The Springfield College Pride secured the top spot in the first Grinold Chapter New England Division III football weekly rankings, which was announced yesterday.
Framingham State checked-in second, followed by Trinity College, Western Connecticut State and Salve Regina.
Amherst College checked-in sixth overall, while Middlebury College and Curry College were selected seventh and eighth, respectively. Coast Guard Academy and Williams College secured the final two spots, checking-in ninth and 10th overall.
Springfield collected nine first-place votes after securing its fourth-straight win of the season last Saturday, including the program’s initial New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC ) victory over WPI. Marlowe Scott was tabbed this week’s NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week in his team’s 42-10 win over the Engineers – he recorded two interceptions, one pass break up and four unassisted tackles.
Amherst secured one first-place vote – the Mammoths cruised to an impressive 36-6 win over Hamilton last Saturday, thanks to a pair of rushing touchdowns by Jack Hickey. Hickey concluded the day with 113 yards on 15 carries. The 113 yards was the most yards recorded by Hickey this season.
In addition to the Top 10, five teams are receiving votes, including Husson University (24) and WPI (22). Plymouth State (17), MIT (16) and Worcester State (15) are also receiving votes, too.
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With the first week of New England D3 Football season in the books, it is time to unveil our first Noontime Sports Honor Roll of the season.
PROGRAM NOTE: Coaches, SID’s and fans are encouraged to submit student-athletes for our weekly honor roll throughout by emailing us at NoontimeSports@gmail.com or sending us a tweet to @NoontimeSports.
Jevon Brown-Simpson (Fitchburg State): Brown-Simpson concluded his team’s opening contest against Curry College with 75 yards on 21 carries and two scores.
Jesse Brown (Fitchburg State): Brown led all receivers with 145 yards and nine catches, while recording one touchdown in a three-point setback to Curry College.
Adam Wojenski (Framingham State): Wojenski completed 8 of 15 passes for 177 yards and two scores as the Rams commenced its season with an opening day win over Endicott College.
Quron Wright (Framingham State): Wright paced the Rams’ rushing attack against Endicott College with 169 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown. Wright’s longest run of the day was a 55-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
John Smith (Husson): Smith recorded two of his team’s three touchdowns as Husson opened its season with a 20-7 win over Union College. Smith rushed for two scores on 30 carries for 142 yards.
Zack Edwards (Plymouth State): Edward completed 15 of 23 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers commenced its season with a 31-7 victory over Castleton University.
James Dawson (Salve Regina): Dawson ripped off 116 yards and one score on 32 touches in his team’s season-opening win over Worcester State.
Jordan Wilcox (Springfield): Against Western New England, Wilcox rumbled for a game and team-high 148 yards on 30 carries.
Jake Eglintine (Springfield): Eglintine rushed for 121 yards on 19 carries and three scores. His final touchdown in the third quarter helped the Pride secure the lead for good against Western New England.
Austin Calamita (Western Connecticut): Calamita hauled in 10 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns to help the Colonials rally past Hartwick for a dramatic 48-47 win.
Kyle McKinnon (Western Connecticut): McKinnon rushed for a pair of scores, including the game-winning touchdown with 1:46 remaining in the fourth quarter, which helped the Colonials complete their comeback against Hartwick. McKinnon concluded the game with 116 yards on 23 carries. Quinn Fleeting (Western Connecticut): Fleeting completed 32 of 49 passes for 375 yards and five touchdowns as the Colonials rallied to beat Hartwick, 48-47.
Anthony Service (Western New England): Against Springfield College, Service tossed a trio of touchdowns, while concluding the contest with 235 passing yards. Service also rushed for 49 yards on 10 carries.
Noah Brum (Worcester State): Against Salve Regina, Brum completed 30 of 47 passes for 373 yards and four touchdowns. He also accounted for four interceptions in his team’s 35-28 setback.
Jacob Maher (Worcester State): Maher paced all receivers with 136 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a 35-28 setback to Salve Regina.
Dan Orlando (Worcester State): Orlando hauled in a game-high 10 catches for 118 yards and one score in a 35-28 setback to Salve Regina.
Sean McAllen (WPI): McAllen enjoyed an impressive debut, rushing for 246 yards on 15 carries and four scores.
Michael Hall (Anna Maria): Hall paced the AMCATs defense in their season-opener against WPI by leading the unit with 10 solo stops, including a trio of tackles for a loss.
