Tag: Western Connecticut

Noontime’s D3 Lacrosse Weekend Watch (March 18-20)

Caleb Holdridge and the Coast Guard Academy men’s lacrosse team have won three-straight contests. (PHOTO COURTESY: Brad Clift/CGA Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Happy Friday, everyone – if you’re in Massachusetts (or some part of New England), hopefully, you’re taking advantage of the gorgeous spring weather today.

While March Madness might be the focus of many, both today and this weekend, I do want to share (and highlight) a few New England NCAA Division III lacrosse games to follow this weekend, beginning with an important conference meeting in Babson Park.

Babson College will host Coast Guard Academy on Saturday with the two teams meeting for the first time since last season’s New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament final (the Beavers beat the Bears to secure their first-ever conference tournament crown).

The Beavers enter Saturday’s meeting with some momentum from last week’s overtime win against Endicott CollegeLee Sipes scored the game-winner while finishing the non-league tilt with two goals and one assist to go with one ground ball.

Prior to their exciting win against the Gulls, Babson won two of three contests, including a season-opening win against Roger Williams University.  

Coast Guard Academy has rebounded from an 0-2 start, winning three-straight non-league tilts this month, including an 18-7 victory on Wednesday against Maritime College (N.Y.). Caleb Holdridge, a junior attack from Waterford, Connecticut, highlighted his team’s win over the Privateers with four goals and four assists to go with one ground ball and one caused turnover.  

Holdridge has been a player to watch on the Bears this season, tallying 28 points on 11 goals and 17 helpers in five contests.

Babson is 4-2 all-time against Coast Guard with the series between the two programs beginning in 2015. They have won one of two meetings with the Bears at MacDowell Field.

If the Beavers are going to be victorious, they will need to win most of the face-offs and scoop more ground balls. So far this season, the Green and White are 2-0 when they win both categories.

Another NEWMAC game to watch tomorrow features Wheaton College, the team that currently sits atop the league standings with a 7-0 record. The Lyons will visit Springfield College, which has won one of four meetings thus far – they recently lost a heartbreaker to Endicott on Tuesday in overtime.

Saturday’s meeting between the Lyons and Pride will be a good test for coach Kyle Hart’s squad, which has edged its last two opponents by one goal.

While Wheaton has been an exciting story this spring, the same could be said for Emerson College, a team that has won seven of eight contests this season. The Lions will host Eastern Connecticut State tomorrow with a face-off scheduled for 1 p.m.

Finally, don’t overlook MIT – the Engineers have won all five of its early-season contests and will attempt to claim its first league win tomorrow when they welcome Clark University to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Ryan Gebhardt has been the player to watch on MIT this spring as the graduate student has scored 30 goals in five contests while tallying 10 assists. He currently leads the conference in goals but is second in points behind Emerson’s Birk Swan, who has produced 43 points on 19 goals and 24 helpers.  

A few other men’s lacrosse games to watch this weekend:

Williams College at Bowdoin College on Saturday at 1 p.m.: The Polar Bears have won four-straight contests, including two New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) meetings. They will look to win their fifth game against an Ephs squad that lost to Union College last Thursday.  

Wesleyan University at Colby College on Saturday at 1 p.m.: The Cardinals have produced 22 goals or more in all four contests this season. Can they continue their early-season momentum against a Mules squad that is seeking its first conference win? We’ll have to wait and see.

Curry College at Western Connecticut on Sunday at 2 p.m.: The Continentals saw their four-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday against The College of Wooster. Keep an eye on Kai Bruneau, the first-year attack from West Haven, Connecticut, who could help the home team return to the win column on Sunday.    

Noontime’s Final D3 Football Top 20 Poll (Nov. 22, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

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.

UMass Dartmouth, WNE To Compete In 2021 New England Bowl

Western New England’s football team will compete once more this fall as they, along with UMass Dartmouth secured spots in the 2021 New England Bowl. (PHOTO COURTESY: Chris Marion)

By NoontimeSports.com

The New England Bowl is back.

