Tag: Yale University

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.

Yale University Men’s Basketball Picked To Capture The Ivy League

Yale University will enter the 2021-22 college basketball season as the favorite in the Ivy League. (Photo Courtesy: The Ivy League)

By Matt Noonan

The Yale University men’s basketball team was picked to finish first in the Ivy League, according to today’s preseason media poll that the was unveiled earlier today.

Yale garnered seven first place votes while Harvard University, which checked in second, secured four first place votes.

Also receiving first place votes were Princeton University (two), the University of Pennsylvania (two), and Brown University (two). All three teams checked-in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

Dartmouth College, Cornell University, and Columbia University rounded out the eight-team poll by securing the sixth, seventh, and eighth positions.

Yale ended its 2019-20 campaign with a 23-7 record, which was good enough for the top spot in the Ancient Eight – their last outing, however, was an 83-69 setback to Harvard.

The Bulldogs were scheduled to compete in the opening round of the 2020 Ivy League Tournament against the Quakers of Pennsylvania, which secured the fourth seed. The game was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Coach James Jones welcomes back some key pieces from the 2019-20 Bulldogs squad, including Azar Swain, who set a single-season school record of 93 three-pointers.

Swain is a Brockton, Massachusetts native and previous competed for The Rivers School where he was named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior.

Jalen Gabbidon is also back for his final season with the Navy Blue and White after being named the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native tied for fourth in the league with 40 steals and was one of only two Bulldogs to start all 30 games.

Yale will tip-off its 2021-22 season on Tuesday, November 9 at home against Vassar College before welcoming UMass to New Haven, Connecticut three days later (November 12).

Princeton Picked To Capture Ivy League Women’s Basketball Crown

A brand new season of Ivy League women’s basketball is set to tip-off in early November. (PHOTO COURTESY: IvyLeague.com)

By Matt Noonan

The Princeton University women’s basketball team was picked to win the Ivy League crown this winter – the Tigers garnered 12 first-place votes on today’s poll, which was released yesterday morning.

The University of Pennsylvania secured the second position with three first-place votes followed by Columbia University (third) and Yale University (fourth).

Harvard University, which secured one first-place vote, checked in fifth while Cornell University, Dartmouth College, and Brown University rounded out the poll, checking in the sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

The 16 votes for the Ancient Eight women’s basketball preseason poll are produced by the league’s “media contingent.”

Princeton concluded its 2019-20 campaign with a 26-1 record under first-year coach Carla Berube, who welcomes back some key pieces from that squad, including Julia Cunningham, who averaged 8.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game.

Abby Meyers is also back after earning Ivy League Tournament Team honors in 2018 while averaging 6.3 points and 2.7 rebounds during the 2019-20 season.

Princeton will tip-off its 2021-22 season on Wednesday, November 10 when they visit Villanova University.

While Princeton will certainly be the team to watch this winter, one should certainly keep an eye on Columbia University as the Lions finished its 2019-20 season with a 17-10 record, including an 8-6 mark in Ancient Eight play. The 17 wins were the second most recorded by a Lions squad since the program began competing at the Division I level during the 1986-87 school year.

Columbia will be led by Sienna Durr and Abbey Hsu, who averaged 14.3 and 12.8 points, respectively, during the 2019-20 season.

Like the Tigers, the Lions will commence their campaign the same week, but on Tuesday, November 9 against Hampton University.

Following the conclusion of the regular season, the league’s top four teams will advance to the Ivy League Tournament, which will be held at Harvard University from March 11-13.

Noontime’s New England D-I Preseason Football Team

By NoontimeSports.com

As we inch closer to a brand new season of New England college football, Noontime Sports is excited to unveil its first-ever NCAA Division I preseason football team — we will release preseason squads for D-II and D-III in a few weeks.

Without further ado, here is our first-ever New England Preseason D-I Team — offense, defense, and special teams — and as usual, please let us know your thoughts by engaging with us on social media!

Noontime’s New England Preseason D-I Offense

QB: Phil Jurkovec | Boston College | Pittsburgh, Pa.

QB: EJ Perry | Brown University | Andover, Mass.

RB: Kevin Mensah | UConn | Worcester, Mass.

RB: Julius Chestnut | Sacred Heart | Bowie, Md.

WR: Zay Flowers | Boston College | Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

WR: Cameron Ross | UConn | Newark, Del.

WR: Andre Miller | Maine | Old Town, Maine

WR: Tyshaun James | Central Conn. | Middletown, Conn.

TE: Trae Barry | Boston College | Summerdale, Ala.

OL: Zion Johnson | Boston College) | Bowie, Md.

OL: Alec Lindstrom | Boston College | Dudley, Mass.

OL: J’Von Brown | Central Conn. | Norwich, Conn.

