nescac pre read
It is a testament to the NESCAC and its strength year after year that Middlebury was able to finish in 5th in the conference, lose in the first round of the conference tournament, and still be considered a no brainer to make the NCAA Tournament. Most NESCAC women soccer coaches work closely with the Admissions Department and are able to provide pre-reads to recruited athletes after July 1 before their senior year. King could not have picked a better time to have his best game of the season, netting 32 points, hauling in 11 rebounds, and dishing out 5 assists in the Mules triple overtime victory over Bates in the NESCAC Quarterfinals. I’m not saying Bates will win, but I believe this one will be much closer than most people believe. After finishing second in their conference during the regular season, Nichols defeated top-seeded Endicott in a thriller to earn the automatic bid into the tournament. This guy has been one of the most impressive rookies in the league all season, but if he’s able to elevate his play even more in the postseason then Colby is primed for a deep playoff run. Before college I never considered myself much of a writer, but I had a passion for sports and I had read enough NbN articles to at least be able to mimic the way they wrote. With both teams having already locked down postseason spots, this game remains crucial for seeding purposes. After a groundout to second moved Knight over to third, Kyle Cortese ‘21 dropped a perfectly placed bleeder in right to give the home team a four-run advantage. Writer’s Pick: Amherst 83, Conn College 62, Hamilton (14-8, 2-6) vs. Trinity (15-7, 5-3), 3pm, Clinton, NY. They aren’t necessarily special for the reasons that the administrators believe, but they truly are. The New England Small College Athletic Conference, or simply NESCAC, is a group of 11 extremely selective liberal arts colleges and universities with similar beliefs regarding college athletics. Former ace Mike McCaffrey ’19 sputtered out at the end of his career and relief man Ryan Earle ’19 didn’t really impress in his final season either. Any such concerns were quelled after cruising past the Continentals, and now get the privilege of hosting a team that they embarrassed just a few weeks ago.
Crowley managed to evade any further trouble in the fifth, and a fired up Trinity side came into the dugout ready to rake. Two teams perennially in contention; Amherst and Wesleyan both find themselves right in the mix again this year in a crowded West Division. It’ll be about all the good; the relationships formed and experiences had during the time we actually were there. At 17-8, Trinity probably needs a win against Tufts to join the conversation in securing an at-large bit to the NCAA Tournament and bolster their resume (although a sweep of Middlebury and a road win against Amherst looks pretty darn good). Shooting a sizzling 56.5% from the field, Trinity took a twelve-point lead with Colin Donovan’s jumper with just over three minutes remaining in the first half; from that point onward, the Bantams never let the lead dwindle below a dozen, splatting six threes and converting twenty of their twenty-seven field goals in the second half. Lamont faced the minimum during the first three innings but began to struggle with control the second time through the lineup; after back-to-back walks to open the bottom half of the fourth, Zaffino barreled a ball that clipped the left-field line and rolled to the fence, scoring Wallis and moving Brady Slinger ‘22 90 feet away from taking the lead. This led me to produce what ended up being my all time most-viewed article, the 2019 NESCAC Baseball All-Roster Pic Team. While the offense certainly had its moments, the defense was key concerning Tufts’ successful path to securing a regional host. The hit parade didn’t stop there, however, as Zach Avila ‘20 ‘21, Giovanni Torres ‘20 and Will Sylvia ‘20 each found barrels of their own. #10 Middlebury (19-3, 5-3) vs. Bates (11-11, 3-5), 3pm, Middlebury, VT. On paper this appears as if it could be a bloodbath given the way both teams are trending, but circle this one as a hangover game for the Panthers. The league consists of Amherst College, Bowdoin College, Wesleyan University, Williams College, Bates College, Colby College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, and Connecticut College. Smaller populations and campuses can often facilitate especially productive and consistent relationships between professors and students. Phone: 413-587-2105 | Fax: 413-587-2167 If you recall correctly, the Bantams should have taken the series last year until the pitching staff absolutely collapsed in the ninth inning, blowing a 6-2 lead that was capped off by a two-out, two-strike grand slam by JP Knight ‘20. This game is sure to have great impact on playoff position in the west at the end of the year. A huge break for Amherst came at this point when Fulkerson tried to advance on a ball in the dirt but Seve Simeone ’20 picked it up and gunned down the runner at 2nd to get out of the jam. King is the NESCAC leader in assists and assist-to-turnover ratio, so we know he has great court vision and he’s careful with the ball. The Mules shot just 39% from the field, with multiple major contributors struggling (Matt Hanna ‘21, Noah Tyson ‘22 and Alex Dorion ‘20 a combined 5-26 from three). What’s more is that they already own a victory over the Jumbos, a 59-56 defensive battle that saw Tufts turn the ball over 23 times.
York is also an excellent team that has a chance to make a run in the tournament, so these aren’t particularly bad losses. For comparison, the acceptance rates at the Big Three are only 5.4% (Harvard), 6.5% (Princeton), and 6.3% (Yale). As many of you know, the NESCAC is the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Trinity rebounded from their beatdown against Tufts by absolutely throttling the slumping Bobcats. Mescall immediately let up a bomb to Joseph Palmo ’21, proving that Coach Woody absolutely made the right decision with the pitching change.
F Eric Sellew ’20 (13.3 PPG, 6.9 REB/G, 3.4 AST/G, 53.6% FG, 23 MIN/G). On the offensive end, poor free-throw shooting has plagued this team all season long.
