Tag: University of New England

Noonan: An Exciting Finish Awaits Numerous Small College Football Teams

Jack Maguire and the Salve Regina University football team scored an important win last weekend against Endicott College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway/TAMMY MCMANAWAY SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY)

By Matt Noonan

To say the next three weeks of the small college New England football season will be fun – and yes, exciting, too – would be an understatement.

For starters, we have quite a few conference races to watch these next few weeks, including one that currently features four teams in the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league.  

Endicott College appeared to be a lock to win their first-ever conference crown since 2013 when they, along with other members of the CCC, competed in the New England Football Conference (NEFC). But unfortunately, things changed this past weekend as their three-game conference winning streak was snapped with a 21-14 setback to Salve Regina University.

Luckily, it is just one loss – Endicott currently holds the head-to-head tiebreakers over Husson University and Western New England, who are also in the mix for the league crown. But to win the conference, the Gulls will need to beat their two remaining foes – Nichols College and the University of New England – as well as get some help from their rivals: Salve Regina and Western New England.

Salve Regina has beaten Nichols and UNE but needs to win their final two contests against Curry College and Husson.

Western New England beat Salve Regina in their first conference meeting of the 2021 season earlier this month before falling to Endicott one week later. The Golden Bears will be idle this weekend but conclude their regular-season slate with back-to-back contests in November against Husson and UNE.

And while all the attention is currently on Salve Regina following an exciting win this past weekend against Endicott, one should certainly not overlook Husson, which has won two of three league matchups, as well as scored some impressive non-league wins against Plymouth State and Springfield College.

As of now, it is hard to project a winner of the Commonwealth Coast Football (CCC) league, but we should have a better gauge this Saturday.

Speaking of Springfield College, they are also in the mix for their conference crown in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) but need to win their remaining three contests, including their matchup this weekend with the University of Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA).

The Mariners have been a great story this fall, winning seven consecutive contests to match their best start in program history. They scored an exciting 44-34 win this past weekend against Catholic University, thanks to both Ian Blankenship and Brian McGovern, who combined for five touchdowns, including three on the ground.

Springfield has beaten USMMA in two of their last three outings, including twice at home in 2017 and 2019.

Like the Mariners, the Pride has also become a team to watch over the last few weeks after rebounding from a 1-3 start by winning their last three contests to bump their overall record to 4-3.

David Wells and Isaiah Cashwell-Doe headlined Springfield’s most recent win against WPI.

Saturday’s matchup between the Pride and Mariners is scheduled for 1 p.m. – the contest will be held in Springfield, Massachusetts.

South of Springfield – West Haven, Connecticut, to be exact – will feature another important matchup to follow as Assumption College visits the University of New Haven on Saturday, October 30 for a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Both teams enter the ninth week of the Division II season in contention for the Northeast-10 Conference (NE10) crown – UNH has not lost a single conference game this fall while Assumption has won four of five league meetings. Assumption could win the conference, but they need to win their final three outings, including two against the top two squads in the league.

Bentley University was idle this past weekend but has been a great story as they have not lost a game since October 12, 2019, and head into the final three weeks with a great deal of momentum.

The Falcons will be at home this weekend against Franklin Pierce before visiting New Haven next Saturday, November 6. It is possible the Falcons and Chargers could enter the week ten matchup without a single conference loss.  

Noontime’s New England D3 Top 20 Poll (Oct. 25, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to the ninth week of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III college football season — are you ready for another for a big week of football?

This week, along with the next two, will help us determine what teams will compete in either the national postseason or the New England Bowl(s).

So, without further ado, let’s get excited for another week of football with our latest Top 20 poll.

1. Salve Regina University (7-1, 3-1 CCC | LW: No. 5): The Seahawks return to the top of our poll following a come-from-behind victory against Endicott College.

2. Trinity College (6-0, 6-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 2): A big matchup awaits the Bantams this week against the Ephs of Williams College.

3. Endicott College (6-2, 3-1 CCC | LW: No. 1): The Gulls drop two spots after seeing their 14-6 lead disappear in the fourth quarter last Saturday to Salve Regina.

4. Western New England (5-3, 3-1 CCC | LW: No. 4): Make it back-to-back wins for the Golden Bears who are still in the mix for their conference crown.

5. Williams College (6-0, 6-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 3): Another week, another victory for the Ephs.

6. Framingham State (5-2, 5-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 6): Are you ready for the Kelley Cup this Saturday?

7. Bridgewater State (5-2, 5-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 7): The Bears rolled past Westfield State this past weekend but face a UMass Dartmouth squad that has won three straight since falling to Western Connecticut earlier this month.

