The Genesee CC Cougars put up an impressive win this past weekend, but that’s not the only important piece of NJCAA men’s lacrosse information I’ll be talking about this week! As April rolls on, look for more big results, some surprises, and plenty of drama as programs vye for all-important playoff spots. The regular season can open or close playoff doors quickly, and April is where it all settles out, and quickly!
NJCAA Top 10 Poll – April 9th, 2018
Poll Ranking) Team Name (Record, Total Poll Points, any 1st place votes, last week’s poll ranking)
1) Onondaga (9-0, 60, 6, 1)
2) Nassau (10-0, 54, 0, 2)
3) Genesee (6-2, 48, 0, 4)
4) Howard (6-2, 42, 0, 3)
5) Anne Arundel (6-3, 36, 0, 5)
6) Harford (5-2, 27, 0, 6)
7) Monroe (6-1, 22, 0, 8)
8) Suffolk (7-1, 21, 0, 7)
9) Delaware Tech (6-4, 12, 0, 9)
10) Essex (2-6, 6, 0, 9)
Also Receiving Votes: Tompkins Cortland (5-2, 2, 0, NR)
The only movement inside the Top Ten this week was Genesee moving ahead of Howard. Both teams share the same record now, but GCC won the recent head to head meeting, and they did so convincingly. I’ll cover that in more detail below!
For me, the biggest mover here just might be Tompkins Cortland. I talked about how the TC program was on the rise in last week’s report, and this week they were the only team to get any votes outside of the settled Top Ten. I do not think the votes came from my article, as that would be silly. The votes came from TC’s wins over Mohawk Valley and Union County. Those teams are a combined 1-9, but Tompkins Cortland put up points big time points in each game, and their offense is flying high.
Genesee Cougars Statement Win
Genesee dominated the scoreboard with a ten goal win over Howard, by a score of 16-6. It was an impressive effort offensively, but only 6 goals allowed against the Dragons stands out to me even more. Genesee was ahead 6-4 at the half, made it 6-5 early in the third, and it looked like a competitive game, but a 10-1 run of play after that made for a very different outcome, and GCC emerged with a win that is turning some heads. The win itself isn’t a shocker, but the second half domination really does stand out.
Want to see it for yourself? We have highlights! Thanks to Howard for putting these up regardless of the outcome. That’s how you #GrowTheGame! Great stuff, and thank you!
Andrew Forte winning 17 of 24 face offs played a big part in this game’s outcome. Genesee benefited from the 10 extra possessions, and outshot Howard 35-23. As Forte won 7 of those to himself, GBs from wing players were big. Ground balls outside of the face offs also went pretty heavily toward the Cougars, in a game-changing manner. The Cougars also shot well, and Jason Chiodo scoring 5 goals on 9 shots was evidence of that. Howard committed far too many penalties (8 total), and GCC converted three goals on the man up.
If you want to read more on the game, check out GCC’s website, but I’m more interested in answering the following question: What’s the deal with Genesee?
A lot of people are looking at this win as an aberration, or some sort of score that needs to be explained, but I honestly think it’s pretty simple – GCC has a really good roster, with tons of talent, but a lot of newer faces, and it’s taking some time for this team to really gel. As with Genesee’s team last year, which was extremely competitive in the playoffs, and as with their team the year before, which won the NJCAA title, the Cougars get better as the season goes on. Last year’s team is last year’s team, and every year almost starts from scratch. When it DOES come together (and it usually does), Genesee seems to come out of nowhere, and everyone is a little surprised.
Here’s the facts – it’s time to stop being surprised when Genesee looks really good in April and May. This is a school with great facilities, an amazing coaching staff, and great local talent. It may take some time for each team at GCC to find its mojo, but it seems like they do so every year, and this year’s team may have just found their hotness.
Or maybe it was just a glimpse?
One great game doesn’t mean things can’t take a step back, or have a down game of their own. Genesee’s path is far from certain, and wins still need to be earned, but the Cougars have shown that when they play well, they can play with, and beat, just about anyone.
Records Broken at Tompkins Cortland
Congrats to Anthony Irizarry, sophomore attackman at Tompkins Cortland, who scored 11 goals, and added 5 assists to set two program records at TC in a 19-12 win over Union County. Both his 11 goals and 16 total points are school records. Congrats to Anthony, and the entire TC program. Individual records are set by players on TEAMS, so it’s an accomplishment for everyone.
Meanwhile Near The Finger Lakes…
A little pregame warm up in the snow for FLCC LAX! pic.twitter.com/21fsjQr7io
— FLCC Athletics (@FLCCAthletics) April 9, 2018
Big Recent NJCAA Wins
Hudson Valley 10, Herkimer 6 – April 4th – HV is in the middle of a run of Region 3 games, and each one is a must win. After dropping a game to TC, this was a great bounce back win for Hudson Valley.
Nassau 20, Delaware Tech – April 4th – This loss did not bump DTech out of the Top Ten, nor should it have, but it did demonstrate the gap that still exists between the best NJCAA programs and those trying to climb the ladder.
Ocean County 19, Union County 10 – April 4th – OC had lost 5 straight games against Top Ten teams, so it was good to get back on the W train with a win over their in-state Region 19 rival, and by a good margin.
Harford 21, Essex 7 – April 5th – The Owls came out on top with a statement win of their own, after going 1-2 in their previous 3 games. Their offense re-emerged, and they’ll need it with a tough run of 4 games in 11 days to finish out the regular season.
— Tom Peace (@TPeace19) April 6, 2018
Genesee 16, Howard 6 – April 8th – I feel like I covered this one pretty well already, but still impressive Sunday stuff.
Monroe 20, Herkimer 7 – April 8th – Monroe proved they are the team in Region 3 most likely to give Genesee any serious trouble with a big win. Monroe can put up goals, and their defense seems solid!
Hudson Valley 7, Mercyhurst NE 5 – April 8th – HV got another big win over a Region 3 foe, and one team was headed to 5-3 and one to 4-4. This was a great game, and I’m hopeful that it’s a sign of continued improvement AND parity in Region 3. If these programs can all keep improving, Region 3 will be a powerhouse region for NJCAA men’s lacrosse in no time flat. GCC and Monroe seem to be there, so who else will join them? I love it all!
Staats To Syracuse
JERRY Staats, a standout defender at Onondaga, has committed to Syracuse, and the Orange defense just got meaner and better for 2019!
— Onondaga CC Lacrosse (@OCCLACROSSE) April 6, 2018
Congrats to Jerry on heading to play for the Orange next year, just down the road from OCC.
I will be back each week moving forward with more NJCAA updates, so stay tuned!