Michael Bianco (Becker): Against MIT, Bianco recorded 22 total tackles, including 11 solo stops, along with a trio of tackles for a loss. Bianco also registered one sack for a three-yard loss.
Charles McCarthy (Bridgewater State): McCarthy paced the Bears’ defense with 13 total tackles, including five solo stops against Buffalo State.
Bubba Collins (Castleton): Collins concluded his team’s initial game of the season with eight total tackles, including four stops. Two of those eight total tackles were tackles for a loss.
Ryan Robertson (Coast Guard Academy): Robertson paced the Bears’ defense in a season-opening win over Alfred State by tallying 11 total tackles. He also recorded six solo stops, one pass break-up, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Joe Surace (Curry College): Against Fitchburg State, Surace recorded eight total tackles, including six solo stops, along with a pair of sacks.
William Rivera (Endicott College): Rivera paced the Gulls’ defense in solo stops (five) and total tackles (15) against Framingham State.
Nathan Fleming (Framingham State): Fleming paced the Rams’ defense with seven solo stops and 10 total tackles. Two of those tops were tackles for a loss. Fleming also forced a fumble in his team’s first win of the season against Endicott College.
Jean Gabriel (Husson): Gabriel paced the Eagles’ defense with six solo stops, while assisting on three tackles. Two of his nine total tackles were for a loss for five yards – he also forced a fumble and recorded one pass break-up in a 20-7 win over Union.
Andrew DeNucci (MIT): Against Becker last Friday, DeNucci recorded nine solo stops, including a trio of tackles for a loss and one sack.
Dwayne Hunter-Parker (Mount Ida): In his team’s hard-fought 12-10 win over UMass Dartmouth, Hunter-Parker registered a team-high seven solo stops, including one tackle for a loss and one pass break-up.
Brett McEvoy (Nichols): In his team’s initial game of the season, McEvoy turned in an impressive performance, accounting for 15 total tackles, including 10 assists, while recording one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Brandon O’Neill (Salve Regina): Against Worcester State, O’Neill registered six total tackles, including a quartet of four solo stops as the Seahawks commenced its season with a 35-28 victory over Worcester State. In addition to recording one-and-a-half tackles for a loss, O’Neill also registered one interception, too.
Nick Giorgio (Springfield): Against a potent Western New England offense, Giorgio recorded six total tackles, including four solo stops and sack and a half. He also recorded one tackle for a loss of three yards.
Mike Chirco (Western New England): Chirco was one of two Golden Bears to finish Saturday’s tilt against the Pride with seven solo stops. Chirco recorded a team-high 14 total tackles.
Zach Howard (Westfield State): Howard concluded last Friday’s contest against Nichols College with four solo stops and eight total tackles. He also registered two-and-a-half tackles for a loss of eight yards and one sack.
Theo Bryant (Worcester State): Bryant recorded nine total tackles, including six solo stops, along with one tackle for a loss and one interception in a 35-28 setback to Salve Regina.
Dereck Pacheco (WPI): Against Anna Maria, Pacheco recorded six solo stops, including a quartet of tackles for a loss. He also registered a pair of sacks, too.
Connor Russ (UMass Dartmouth): Against Mount Ida, Russ paced the Corsairs’ defense with nine solo stops and 13 total tackles. Three of his tackles were for a loss – he also registered one sack, too.
Cole Austin (Coast Guard Academy): Austin recorded 10 points in the Bears’ season-opening win over Alfred State. He booted a pair of field goals, while connecting on four extra-points.
Jeff Madden (Plymouth State): Madded connected on all five of his kicks, including a 21-yard field goal to conclude his team’s initial game with seven points.
Danny McDermott (Salve Regina): McDermott booted the ball three times for a total of 84 yards. All three punts landed inside the Worcester State 20.
Pat Tuohy (Worcester State): Tuohy punted the ball five times for a total of 172 yards in his team’s 35-28 setback to Salve Regina. His longest boot was a 56 yard punt. He also recorded one punt that landed inside the Salve Regina 20.
Bridgewater State returns 11 starters from last season’s squad, including tailback Alex McLaughlin and running back/wide receiver Malik Garrett. Fans should also keep an eye on wide-receiver Jack Lavanchy, who led the conference with seven touchdown receptions.
Framingham State and Western Connecticut State checked-in second and third, respectively, while UMass Dartmouth (fourth) and Plymouth State (fifth) rounded out the top five.