8. Wesleyan University (6-0, 6-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 8): The Cardinals shut out Middlebury College at home and will look to continue their midseason momentum against Amherst College this weekend.

9. UMass Dartmouth (6-2, 4-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 9): Don’t be surprised if these Corsairs hand the Bears of Bridgewater State their initial conference setback of the season on Saturday.

10. Husson University (5-2, 2-1 CCC | LW: No. 10): The Eagles bounced back from a week seven setback to Endicott with a big win against the University of New England.

11. Springfield College (4-3, 3-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 11): Make it three-straight wins for the Pride, who now face their toughest test of the season: the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USSMA).

12. Anna Maria College (5-1, 3-0 ECFC | LW: No. 12): Did you know the AMCATs are in first place in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)?

13. Plymouth State (3-4, 3-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 13): Make it three-straight wins for the Panthers, who will look to even their record with a win on Saturday against Westfield State.

14. MIT (3-3, 1-2 NEWMAC | LW: No. 17): A dramatic second-half comeback helped the Engineers outlast Norwich University.

15. Amherst College (4-2, 4-2 NESCAC | LW: No. 20): The Mammoths posted their first shutout of the season last Saturday against Hamilton College. Will this win translate to a big victory this weekend against Wesleyan?

16. Massachusetts Maritime Academy (4-3, 3-2 MASCAC | LW: Not Ranked): The Buccaneers returned to the poll following an impressive 22-20 win over Western Connecticut.

17. University of New England (3-4, 1-2 CCC | LW: No. 15): A big challenge awaits the Nor’easter this weekend at Endicott.

18. Western Connecticut (3-5, 2-4 MASCAC | LW: No. 14): The Colonials will attempt to snap a three-game losing streak on Saturday at Worcester State.  

19. Colby College (2-4, 2-4 NESCAC | LW: No. 19): The Mules will look to bounce back from their week eight setback to Trinity with a CBB (Colby-Bates-Bowdoin) victory against Bates College.  

20. Bates College (1-5, 1-5 NESCAC | LW: Not Ranked): These Bobcats have provided some challenges to Wesleyan and Williams this fall, so don’t be surprised if they finish their 2021 slate with two – maybe three? – more victories.  

Noontime’s 10 Games to Watch (Week Eight)

 DJ Brown and the Springfield College football team will look to continue their recent success on Saturday against WPI. (PHOTO COURTESY: Springfield College Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

The eighth week of the New England NCAA Division III football season is almost here – are you excited?

Last week, we picked seven of ten matchups correctly to bump our overall record to 50-20, so let’s see if we can continue this momentum one week later.

Have a great day (and weekend, everyone) – we’ll be taking a mini-vacation the next few days, but look forward to recapping the action on Sunday while slowly looking ahead to the ninth week of the 2021 season.


FEATURED GAME: Endicott College (6-1, 3-0 CCC) at Salve Regina University (6-1, 2-1 CCC) Saturday, October 23 at 12 p.m.: This is a must-win for the Seahawks, who are still in the mix for the conference crown. Endicott has looked pretty good these last two weeks, especially last weekend against Husson University. PREDICTION: Endicott 28, Salve Regina 24


Keystone College (0-7, 0-3 ECFC) at Castleton University (3-3, 1-1 ECFC) Saturday, October 23 at 12 p.m.: The Spartans return from their bye week as one of four teams in the mix for the conference crown, so this particular matchup is a must-win for the Green and White. PREDICTION: Castleton 23, Keystone 16

Massachusetts Maritime Academy (3-3, 2-2 MASCAC) at Western Connecticut (3-4, 2-2 MASCAC) Saturday, October 23 at 12 p.m.: Both teams are eager to bounce back from week seven setbacks – we expect the team wearing Blue and Orange (the Colonials, to be exact) to squeak out their fourth win with a late touchdown drive. PREDICTION: West Conn. 28, Mass. Maritime 21

Springfield College (3-3, 2-0 NEWMAC) at WPI (1-5, 0-2 NEWMAC) Saturday, October 23 at 12 p.m.: The Pride have won back-to-back conference games but could be tested against an Engineers squad that provided challenges to the top team in the conference: the United States Merchant Marine AcademyPREDICTION: Springfield 30, WPI 20

Nichols College (2-4, 0-2 CCC) at Western New England (4-3, 2-1 CCC) Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m.: The Bison seemed to provide some challenges for the Seahawks last week, but these Golden Bears know this is a must-win contest so they can remain in the conference championship mix with Endicott (and yes, Salve Regina, too). PREDICTION: Western New England 30, Nichols 17

Husson University (4-2, 1-1 CCC) at University of New England (3-2, 1-1) Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m.: Both teams are in the mix for their conference crown with one league loss, so this is somewhat an elimination game. Look for the Eagles to bounce back after losing to Endicott last weekend by a touchdown. PREDICTION: Husson 30, UNE 21

