D3 Lacrosse Notebook: What We Learned From The Women’s Tournament

NS Lacrosse Notebook

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

The first weekend of the NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse tournament is in the books, which means its time to focus our attention on next weekend’s third round and quarterfinals.

Similar to our men’s lacrosse notebook from yesterday, here are a few thoughts and takeaways from the opening weekend, which saw a few New England teams advance to the third round.

Keep your eyes on Tufts University: The Jumbos recorded their second shutout of the season on Sunday with an 18-0 win over Plymouth State to bump their overall mark to 17-2.

Tufts has become one of my teams to watch in this spring, especially after an impressive regular season, which saw the Powder Blue and White lose just once before falling to Middlebury College in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) championship.

The Jumbos have what it takes to advance to championship weekend, but face a tough task this Saturday against a talented TCNJ squad, which outlasted Colby College on Sunday in its second-round match-up.

TCNJ lost to Tufts earlier this season but rebounded with some important New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) wins, including a conference championship victory against Rowan University.

The Lions advanced to the semifinals last season but fell to Middlebury Colleg after beating Bowdoin CollegeFranklin & Marshall, and William Smith in the 2018 NCAA Tournament.

If the Jumbos are going to beat the Lions and advance to the sectional finals, they will need a big performance from Emily Games (67 points on 52 goals and 15 assists) and Colette Smith (54 points on 40 goals and 14 assists).

Smith netted the clincher late in the second half in Tufts’ initial meeting with TCNJ, which helped the Jumbos squeak out an exciting 8-7 victory.

If Tufts defeats the Lions on Saturday, they will then need to duplicate their performance against the winner of St. John Fisher versus York College (Pa.).

Middlebury to meet Bowdoin in Third Round: After falling to Bates College in its season-opener, the Panthers of Middlebury have ripped off 18-straight wins, including a 22-3 second-round win over Johnson & Wales.

Middlebury will attempt to stretch its winning streak to 19 when they host Bowdoin College on Saturday.

Similar to Middlebury, the Polar Bear secured a first-round bye and defeated William Smith, 13-5, thanks to six points (five goals and one assist) from Fiona Bundy and five points (four goals and one assist) by Katie Miller.

Bowdoin’s Erin Morrissey and Aaliyah Biondo combined for seven saves on 12 shots in the team’s 10th win over the Herons.

Earlier this season, the Panthers outlasted the Polar Bears, 21-18, so don’t expect Middlebury to run away from Bowdoin on Saturday.

Middlebury outscored Bowdoin, 12-8, in the opening session of their lone match-up in March, while the Polar Bears outscored the Panthers in the second half, 10-9. Bowdoin led Middlebury, 8-3, in the first half, but surrendered a nine-goal run that provided the visitors with a four-goal lead at the break.

Jane Earley helped Middlebury beat Bowdoin by netting a team-high five goals, so she will certainly be needed again in this match-up, especially if the Panthers would like to advance to Sunday’s sectional final.

The winner of Bowdoin-Middlebury will advance to semifinals – I think they both can defeat Illinois Wesleyan or Franklin & Marshall.

Which New England team will advance to the national semifinals?

I still believe Tufts has a chance to compete for a national crown over Memorial Day Weekend, but they must get past TCNJ, which will certainly be a tough test for the Powder Blue and White.

Bowdoin or Middlebury certainly have what it takes to advance to the semifinals, too – I would say Middlebury first, Bowdoin second – but I wouldn’t overlook Wesleyan University, as well.

Wesleyan, however, faces a really challenging path to the semifinals as they would need to beat Washington & Lee on Saturday followed by most likely Gettysburg College, which is scheduled to face Denison University in the third round.

Similar to Tufts, I have enjoyed following Wesleyan this spring, so if they somehow find a way to the semifinals, then I think they can make it to the championship round.

Amherst College may have an easier path to the semifinals, but they will need to play their best lacrosse against Catholic University on Saturday in order to secure a sectional final meeting with either Colorado College or Salisbury University.

Noontime Sports D3 Women’s New England/New York Hockey Top 10 (Dec. 10th) Powered by Zelos Athletic


By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimePuck

The seventh week of the 2018-19 Northeast (New England/New York) D3 women’s ice hockey season is in the books, which means it is time to unveil our seventh poll of the season.

Our weekly poll is powered by our friends from Zelos Athletics, who are using FusionSport Technology to track an athletes’ performances metrics during speed, agility and plyometric drills. Additionally, Zelos Athletics provides individual and team speed and agility training, combined with strength and conditioning training, too.