The Rams of Framingham captured the inaugural New England Bowl last season by defeating Salve Regina, 37-34. Quarterback Adam Wojenski and halfback Quron Wright combined for four touchdowns in their team’s final game of the season. Both student-athletes will be competing for the Rams this fall.
Fitchburg State, and Massachusetts Maritime Academy checked-in sixth and seventh, respectively, while Worcester State (eighth) and Westfield State (ninth) rounded out the final two spots in the preseason poll.
The New England Division III Football officially begins next week with teams from the MASCAC competing on either Friday or Saturday.
It’s never too early to start marking the calendar with Division III football games, especially with the opening kickoff just two weeks away.
In anticipation of the first kickoff of the 2016 season, which happens to be two weeks from today – Anna Maria vs. Coast Guard Academy – we have provided a list (and some quick thoughts) on what games you should keep an eye on (or attend) in week one.
Thursday, Sept. 1 – Coast Guard Academy at Anna Maria, 7 p.m. – We have been counting the days and weeks for this game, so when the Bears and AMCATs take the field, it will mean a new season of college football has begun. Keep an eye on Coast Guard Academy senior co-captain and quarterback Derek Victory, who enjoyed an impressive junior season under center.
Friday, Sept. 2 – UMass Dartmouth at Mount Ida, 6 p.m. – This is always a must-see game, according to Mount Ida head coach Michael Landers. Keep an eye on Mount Ida sophomore quarterback Jack Sheehan, who enjoyed an impressive first season, while also watching UMass Dartmouth junior linebacker Brandon Miller. Miller should be a focal point of the Corsairs’ defense this season.
Friday, Sept. 2 – Western New England at Springfield College, 7 p.m. – This has become a true rivalry game – basically, the winner becomes the so-called king of Springfield. The Golden Bears were picked to capture the New England Football Conference (NEFC) crown, but will be tested by a new-look Pride squad, which will be led by first-year head coach Mike Cerasuolo.
Friday, Sept. 2 – WPI at MIT, 7 p.m. – Both schools are rivals in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), so this game will certainly live up to its hype. WPI escaped last year’s meeting thanks to a fourth quarter field goal by senior Blaine Bursey.
Friday, Sept. 2 – Bridgewater State at Curry, 7 p.m. – A new era has begun in Bridgewater as long-time assistant and defensive coordinator Joe Verria will lead the Bears as the program’s interim head coach. The Bears beat Curry last year in their season opener, but the Colonels rebounded, capping their 2015 campaign by winning three of five contests.
Friday, Sept. 2 – Fitchburg State at Becker, 7 p.m. – After an impressive 7-3 campaign, the Hawks of Becker will look to prove 2015 wasn’t a fluke. First-year head coach Frank Forcucci, who spent the previous three seasons as the program’s Associate Head Coach and defensive coordinator, will lead Becker this fall. Fitchburg State – on the other hand – has high aspirations for this season and will be led by senior quarterback Garrett Dellechiaie, who tossed 26 touchdowns for the second-straight season.
Friday, Sept. 2 – Salve Regina at Worcester St., 7 p.m. – The Seahawks of Salve Regina were picked to finish second the New England Football Conference (NEFC). They also appeared in our Noontime Sports Top 10 Preseason poll, too. Worcester State is one of our ‘Teams on the Rise,’ and this has always been an intriguing matchup, especially when each offense gets into a groove.
Saturday, Sept. 3 – Endicott at Framingham State, 12 p.m. – Under second year head coach Kevin DeWall, the Gulls of Endicott will look to commence their season with an opening day road win against a Framingham State squad that will feature some new names on both sides of the ball. The Rams won last season’s opener in Beverly, defeating Endicott, 42-6. Endicott’s last win in Framingham came in 2012 with the Gulls claiming a 34-7 victory.
Saturday, Sept. 3 – Plymouth State at Castleton, 1 p.m. – Castleton sophomore Mitchell Caron is expected to be spotted under center in the Spartans’ season opener. Quarterback George Busharis graduated this past spring, so it will be fun to watch Caron lead the Spartans. As for Plymouth State, they enter 2016 a year older and with more experience.
Saturday, Sept. 3 – Hartwick at West Conn., 5 p.m. – Senior halfback Michael Nicol will be expected to carry the load this year, and help Western Connecticut State kick-off its season with a win against a talented Hartwick squad. Nicol will be one of many players to watch on Joe Loth’s squad, especially if they want to make a run toward winning the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) crown.