Coach App surely has seen the numbers Luke Rogers put up against the Bobcats and will try to recreate offensive sets for his big man similar to how the Jumbos featured theirs. And despite the lack of turnovers as a whole, steals have not been a problem to come by; all the guards have very active hands, constantly pressuring the ball-handlers and making life as uncomfortable as possible for the opposition. , the average SAT score of incoming freshmen at the Ivy League schools is 40 points higher than that of freshmen entering the top nine Liberal Arts Colleges. We here at Nothing But NESCAC certainly don’t expect the same result this time around, but for Trinity to win this game, Donovan will have to take over this game and eclipse 20+ points.
Either way I think this will be a good matchup, but I don’t see Colby’s season ending tonight. That being said, NESCAC sports are special. It really is quite puzzling that Tufts fell to a team with this poor of a defensive unit, but upon realizing this was a non-conference meeting during the normal conference slate, the sloppy play is not totally surprising. Unfortunately Jefferson immediately had to go back to the bench because it essentially looked like he was playing on one leg. Things got a little crazy in the 9th as Ryan Molinari ’23 reached on an error and advanced to 2nd on a sac bunt. This team only features one frontcourt player, so their strategy is basically to speed the game up to get out in transition and shoot a lot of three pointers. Often times we resent the restrictions they arbitrarily place on the number of games and out-of-season practices, and rightfully so. Historically Amherst has made their living by playing fundamentally sound basketball, being careful with the ball and playing gritty, hard-nosed defense. When they are clicking on all cylinders, we can see why they were considered to be one of the best 5-10 teams in the country. A double by Wes Fritch ’22 and a sac-fly from Jonny Corning ’20 brought the Cardinals within 1 with a man on 2nd and one out in the frame.
It’s hard right now amidst the chaos to really reflect on the last four years and how they’ve impacted us. This leaves their pitching largely in question, however they bring back impressive lefty Andrew Nagel ’21 who will start game one. They had an opportunity to cut into the lead further on a single to left from Stephen Simoes ‘23, but left-fielder Jon Lindgren ‘20 absolutely hosed a runner at the plate to keep the Bobcats’ advantage at 4-2. Colby has never appeared in the NCAA Tournament, so we’re about to find out if they’re truly ready for the biggest spotlight. Only two teams all season have been able to defeat the Mules, so I don’t anticipate them being an easy matchup for whoever they go up against. Because the schools of the NESCAC and the Ivy League are grouped together by athletic conference, the most obvious distinction between them is that student-athletes in the Ivy League participate in a Division 1 league which necessitates training and competing year round. Wesleyan, on the other hand, loses key bats Andrew Keith ’19 and Danny Rose ’19, but not a ton of pitching. We're looking at you, Amherst, Bates, Bowdoin, Connecticut College, Colby, Hamilton, Middlebury, Trinity, Tufts, Wesleyan and Williams -- the schools in the New England Small College Athletic Conference. They were every bit as dominant as it appeared, averaging 85.3 points per game on the season, and holding opponents to just 70.9. This article was co-written by Ryan Moralejo and Cameron Carlson, and we’re simply doing our best to keep people entertained during these tough times, so take our opinions with a grain of salt because we have no idea how these games really would have gone. Coach Pyne decided to hand the ball to sophomore Sachin Nambiar ’22 to relieve Horwitz, who did a nice job keeping Wesleyan at bay for 2+ innings. The tone-setter for this squad is most certainly their defense, allowing a mere 60.6 PPG. An already thin bench was depleted even further with the preseason season injury to G Joey Leighton ’20, before they lost sophomore C Alex Sobel (11.4 PPG, 6.8 REB/G, 1.5 BLK/G) for undisclosed reasons just 12 games into the season. Koperniak worked his magic again and singled to left to score Lauder, but was foolishly thrown out at 2nd trying to catch the left-fielder napping. Mason Memmelaar ‘22 (13.2 PPG, 5.5 REB/G) and Dom Black ‘22 (11.4 PPG, 6.2 REB/G) round out the other two reliable scorers, while Johnny Angbazo (43.5% from three) ‘23 and Will Rubin ‘23 (9.2 PPG, 39.1% from three) will absolutely knock down shots if not given the proper attention. On the Colby side, Frank Driscoll ’21 is truly one of the best starting pitchers in the league, but they boast a relatively unproven lineup. The NESCAC may be shifting towards the rest of the NCAA more than it would like to think, but it still is a bit of an enclave when it comes to the way they handle athletics on campus. Not to be outdone academically, Little Ivies make up 50% of the top ten schools on U.S. News and World Report’s Best National Liberal Arts Schools, with Williams, Amherst, and Swarthmore holding the top three positions.
If Middlebury makes it out of this weekend, they only have to beat Tufts, a team they beat before, to reach Fort Wayne and the Elite 8. Colin Donovan ‘21 (14 PPG, 3.9 REB/G, 3.3 AST/G, 43.5% 3PT). Despite having the seeding advantage over the Panthers, not many people would have expected Trinity to take down the nation’s 19th-ranked squad, and yet they not only did so for the second time this season, but the boys in blue and yellow did so in convincing fashion. As the year went on, it proved to be not nearly as much of an upset as fans of the NESCAC might have expected. I’d like to thank Pete Lindholm who was the editor-in-chief when I started writing for NbN, because he allowed me to dip my feet in the water and as I got more comfortable he gave me more to write.
Key cogs in the offense such as Stephon Baxter ‘23 and Jeff Spellman ‘20, haven’t shot well recently, but with some added adrenaline it’s very possible the offense starts knocking down shots.
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