Norwich University (2-5, 1-2 NEWMAC) at MIT (2-3, 0-2 NEWMAC) Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m.: We picked against the Engineers of Cambridge last week (and maybe earlier this season?), so let’s pick them this week against the Cadets. PREDICTION: MIT 28, Norwich 17

Tufts University (0-5, 0-5 NESCAC) at Bowdoin College (1-4, 1-4 NESCAC) Saturday, October 23 at 1 p.m.: We picked against the Polar Bears the last two weeks, but we expect their recent victory over the Mammoths, which snapped a 14-game losing streak, to provide them with enough momentum to edge the Jumbos on Saturday. PREDICTION: Bowdoin 28, Tufts 25

Dean College (2-5, 1-2 ECFC) at Anna Maria College (4-1, 2-0 ECFC) Saturday, October 23 at 1:30 p.m.: Look for both teams to put up some points in this one — in the end, we expect the AMCATs to score one more touchdown than Dean. PREDICTION: Anna Maria 35, Dean 32   

Westfield State (0-6, 0-4 MASCAC) at Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0 MASCAC) Saturday, October 23 at 4 p.m.: The Bears return from a week off with a matchup they should win, however, these Owls did not make it easy on the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs last week. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State 29, Westfield State 14

Noontime’s New England D3 Top 20 Poll (Oct. 18, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

The eighth week of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III football season officially began Sunday, October 17, 2021, so that means it is time to unveil our latest Top 20 Poll!

1. Endicott College (6-1, 3-0 CCC | LW: No. 1): Mike Ingraffia and the Gulls remain in the top spot following an important conference win against Husson University.

2. Trinity College (5-0, 5-0 NESCAC| LW: No. 2): The Bantams cruised past Bates College this past weekend.

3. Williams College (5-0, 5-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 3): The Ephs have outscored their opponents, 178-52, through five contests.

4. Western New England (4-3, 2-1 CCC | LW: No. 4): The Golden Bears returned to the win column with a bounce-back win against Curry College.

5. Salve Regina University (6-1, 2-1 CCC | LW: No. 5): A big third quarter last Saturday helped the Seahawks push ahead for good against Nichols College.

6. Framingham State (5-2, 5-0 | LW: No. 6): Make it five-straight wins for the Rams, who head into their bye week with a lot of momentum.

7. Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0 | LW: No. 7): The Bears return from their bye week with a home date against Westfield State.

8. Wesleyan University (5-0, 5-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 9): Wesleyan moves up after scoring its fifth consecutive victory – this week, they host Middlebury College, which beat the Cardinals two years ago in Vermont by a score of 45-21.

9. UMass Dartmouth (5-2, 3-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 11): The Corsairs erased a 16-6 deficit at the break to score their fifth win of the season on Saturday against Westfield State.

10. Husson University (4-2, 1-1 CCC | LW: No. 8): The Eagles dropped two spots following a one-score setback (24-17) setback to Endicott. Let’s see if the Green and Gold can bounce back this week against the University of New England.

11. Springfield College (3-3, 2-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 14): Springfield has outscored its last two opponents by a score of 116-7. Crazy, right?

12. Anna Maria College (4-1, 2-0 ECFC| LW: No. 15): Make it four straight wins for Alex Cohen and the AMCATs.

13. Plymouth State (2-4, 2-2 MASCAC | LW: Not Ranked): Make it back-to-back wins for the Panthers, who beat Fitchburg State after securing a hard-fought victory one week earlier against Western Connecticut. Sure, this is the first appearance for the Green and White on our list, but they have not made it easy on a few teams ahead of them this fall, including Bridgewater State and Husson University.  

14. Western Connecticut (3-4, 2-3 MASCAC | LW: No. 10): The Colonials drop four spots following a difficult setback to Framingham State.

15. University of New England (3-2, 1-1 CCC | LW: No. 13): The Nor’easters were idle this past weekend but face a big challenge this weekend against Husson University.

16. Curry College (2-4, 0-3 CCC | LW: No. 12): The Colonels’ defense did not make things easy on Western New England this past weekend as the unit recorded two tackles for a loss of 22 yards, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.

17. MIT (2-3, 0-2 NEWMAC | LW: No. 18): Despite falling to the United States Merchant Marine Academy, the Engineers produced 34 points while registering 409 yards. Additionally, the defense recorded two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

18. Bowdoin College (1-4, 1-4 NESCAC | LW: Not Ranked): The Polar Bears cracked the win column this past weekend by defeating Amherst College for the first time since 2005 – maybe they should have two wins? They provided plenty of challenges for the Cardinals of Wesleyan.