The UMass Boston Women’s Basketball team won their first-ever playoff game this evening, defeating Western Connecticut State in the Little East Quarterfinals, 56-48.
With the win, the Beacons advance to the conference semifinals on Friday, February 27 where they’ll take on UMass Dartmouth at 1:00 p.m. The game will be played at Eastern Connecticut State University, which is the host of the semifinals and finals.
Below is the release from this evening’s game, courtesy of the UMass Boston Sports Information Department:
BOSTON, Mass.—Behind a huge double-double from senior Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.), third-seeded UMass Boston women’s basketball (18-8) earned the program’s first-ever Little East Conference playoff victory, with a 56-48 win over sixth-seeded Western Connecticut State (16-10) Tuesday night in the Little East Conference Quarterfinals.
After earning the right to host the program’s second home LEC playoff game in program history, the Beacons used 14 points and 15 rebounds from Morrison to improve to 1-25 all-time in the LEC Tournament.
UMass Boston will be facing a familiar foe in the LEC Semifinals, as they will take on #2 UMass Dartmouth Friday at 1 p.m. at Eastern Connecticut State. The two UMass schools split the season-series (1-1) and will be meeting in the LEC Tournament for the second time in three years. Friday’s game will mark UMass Boston’s first-ever trip to the LEC Semifinals.
Morrison knocked down 6-of-10 of her field goal attempts and pulled down six offensive rebounds, to go along with her three assists. Junior forward Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) added 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting and chipped in five rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks.
Freshman guard Jamie Ballou (Foxboro, Mass.) had one of the biggest games of her season, as she recorded eight points and knocked down both of the team’s made 3-pointers. After not playing in the past two games, she played the opening 10 minutes of the second half, with several players in heavy foul trouble.
Taje Burston (Springfield, Mass.) did a fantastic job of handling Western Connecticut State’s press all evening long, as the sophomore point guard played all 40 minutes and finished with four steals and zero turnovers.
The Colonials were led by sophomores Samantha Smith (15 points) and Emily Dobson (14 points). Playing without their leading scorer Caroline Brasa for the third-straight game, the Colonials struggled to get anything going offensively.
Junior captain Kerri Stole ripped down a team-high 10 rebounds, while LEC Rookie of the Week Kaitlyn Labonte finished with six points and a game-high five assists.
Tuesday’s contest was filled with sloppy play, as the two teams combined for 43 turnovers and 16 missed free throws.
After UMass Boston raced out to a 15-1 lead, the Colonials cut the deficit to two at halftime, and the game became a contest of attrition. UMass Boston was able to hold on thanks to a 32-10 edge in points in the paint.
The Beacons finished the contest shooting 45.7 percent (21-of-46) from the field and 2-of-8 (25 percent) from distance. Western Connecticut knocked down 30.9 percent (17-of-55) of their shots and connected on 7-of-25 (28 percent) of their 3-pointers.
It was all Beacons early on, as UMass Boston held the Colonials without a made field goal for the first 7:57. UMass Boston raced out to a 16-1 lead behind 14 combined points from Morrison, Burston and Murphy.
Western immediately found a response, as they used a 10-0 run to get back into the game for good. Dobson knocked down a jump shot at 12:03 to give the team their first field goal and the points followed in quick succession. Smith hit a big three and Dobson followed with another jump shot to cut the deficit to 16-11 with 7:14 to play.
After Ballou and Labonte traded threes, the Colonials ended the half on a 6-3 run to cut the deficit to 22-20.
UMass Boston came out red-hot out of halftime, as they started the half on an 8-0 run to grab a 30-20 lead just 89 seconds into the half. Ballou and Morrison combined for all eight points, as Morrison converted an and-one opportunity and Ballou hit a deep 3-pointer.
Western Connecticut didn’t back down though, as they cut the deficit back to two (34-32) with 14:52 left.
The Beacons defense locked the Colonials down from there though, as Western went scoreless for the next five minutes. Despite their own offensive woes, a Murphy layup and the first four points of the day from Grace Geary (Falmouth, Mass.) helped UMass Boston extend the lead out to 39-32 with 9:33 left.
Dobson broke the 5-0 run with a layup, but that would be as close as the Colonials would get, with UMass Boston extending the lead out to as many as 12 points in the waning moments.
UMass Boston wraps up the home portion of their season 11-3 at home.