This weekend, four teams, including two Massachusetts squads will compete in it as Western New England will host the United States Merchant Marine Academy while UMass Dartmouth will entertain Alfred State.

Both games will be played this Saturday, November 20 with kickoff times to be announced later this week.

Merchant Marine will look to capture its second New England Bowl in program history after beating Endicott College in 2018 by a score of 38-22.  

The Mariners won eight of nine contests this season and finished second in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC). This week’s contest will mark the final game for coach Mike Toop, who announced he would be retiring at the conclusion of the 2021 season last Friday. Toop has paced the sidelines for 45 years, including the last 17 in Kings Point, New York.

Alfred State, UMass Dartmouth, and Western New England will all be making their inaugural appearance in the New England Bowl series – all three squads placed second in their respective conferences.

The New England Bowl series began in 2016 with Framingham State and Salve Regina University competing in the inaugural contest, and features teams from the NEWMAC, Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC), and Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC).

Endicott, Dean College, WPI, and Western Connecticut were the last four teams to compete in the New England Bowl series in 2019.

Noontime’s D3 Football Top 20 Poll (Nov. 7, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

It’s hard to believe, but the final week of the 2021 New England NCAA Division III football season has arrived, which means it is time to unveil our second to last Noontime Sports Top 20 Poll.

We will unveil our final poll for the 2021 season later this month following the conclusion of postseason contests, including local and regional bowl games.

So, without further ado, let’s kick off the final week of the New England D-III college football season with a brand new Top 20 poll, which finds Williams College in the top spot.

1. Williams College (8-0, 8-0 NESCAC | LW: No. 2): The Ephs matched their 8-0 record from 2010 with an impressive win over Wesleyan University.

2. Endicott College (7-2, 4-1 CCC | LW: No. 3): Despite being on a bye, the Gulls inched closer to winning their conference crown, thanks to a 24-10 victory by Husson University against Salve Regina University.

3. Husson University (7-2, 4-1 CCC | LW: No. 7): The Eagles remain in the mix for their conference crown, thanks to a big win on Saturday against the Seahawks.

4. Framingham State (7-2, 7-0 MASCAC | LW: No. 5): Framingham State captured its conference crown on Saturday with an impressive win over Bridgewater State.

5. Western New England (6-3, 4-1 CCC | LW: No. 4): The Golden Bears escaped with a hard-fought win this weekend against the University of New England. Next up: Husson at home.

6. UMass Dartmouth (7-2, 5-2 MASCASC | LW: No. 6): The Corsairs were idle this past week but will look to end their season with a win against a Plymouth State squad that enters the last week of the regular season on a five-game winning streak.

7. Salve Regina University (8-2, 4-2 CCC | LW: No. 1): The Seahawks’ regular season concluded with a disappointing 24-10 setback to the Eagles of Husson. Salve Regina is idle this upcoming weekend and will wait to see if they will compete once more in a bowl game later this month.

8. Springfield College (6-3, 5-0 NEWMAC | LW: No. 9): The Pride needs one more win to claim their conference crown. 

9. Trinity College (7-1, 7-1 NESCAC | LW: No. 9): Spencer Fetter threw five touchdowns on Saturday in a bounce-back win for the Bantams. 

10. Bridgewater State (5-4, 5-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 8): The Bears struggled against the Rams on Saturday but will look to bounce back this week against Massachusetts Maritime Academy in the Cranberry Bowl.

11. Plymouth State (5-4, 5-2 MASCAC | LW: No. 13): The Panthers head into their final contest with a five-game winning streak.

12. Amherst College (5-3, 5-3 NESCAC | LW: No. 11): The Mammoths struggle to slow down a talented Bantams offense on Saturday.

13. Wesleyan University (6-2, 6-2 NESCAC | LW: No. 12): The Cardinals will attempt to snap a two-game losing streak on Saturday against the Bantams.

