWMAC): Coach Brian Bubna’s squad ended its 2021 campaign with a much-needed win over the Engineers of WPI.
16. Amherst College (5-4, 5-4 NESCAC): These Mammoths exceeded our expectations and will certainly be a team to keep an eye on next fall.
17. University of New England (4-5, 2-4 CCC): The future is very bright for the Nor’easters, who concluded their season early this month with a dramatic win over Curry College.
18. Western Connecticut (5-5, 4-4 MASCAC): The Colonials head into the offseason with some momentum after ending its campaign with back-to-back wins over Fitchburg State and Worcester State.
19. Tufts University (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): The Jumbos ended their season with a four-game winning streak – they were certainly competitive with some of the top teams in the NESCAC this fall.
20. Colby College (4-5, 4-5 NESCAC): The Mules concluded their season with the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) crown.
For the first time in school history, the Williams College football team finished its campaign with a 9-0 record.
The Ephs topped Amherst College, 24-19, this afternoon to clinch its first perfect season since finishing its 2010 campaign with an 8-0 record, which was the last time Williams captured the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) crown.
Saturday’s win marks the third time in five seasons that Williams has beaten Amherst in “The Biggest Little Game in America.”
Bobby Maimaron capped his impressive career with the Purple and Yellow by completing 11 of 14 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns while Mario Fischetti led all rushers with 84 yards on six carries while catching two passes for 31 yards and one score.
Williams dominated the first two quarters, outscoring the hosts, 17-6, thanks to a pair of touchdowns to go with a 23-yard field goal by Ivan Shuran late in the opening stanza.
The Ephs’ 11-point lead would increase to an 18-point advantage (24-6) in the opening minutes of the second half when Bobby Maimaron connected with Justin Burke for a seven-yard touchdown pass to cap a seven-play, 93-yard drive.
Amherst would respond with a late third-quarter touchdown pass from Chad Peterson to Joe Masterson before locating the end zone once more early in the fourth quarter when Carson Ochsenhirt capped a six-play, 60-yard drive with a two-yard score. Peterson attempted a two-point conversion, which would have made it a three-score game, but his attempt failed.
The Mammoths’ second touchdown, which brought the hosts within five points, did not spark an additional scoring drive as Amherst’s final three series concluded with a punt, turnover on downs, and an interception.