Tag: Villanova

The 2021 New England College Football Season Was Worth The Wait

Matthew Sluka and the Holy Cross football team concluded its 2021 campaign with 10 wins, along with a trip to the NCAA FCS Tournament. (PHOTO COURTESY: Mark Seliger Photography/Courtesy of Holy Cross Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

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.

The 2021 New England football season will be one we will all remember — in my opinion, it was worth the wait. (And you can revisit some of our favorite memories from the sidelines by watching our end-of-season highlights on YouTube!).

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 Western Connecticut.

On This Date In History: Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

OTDApr8th2020

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Welcome to Wednesday, everyone!

As always, we hope everyone is doing well and staying safe.

It looks like it is going to be an indoor day from a quick glance outside the window, so stay inside and enjoy a brand new ‘On This Date in History’ for Wednesday, April 8th, 2020.


On This Date in History: Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

  • 1940: John Havlicek, who played 16 seasons for the Boston Celtics and won eight NBA titles with the Green and White, was born on this date in Martins Ferry, Ohio. Nicknamed “Hondo,” the small forward/shooting guard was named to both the NBA’s 35th and 50th Anniversary Teams.
  • 1943: The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Boston Bruins, 2-0, in the fourth game of the NHL‘s Stanley Cup to secure a series sweep of the Black and Gold. The game was held in the Boston Garden – that would be the original Garden for those keeping track at home. Detroit outscored Boston, 6-0, in the final two games of the series.
  • 2003: The Connecticut women’s basketball team defeated Tennessee in the NCAA Championship, capping their campaign with a 37-1 record (the Huskies’ lone setback of the 2002-03 season came against Villanova on Tuesday, March 11, 2003.). Diana Taurasi was named the Most Outstanding Player while earning a spot on the All-Tournament Team with Ann Strother. Tennesse was represented by Gwen Jackson and Kara Lawson.
  • 2012: The Detroit Tigers outlasted the Boston Red Sox, 13-12, in a thrilling eleven inning clash, which took almost five hours to be played. Nick Punto and Mike Aviles concluded the game with three RBI for the Sox, respectively, while Adrian Gonzalez smacked his first home run of the season.
  • 2014: The Connecticut women’s basketball team celebrated another NCAA Championship with a 79-58 win over Notre Dame. The Huskies’ victory came one day after the men’s team beat Kentucky in the championship by a score of 60-54. It was just the second time in NCAA history that the same school had won both the men’s and women’s tournaments after the school won both title games in 2004.

Mass. College Football: Week One Rundown

Boston College QB Chase Rettig tossed two touchdowns in the Eagles opening day victory against Villanova! (Photo Credit: Zimbo.com)
Boston College QB Chase Rettig tossed two touchdowns in the Eagles opening day victory against Villanova! (Photo Credit: Zimbo.com)

By Matt Noonan 

The first official weekend of college football is in the books and below are the scores and highlights from this afternoon’s contests.

Boston College 24 , Villanova 14Chase Rettig completed 23-of-30 passes for 285 yards and tossed two touchdowns, while Alex Amidon hauled in 13 catches for 146 yards and one touchdown, as the Eagles provided first-year head coach Steve Addazio his first win in maroon and gold.

No. 23 Wisconsin 45, UMass 0The Badgers ballooned a 17-0 halftime lead into a 38-0 advantage after three quarters as Wisconsin rolled past the Minutemen.

Bryant University 17, Holy Cross 16: Tom Alberti‘s 30-yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining in regulation secured an opening day win for the Bulldogs. Holy Cross’ Steve Elder completed 23-of-41 passes for 309 yards and tossed one touchdown with three interceptions.

Mass. College Football: The First Weekend Is Finally Here!

Steve Addazio will make his Boston College debut on the sidelines this afternoon against Villanova! (Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated)
Steve Addazio will make his Boston College debut on the sidelines this afternoon against Villanova! (Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated)

By Matt Noonan 

It took a few months, but the first official weekend of college football is finally here!

This afternoon, Boston College, Holy Cross and UMass will return to the gridiron. Below is this week’s schedule. Make sure to check back later for scores/updates. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@NoontimeSports and @NoonSportsBlog).

Week One Schedule: 

* UMass at Wisconsin, 11 a.m. (Game Information)

* Villanova at Boston College, 12 p.m. (Game Information)

* Holy Cross at Bryant University, 3 p.m. (Game Information)

NCAA March Madness Day Two Wrap Up

After an exciting finish, George Mason keeps on dancing!

By Dan Rubin

Every year, storylines within the March Madness bracket develop, take shape, and ultimately define teams’ seasons.  Teams are defined by performances, shots, images that capture what it means to be a part of the tournament.  Each year has its Christian Laettner, Bryce Drew, Hampton, Cornell, George Mason, and Butler.

This year is no different.  With one day in the books, tweets and Facebook statuses lit up with news of Louisville’s defeat at the hands of Morehead State.  They erupted in cheers of Butler’s buzzer beater against Old Dominion.  Clickers hustled through games, most of which came down to the wire.  And that was without any Gus Johnson.

Here’s a look at Day 2, as we get set for the Second or Third Round of the NCAA tournament this weekend:

Game Of The Day: Villanova vs. George Mason.  Gus Johnson was back in a big way.  When GMU trailed the Wildcats by six late, I got an email from a coworker saying, “Well there goes Mason’s season.  Nova opening this one up.”  My reply said simply, “It’s a Gus Johnson game.  The Law of Gus.”  Needless to say, I won that one.  GMU came back from down six to tie the game, and then take the lead on Mike Morrison’s thunder dunk put back.  Almost immediately, Corey Fisher gets fouled on a three, hits all of them, giving Nova a one point lead.  Back the other way, three ball side pocket for Luke Hancock.  Gus’s head is on the verge of exploding.  Corey Stokes loses the ensuing possession, and the game gets punctuated with Hancock feeding Morrison for a major league dunk that exploded my iPhone.

Upset Of The Day: As of when I stopped watching the games, every single high seed won their games.  So that makes my job stink.  But if I had to pick an upset, I’d go with Michigan creaming Tennessee.  I picked Tennessee, so it was an upset for me, but I don’t think anybody saw an 8-9 games to have a team win by as many as the Wolverines did.  The Vols scored 16 points in the 2nd half, and Michigan won by 30.  Maybe that doesn’t count as a major upset, but that’s the closest thing we have other than Marquette upending Xavier.  Now watch…Indiana St. will beat Syracuse because I stopped watching.

Stat of the Day: Tyler Zellers dropped 32 in North Carolina’s win over Long Island in a very low-key way.  Up until I saw his final total, I was ready to give this to JaJuan Johnson for his double-double in the Purdue victory over St. Peter’s.  But anytime a guy can drop 32 points AND help people get free biscuits from Chik-fil-A, he gets my award (Chik-Fil-A gives free biscuits out every time the Tar Heels score 100).

Looking Ahead to Tomorrow: The second round.  This is where the men start to separate from the boys.  At least one low seed will move on, when Morehead plays Richmond.  And then the Cinderella stories can start being written in earnest.  It’s also where the top seeds historically start to falter.  It’s easy to dominate a 16-seed if you’re the top seed in the tourney.  Now try to do it against a team from a bigger conference, or at least a team with some more talent on their roster.

Games to Watch: Gonzaga-Brigham Young; Florida-UCLA; Wisconsin-Kansas State.

Special mention to UConn-Cincinnati.  It’s a 3-vs-4 matchup, and I have UConn in the national title game.  But they’re meeting an extremely tough challenge when they go head-to-head with the Bearcats.