14. Anna Maria College (6-2, 4-1 ECFC | LW: No. 16): The AMCATs are one win away from winning their first-ever conference crown.

15. MIT (4-4, 2-3 NEWMAC | LW: No. 14): Get ready for the Battle of the Cambridge Engineers and Worcester Engineers (WPI) on Saturday.

16. Western Connecticut (5-5, 4-4 MASCAC | LW: No. 18): The Colonials concluded their 2021 campaign with a win. They will be idle this weekend.

17. University of New England (3-5, 1-4 CCC | LW: No. 20): The Nor’easters may have lost their last two contests, but they are proving they can compete with the top teams in their league.

18. Massachusetts Maritime Academy (4-5, 3-4 MASCAC | LW: No. 17): Like the Bears of Bridgewater State, the Buccaneers will attempt to end their season with a win.

19. Castleton University (5-4, 3-2 ECFC | LW: No. 15): The Spartans will attempt to bounce back from a disappointing loss this week when they host Gallaudet University.

20. Colby College (3-5, 3-5 NESCAC | LW: No. 19): The Mules will attempt to capture the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin (CBB) on Saturday when they host Bowdoin College.

New England Small College Football Conference Race Watch (Week 10)

Joel Nicholas and the Williams College football team currently sit atop the NESCAC with a 7-0 record. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kris Dufour/Williams College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, we head into the tenth week with some exciting conference races to watch in both NCAA Division II and Division III.

As usual, let’s start in Division II and then run through the five Division III conference races.


Northeast-10 Conference (NE10)

The Leaders: Bentley University (8-0, 6-0) and University of New Haven (7-1, 6-0)

Matchup to watch this weekend:

  • Bentley at New Haven (Saturday, November 6 at 1 p.m.)

Synopsis: A few weeks ago, I thought this would be the matchup that would determine the conference winner. And indeed, it is.

The Falcons and Chargers enter the tenth week of the 2021 college football season with a great deal of momentum – they both secured spots on the NCAA Division II Super Region One Rankings with Bentley securing the top spot while New Haven checked in sixth.

Saturday’s winner will most likely represent the NE10 in the national postseason later this month, pending they don’t win their final contest next weekend.


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)

The Leader(s): Endicott College (7-2, 4-1) and Salve Regina University (8-1, 4-1)

In the Hunt: Husson University (6-2, 3-1) and Western New England (5-3, 3-1)

Matchups to watch this weekend:

  • Salve Regina at Husson (Saturday, November 6 at 12 p.m.)
  • Western New England at University of New England (Saturday, November 6 at 1 p.m.)

Synopsis: The Seahawks will wrap up their regular-season slate with a visit to Maine on Saturday with hopes of returning to Newport, Rhode Island with their ninth victory. A win for Salve Regina would eliminate Husson from the conference championship hunt, but the same could be said for the Eagles if they are able to outlast the Seahawks as it seems unlikely that this year’s league champion will have two conference setbacks on their resume.

Western New England will also be in Maine on Saturday to face a Nor’easters squad that almost edged Endicott last weekend. UNE can play spoiler by beating the Golden Bears, but most likely, Western New England will prevail.

Endicott is idle this weekend but will return to the gridiron next week when they visit Nichols College.   


Eastern Collegiate Football Conference

The Leader(s): Alfred State (4-4, 3-1), Anna Maria College (5-2, 3-1), Castleton University (5-3, 3-1 ECFC), and Gallaudet University (5-1, 3-1)

Matchups to watch this weekend:

  • Castleton at Alfred State (Saturday, November 6 at 12 p.m.)
  • Gallaudet at Anna Maria (Saturday, November 6 at 12 p.m.)

Synopsis: This is a “playoff” week with all four contenders competing against each other. And when it concludes, we may have a better gauge of who will represent the conference in the postseason.

For a few weeks, it appeared as if Anna Maria was going to win the league, but now, it could be Castleton, which needs to win its final two contests, as well as get some help from other ECFC members. Anna Maria needs help, along with Alfred State and Gallaudet.