Noontime Sports New England/New York Women’s Ice Hockey Poll (Dec. 10th, 2018) 

1. Plattsburgh State  10-1, 6-0 NEWHL
2. Norwich University  10-2, 9-0 NEHC
3. Middlebury College 4-1-2, 3-0-1 NESCAC
4. Elmira College  6-2-1, 4-0 UCHC
5. Conn. College 4-2-2, 1-1-2 NESCAC
6. Utica College 9-2, 6-0 UCHC
7. Oswego State  6-3-1, 3-2-1 NEWHL
8. Williams College 6-2-1, 2-2 NESCAC
9. Manhattanville 7-2-1, 5-0-1 UCHC
10. Hamilton College 6-3, 3-1 NESCAC

On the Rise: Amherst College (2-41, 1-2-1 NESCAC), Colby College (3-2-2, 2-2 NESCAC), Morrisville State (9-5-1, 3-2-1 CHC), William Smith (10-0, 8-0 UCHC) and University of New England (10-2-1, 4-1-1 CHC) 

Stay connected with our hockey coverage on Twitter by following @NoontimePuck!


D3 Soccer Notebook: New England Squads Set To Compete In NCAA D3 Tournament

NS Soccer Notebook

By NoontimeSports.com (@NoontimeSports) 

The 2017 NCAA Division III soccer tournament is set to begin later this week with various New England squads, both men and women’s, set to compete for the national championship.

On Monday, November 6th, the NCAA unveiled both brackets and below are the New England teams that will be competing in this year’s tournament.

NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament 

* Mitchell vs. St. Joseph’s (Maine) | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 1 p.m. at Tufts (winner of this match will play host Tufts University on Sunday, Nov. 12th)

* Western Connecticut State at Brandies University | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 5 p.m.

* Bowdoin College vs. Rutgers-Newark (at Brandeis University) | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 7:30 p.m.

* Castleton vs. Messiah (at Buffalo State) | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 5 p.m.

* Stevens Inst. vs. Middlebury College (at SUNY Cortland) | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 1:30 p.m.

* WPI at SUNY Oneonta | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 11 a.m.

* Connecticut College vs. Rochester (at SUNY Oneonta) | Saturday, November 11th at 1:30 p.m.

* Salem State at Amherst College | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 11 a.m.

* Endicott College vs. Springfield College (at Amherst College) | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 1:30 p.m.

NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer Tournament 

* Roger Williams at TCNJ | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 11 a.m.

* Tufts vs. Virginia Wesleyan (at TCNJ) | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 1:30 p.m.

* Westfield State at Messiah | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 11:30 a.m.

* Castleton at MIT | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 11 a.m.

* Middlebury College vs. Western Connecticut State (at MIT) | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 1:30 p.m.

* Connecticut College vs. Wilkes (at Johns Hopkins) | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 1:30 p.m.

* Lesley at Williams College | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 11 a.m.

* Brandeis University vs. Stevens Inst. (at Williams College) | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 1:30 p.m.

* Lasell College at William Smith | Saturday, Nov. 11th at 11 a.m.

Catching Up with Nellie Pineault (Babson College Women’s Soccer Head Coach)

By Matt Noonan 

The Babson College women’s soccer team is off to fast start. They’ve compiled six wins, two of which have come in double overtime, as well as watched roughly six players contribute to game-winning goals.

“It’s been a complete team effort,” Babson’s head coach Nellie Pineault said. “There’s 11 players on the field and these plays and goals start in the back and everybody in someway contributes to these goals.”

Yet, while the Beavers remain atop the NEWMAC [New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference] standings, Pineault also credited the impact of her coaching staff, which has also been a major reason for Babson’s success.

“We’re a balanced coaching staff. We have three phenomenal assistant coaches who all bring different things to the table and I think that’s also a huge part of our success. I think we all have our values and all bring something to the table, so can’t forget them,” Pineault said.

Here’s our conversation with the coach about the season, as well as her experience coaching the Beavers the past year too.

Last season was your first year as the head coach for Babson. What are some things you learned last year or were impressed by overall?

“Last year there was a combination of things. Everyone on our team [contributed] and every player on the team were committed to the team. They played for each other, [which] is really what I think is so special about our team and they just have this will to get there. We have some great leaders on the team, [who] carried us along the way. We got some great momentum at the end of the season. Almost everybody was healthy and just ready to go. They prepared a lot over the summertime, so they came in fit and prepared to start the season off right away. We had a couple good wins, late wins against a few of the teams we played early on and I think it helped gain our confidence throughout the season.”

What have been some tools or successful coaching methods that you’ve carried over from last season to this season?

“We graduated three [players] last year, so we had the bulk of our veterans back and so they already kind of came into this season with this mentality that they just want to compete and I think having the success that we had last year certainly has set the tone in terms of their commitment to working over the summer and working right away. We had a really productive preseason and it’s carried over into our regular season. In some of our games, we’ve come from behind to win and that’s just their determination, and their team mentality. I think they’re in it for each other and they want to collectively as a group – it’s just more of a matter of total team effort”

How did you team respond so well after dropping it’s first game of the season?