OL: J.D. DiRenzo | Sacred Heart | Hammonton, N.J.

OL: Josh Sokol | Sacred Heart | Hopkinton, Mass.

OL: Nick Olsofka | Holy Cross | Louisville, Ky.


Noontime’s New England Preseason D-I Defense

DL: Benton Whitley | Holy Cross | Springfield, Mass.

DL: Truman Jones | Harvard University | Atlanta, Ga.

DL: Anthony Nelson | Harvard University | Tampa, Fla.

DL: Jack Daly | Bryant University | South Glastonbury, Conn.

DL: Kevin Peprah | Sacred Heart | Woodbridge, Va.

LB: Jacob Dobbs | Holy Cross | Macomb, Mich.

LB: Jordan Hill | Harvard University | Silver Spring, Md.

LB: Tre Jones | Central Conn. | Providence, R.I.

LB: Foday Jalloh | Central Conn. | West Lawn, Pa.

LB: Chris Outterbridge | Sacred Heart | Long Beach, N. J.

DB: Evan Horn | New Hampshire | Lebanon, Pa.

DB: John Smith | Holy Cross | Lake Worth, Fla.

DB: Niko Mermigas | Dartmouth College | Wexford, Pa.

DB: Andre Brackett | Bryant University | East Windsor, Conn.

DB: Darion McKenzie | Merrimack College | Berlin, Md.


Noontime’s New England Preseason D-I Special Teams

PK: Derek Ng | Holy Cross | Las Vegas, Nev.

P: Jon Sot | Harvard University | Clark, N.J.

LS: Evan Deckers | UMass | Avon, Conn.


Honorable Mentions: RB: Zane Dudek (Yale), RB: Peter Oliver (Holy Cross), RB: Joey Kenny (Rhode Island), TE: Joey Luchetti (Boston College), TE: Tyler Roberts (Merrimack College), TE: Jihad Edmond (Bryant University), TE: JJ Howland (Yale University), OL: Chad Broome-Webster (Brown University), OL: Spencer Rolland (Harvard University), OL: Nick Gargiulo (Yale University), OL: Clay Legault (Merrimack College), P: Patrick Haughney (Holy Cross), DB: Dexter Lawson, Jr. (Central Conn.), DB: Melvin Rouse II (Yale University), and P: Noah Gettman (Sacred Heart)

Ivy League Coaches, Players Express Excitement For 2021 Season

The Ivy League will announce plans for the fall sports season on Wednesday, July 8. (PHOTO COURTESY: IvyLeague.com)

By Matt Noonan

After having their season canceled due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic last summer, all eight Ivy League coaches, along with a few players shared their excitement for returning to the field this fall during this morning’s virtual media day.

“I think the 2021 Ivy League football season has the chance to be its best ever because of the collective effort of all these teams and all these amazing student-athletes,” said Cornell University coach Dave Archer.

“We finally get to showcase our football ability, (and) I’m really looking forward to that.”

While Archer’s excitement was echoed amongst his peers, so was the unknown: how good are these teams going to be this fall?  

Like many college football teams returning to campus this summer, there is a lot of unknowns about each squad considering so many rosters will feature a slew of sophomores and first years that yet to play a single down. But the uncertainty was overshadowed by enthusiasm to practice, and yes, compete again, too, later this year – most teams will begin their preseason later this week.

“We’re anxious and ready to go, and open up this Thursday,” said Dartmouth College coach Buddy Teevens.

Princeton University will enter the 2021 season as the favorite – the Tigers, who have accumulated 28 National Championships, along with 12 league titles since their initial campaign in 1869, return some key pieces from its 2019 squad that finished 8-2 overall. Princeton was unable to capture its second-straight Ivy League crown or at least share the title – Dartmouth and Yale University ended the season as co-champions.

But despite not finishing atop the Ancient Eight two years ago, Princeton coach Bob Surace told the media that his group has “worked really hard” over the last 17 to 18 months and will be ready to compete in a few weeks against Lehigh University.  

“We have a lot of guys who love football, who want to be with their teammates, and who want to see how good we can be,” said Surace.

While the Tigers should be pretty good this season, the same could be said for Dartmouth, Yale, and Harvard University — all four teams were picked to finish in the top half of last week’s preseason poll. And while Dartmouth and Yale maybe early favorites to challenge the Tigers for the top spot, one should not rule out the Crimson, who are returning a lot of seniors that coach Tim Murphy believes will help the squad be successful this year.

“It feels like Christmas is coming and we can’t wait for that day,” said Murphy, who will lead the Crimson into their first game next month against Georgetown University. “We have plenty of challenges ahead of us … we have a ton of work to do (and) we can’t wait to get started.”

The 2021 Ivy League season officially kicks off Saturday, September 18 with six games scheduled to appear on ESPN linear networks, according to the conference website.