19. Colby College (2-3, 2-3 NESCAC | LW: Not Ranked): The Mules returned to the poll following a big win over Middlebury College for the first time since 2010.

20. Amherst College (3-2, 3-2 NESCAC | LW: No. 17): The Mammoths secured the final spot, despite losing to Bowdoin College last weekend.

Noontime’s New England D3 Top 20 Poll (Oct. 11, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

Six weeks of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III football season are in the books.

The seventh week officially began yesterday, which means it is time to share a brand-new Top 20 Poll that featured some movement, along with some new members of this week’s list.

Noontime’s New England D-III Top 20 Poll | Monday, October 11, 2021

1. Endicott College (5-1, 2-0 CCC | LW: No. 5): Five straight scoring drives to start the game set the tone for an exciting win over Western New England.

2. Trinity College (4-0, 4-0 | LW: No. 2): The Bantams provided coach Jeff Devanney with his 100th win on Saturday as they rolled to their fourth-straight win against Hamilton College.  

3. Williams College (4-0, 4-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 3): Williams cruised past Colby College, thanks to a complete effort by its offense and defense.

4. Western New England (3-3, 1-1 CCC | LW: No. 1): The Golden Bears struggled to contain an Endicott offense that concluded its first four series with touchdowns.

5. Salve Regina University (5-1, 2-0 | LW: No. 6): Salve Regina bounced back with a commanding win over the University of New England to keep pace with Endicott and Husson University (and yes, Western New England, too) for the top spot in the conference.

6. Framingham State (4-2, 4-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 7): The Rams moved up after scoring its fourth-straight conference win to keep pace with Bridgewater State for the top spot in the conference.

7. Bridgewater State (4-2, 4-0 MASCAC | LW: No 8): The Bears scored another big win last weekend over Worcester State to head into their bye week with some momentum.

8. Husson University (4-1, 1-0 CCC | LW: No. 10): The Eagles moved up two spots after scoring its fourth-straight win, including its initial league victory over Curry College. Saturday’s matchup with Endicott will certainly be one to watch.

9. Wesleyan University (4-0, 4-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 4): For the second-straight week, the Cardinals escaped with a hard-fought victory against a team from Maine.

10. Western Connecticut (3-3, 2-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 9): One week after scoring an important conference win against UMass Dartmouth, the Colonials suffered a 16-13 setback to Plymouth State.

11. UMass Dartmouth (4-2, 2-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 14): The Corsairs moved up two spots after scoring a hard-fought win over Massachusetts Maritime Academy. This week, the Corsairs visit Westfield State.

12. Curry College (2-3, 0-2 CCC | LW: No. 13): It’s not often that a team moves up after a setback, but these Colonels have provided challenges to both Endicott and Husson, which is why they are switching spots with the University of New England.

13. University of New England (3-2, 1-1 CCC | LW: No. 12): The Nor’easters dropped one spot following a difficult setback to the Seahawks. UNE will be idle this weekend but faces some unique challenges over the next few weeks.

14. Springfield College (2-3, 1-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 18): Springfield flexed its offensive muscles this past weekend with seven rushing touchdowns. Look for this momentum to continue this week against Norwich University.

15. Anna Maria College (3-1, 1-0 ECFC | LW: No. 16): The AMCATs were idle this past weekend, but don’t expect the break to derail their early-season momentum.

16. Norwich University (2-4, 1-1 NEWMAC | LW: No. 15): After scoring an important conference win against Coast Guard Academy, the Cadets struggled against the best team in their conference this past weekend.

17. Amherst College (3-1, 3-1 NESCAC | LW: No. 19): The Mammoths move up two spots after scoring an important road win against Middlebury College, thanks to quarterback Mike Piazza, who finished with 104 yards of total offense and one touchdown pass.

18. MIT (2-2, 0-1 NEWMAC | LW: No. 11): The Engineers were idle this past weekend but face a challenging test this weekend against the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

19. Massachusetts Maritime Academy (3-2, 2-1 MASCAC | LW: Not Ranked): Despite suffering their first conference setback last weekend, these Buccaneers did provide some problems for the UMass Dartmouth offense. This week, the Bucs host Worcester State.

20. Bates College (1-3, 1-3 NESCAC | LW: Not Ranked): Quarterback Brendan Costa earned the Gold Helmet award for New England Division II/III student-athletes – it was announced on Sunday! – after recording 367 yards of total offense and four touchdowns against Tufts University. Last Saturday’s win was Bates’ first against the Jumbos since 2013 (and first in Somerville since 2012).

On the Rise: Bowdoin College, Castleton University, Coast Guard Academy, and Nichols College