“I would have to say, definitely it prepared us for having to play against a very good team and William Smith is nationally ranked. We had a comparable game last year against Ithaca [College], who was nationally ranked at the time we played them and it was around the same time of the year and it certainly helped [with setting] the mentality that we need to be organized as a team and everybody needs to be plugged in and everyone needs to contribute and we played deep on our bench as well. I think playing such a high standard team certainly set the tone and helped us early on realize that if we played our potential we can get there and achieve our goal.”

Senior goalkeeper, Lisa Wojnar has been terrific between the pipes this season, but what’s been the secret to her success?

“Well, I don’t know if you about the story about Lisa last year, but early on in the season, our only goal keeper had an almost season ending injury. I actually called Lisa one morning, she was a junior center-mid on the team and told her that we’re going to be playing nationally ranked Ithaca today and she’s playing in goal because she played in high school. She wasn’t trained at Babson as a goalkeeper and I literally had to call her in right before breakfast and say, by the way, you’re playing in goal today and she’s never looked back. She continued on and she was all-conference last year and this year she certainly sets an example in terms of a confidence level and the team is completely confident with her in the back and I think her statistics only scratch the surface of the impact that she has of a leader on the field. She absolutely is so driven, works so hard and cares about every single teammate and she’s our captain as well. She’s a sole captain right now and she absolutely sets the tone for the team and it’s not just statistically, she’s come up with big saves in every game that we’ve had. She came up big in the [penalty kicks] we had against MIT last year in the semi-finals of the NEWMAC and I can’t tell you how much impact she has just not only as a player, but just on the field and off the field. Her personality is unique.”

According to the recent polls and rankings, Babson isn’t receieving any national recognition, so is that motivation for you and your team?

“I think you can take it from both sides. This week I did let them know that – I typically haven’t concentrated at all on certainly ranks or whether or not we’re there or not. Information is everywhere and so of course I am sure along the way the team took notice of whether or not they were there, but I also think I don’t know what goes behind all the decisions behind who the top teams are because I am not in those meetings, but all we can focus on is just being consistent and going out there and playing the best that we can every day. The next game is just as important as the last game and we take it one day at a time. One of our goals as a team is to improve every day, so even though we have a [6-1-1] record, there’s things we take away from every game that we try to improve on moving forward and we talk about that as a team after every game and talk about it during pre-games, so I think from the ranking standpoint, we don’t put a whole lot of [thought] in it from that standpoint, but coming from the conference level, it’s great to see the amount of NEWMAC teams that are in there at least from the New England standpoint because it speaks a lot for the quality of our conference.”

So far this season, you’re team is [2-0-1] in double overtime. How has your team been so successful late in games?

“One of the challenges last year was just creating scoring opportunities. Our team’s defense certainly has been one of the biggest strengths of our program and that’s not only Lisa, but also obviously the defenders working all the way forward through our offense, so one of the challenges has been creating offense and we’ve had some veterans that have been able to contribute this year and some new fresh bodies that are playing up top as well, so I think the reason we’ve been winning in overtime is because we’ve been there before. [In fact], just a couple years ago, we actually almost tied a NCAA record for ties, so I think we had ten overtimes, [but] my point is that we’ve been there before, we’ve had some overtime games last year and I think the Salem State overtime tie probably left a little bit of a sour taste in their mouths, so they just have this will to win now and I feel like they’ve been there before and our goal is to keep our composure and play all the way through the end. I think they’ve – especially against Endicott [College], we were down one-zero at halftime, Endicott is a respectable team and they just are able to keep their composure and keep their eyes on the goal and they just believe that they can win and that goes along way for sure.”

Starting this weekend, you kick-off your conference play against Smith College, yet, do you feel that there’s certain teams or challenges that’ll impact your squads effort to win?

“We look it at that every team can give us that challenge. It’s the game of soccer, it’s a quirky game and anything can happen. We’re not even looking at the Springfield-Wheaton-MIT’s right now, we’re just looking at Smith [College] and WPI because they’re our next two games, so one of the approaches we took last year, which we’re taking this year again, it’s just one game at a time and we need to focus on who we are as a team and like I said, improve every day and the next game is the most important game, so I think every team has potential in our league and like I said, it speaks volumes [that] there is a lot of parody. A lot of times it comes down to the last game of the season, deciding whether or not you’re going to make the tournament and I would suspect that’ll be the case this year because it’s just a lot of teams [want] to beat each other and it’s going to happen, so like I said, we’ve jut got to focus on our next challenge.”