Speaking of Gallaudet, the Bison have been a team to watch this fall, too – can they bounce back from a three-point setback last month to Alfred State this week? I believe they can, but they are facing an Anna Maria squad that is eager to return to the win column after losing to Castleton one week ago.

Don’t rule out Alfred State as they could finish the season on a four-game winning streak to secure their first-ever conference crown. Again, they will need some help to win the league, but I could see them winning the ECFC. Just a hunch.

All in all, it should be an exciting final two weeks of the ECFC football season.  


Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

The Leader: Framingham State (6-2, 6-0)

In the Hunt: Bridgewater State (5-3, 5-1)

Matchup to watch this weekend:

  • Bridgewater State at Framingham State (Saturday, November 6 at 12 p.m.)

Synopsis: Framingham State inched closer to winning the conference crown last week with a 23-14 win against Massachusetts Maritime Academy. But as coach Tom Kelley and the Rams know, for them to win the conference, they must beat a Bridgewater State team that was stunned last weekend by UMass Dartmouth.

Bridgewater State can still win the conference, but they need to win their final two contests, including this Saturday’s tilt in Framingham. Like the Rams, they have beaten some of the league’s top teams, including Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Plymouth State, and Western Connecticut. Framingham State, however, topped UMass Dartmouth in their third game of the season.

If the Rams lose on Saturday, then they will need to beat Worcester State next weekend and hope the Bears get tripped up by the Buccaneers in the Cranberry Bowl.

All in all, Saturday’s contest has the makings of an instant classic – can Bridgewater State bounce back and keep their title hopes alive or will Framingham State’s current momentum carry them to their seventh straight victory?


New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

The Leader: Williams College (7-0, 7-0)

In the Hunt: Amherst College (5-2, 5-2), Trinity College (6-1, 6-1), and Wesleyan University (6-1, 6-1)

Matchups to watch this weekend:

  • Wesleyan at Williams (Saturday, November 6 at 1 p.m.)
  • Amherst at Trinity (Saturday, November 6 at 1 p.m.)

Synopsis: Following an impressive win last weekend against Trinity, Williams heads into its final two contests with a great deal of momentum, but they will certainly be challenged by Amherst and Wesleyan, who are eager to hand their Little Three rival a loss.

Williams will enter this week’s meeting with the Cardinals as the favorite, but Wesleyan is a resilient squad that seems eager to bounce back from a heartbreaking defeat this past weekend against Amherst in overtime.

And speaking of the Mammoths, they need to win, both this week and next week, to have a shot at sharing the conference crown. Amherst has not beaten Trinity since November 4, 2017, so let’s see if they score an important win this weekend against a squad that will be ready to return to the win column.   


New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)

The Leader: Springfield College (5-3, 4-0)

In the Hunt: Catholic University (5-3, 3-1) and United States Merchant Marine Academy (7-1, 4-1)

Matchups to watch this weekend:

  • Norwich University at Catholic (Saturday, November 6 at 12 p.m.)
  • Springfield at MIT (Saturday, November 6 at 1 p.m.)

Synopsis: With a 28-23 victory last Saturday, Springfield has put itself in a position to win the conference for the first time since 2017. But for Springfield to win the NEWMAC, they must beat their two remaining opponents: Catholic and MIT.

After dropping a pair of league contests, the Engineers of MIT have roared back, winning back-to-back games against Coast Guard Academy and Norwich, so don’t expect the Cambridge football team to lay down to Springfield. But it’s hard to see MIT or Catholic derailing Springfield, which has not lost a game since September.

Despite losing to Springfield last weekend, the Mariners of Merchant Marine Academy are still in contention to win the league, but they need the Pride to lose either this week or next week. Additionally, Catholic is in the mix but needs to beat Norwich and Springfield and have Coast Guard beat Merchant Marine next week.

All in all, it should be an exciting final two weeks of NEWMAC football.