There are 3 weeks left in the NJCAA men’s lacrosse season, and on May 13th we will see a new champion crowned, but the Junior College Report will roll on! The championship and semifinal games will be played at Onondaga CC, just outside of Syracuse, NY, with the finals on Sunday (April 13th), preceded by the semifinals on Saturday (April 12th). It’s a back to back test of mettle, and soon we will know who has what it takes to bring the hardware home.
We have a couple of big games this week with Monroe playing Mercyhurst NE, Tompkins Cortland playing Hudson Valley (both of those games are on WED and Region 3 playoff contests) and on Thursday, Harford will tangle with Essex in what should be a thrilling end of regular season contest. Saturday will see Genesee and Onondaga take on Region 3 playoff game winners, and Nassau will play Suffolk to determine who the best NJCAA team is in Region 15. Delaware Tech will also face Union. There are favorites in each of these games, but late season surprises do happen, so keep your eyes open!
The Junior College Report “game of the week” is probably that TC vs HV game. Should be a good one, with plenty on the line. Win or go home time is very much here.
— TC Panthers (@TCPanthers) April 20, 2018
You will not get a Junior College Report next week. I’m sorry, but I’m going to Prague to play box lacrosse at the Ales Hrebesky Memorial, and sometimes you just need to unplug and enjoy the game that is in front of you. That’s my plan anyway! If you missed last week’s Playoff Predictions, I recommend you check it out to help tide you over.
I’ll be back with another JC Report during the first week of May, and I’ll cover all the Region results, preview the next round of playoffs, and go deeper on the teams that are still in it, previewing the final push for hardware.
This week’s Report hits up the Top Ten, talks about a bunch of recent (and impressive!) results, and shows off a little NJCAA video, because it’s awesome. More teams are doing more and more work on social media, with live game streams, and more. It’s paying off for a number of programs, so I hope more teams out there take the initiative to use this resource. It takes time, but kids are on social media. Do a good job, and good players will find your program. Add in the guys you find, and boom, you’ve got a program! I mean, that’s what I would do… but then again, I’m not an NJCAA coach… YET. Someday…
NJCAA Top 10 Poll – April 23rd, 2018
Poll Ranking) Team Name (Record, Total Poll Points, any 1st place votes, last week’s poll ranking)
1) Onondaga (12-0, 60, 6, 1)
2) Nassau (12-1, 54, 0, 2)
3) Genesee (10-2, 48, 0, 3)
4) Howard (9-2, 42, 0, 4)
5) Anne Arundel (8-3, 36, 0, 5)
6) Harford (7-4, 29, 0, 6)
7) Monroe (8-2, 22, 0, 8)
8) Suffolk (9-2, 20, 0, 6)
9) Delaware Tech (9-5, 11, 0, 9)
10) Tompkins Cortland (8-3, 7, 0, 10)
Also Receiving Votes: Hudson Valley (9-3, 1, 0, NR)
The only movement this week was Suffolk dropping out of a tie for 6th, down to 8th. Harford stayed in 6th, while Monroe jumped up a spot to 7th in the Top Ten. Essex dropped out of the “also receiving votes” category, and TC plays HC this week, and that #10 spot is on the line, 100%. Win or drop out, that’s how it’s going to be!
MLAX: Nick Kallio had another record day as Monroe beat Mohawk Valley in the team's regular season finale Saturday. Kallio tied the program mark for goals in a game (9) and set a new Tribune standard with 17 total points! pic.twitter.com/QJPSHgLpNb
— MCC Tribunes (@MCCTribunes) April 22, 2018
Howard Vs Essex Highlights
Essex used to dominate Howard regularly. Now, the glove is on the other hand, and it’s Howard taking it to Essex in consecutive wins. This is a rivalry game, and that makes it fun!
Meaningful Recent NJCAA Results
Tompkins Cortland 12, Mercyhurst NE 11, April 16th – TC made a push into the Top Ten, and if they wanted to be sure of staying there, they had to beat a number of other Region 3 teams who were pushing for the same spot. MNE is one of those teams, and Hurst took TC to the limit here, but a win is a win, and this one was a big one for Tompkins Cortland. Great seasons are made on the backs of tight games, where you are pushed to the limit, and this one such game. Big nod of respect to both programs for truly take their game up to the next level this year. And it’s not done yet!
Onondaga 23, Monroe 2, April 18th – While this game lopsided, and there was a larger margin of victory for OCC than in 2017 when they won 21-7, this game does show that Monroe has something good going on in the defensive end of the field. Onondaga can hang 30+ on most teams, and towards the end of the season when their offense is clicking, watch out. Monroe might have lost this one big, but they are still in a good place, and climbing the ladder this year.
Army Prep 12, Nassau 10, April 19th – Army Prep is not an NJCAA program, so this loss for the Lions doesn’t really factor in to their Top Ten status, or status within the NJCAA. What it does do is expose the Nassau players to a loss, and what that feels like, and for it to happen late in the season could be the best thing to happen to NCC all year. A loss can refocus a top level team, it can open their eyes to possible weaknesses, and if addressed and learned from, a loss can make a team better. Or not. It all depends on how Nassau reacts, but I like the potential for this to be a beneficial thing in the long-run.
Harford 9, Suffolk 8, April 21st – HUGE win for Harford here as it was a tight game, and one they absolutely had to win. Harford has had some ups and downs this year, but I always thought if they could come together late in the year, this team could hang with almost anyone, and win some big games. They have a huge test in Region 20 with Howard, but The Fighting Owls look poised to give it their all, and do it together, which gives them the best shot possible.
— Harford CC Men's Lax (@HarfordCC_MLax) April 22, 2018
Mercyhurst NE 14, Herkimer 3, April 21st – While MNE might not make it into the Top Ten this year, they have done some pretty amazing things after going 0-12 last year. Currently MNE is 7-6 and they have already won more games than they did between 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 COMBINED. Sure, the program was on hold in 2014-2016 but that only makes what they are doing in 2018 MORE impressive. If you’re starting an NJCAA program, call coach Eric Miccio and ask him how he’s doing it, because this is nothing short of superb stuff.
Also… GOALIE GOAL!!!!
BIG Weekend Coming Up
The beginning of the end starts up this weekend, and certain teams will have their seasons close out while others will carry on to the next round of competition. The NJCAA playoffs will follow shortly thereafter with two “play-in” games to determine with of the 3-6 seeds will join the 1 and 2 seeds for championship weekend in Onondaga.
Junior College Report – Thank YOU!
It has once again been an absolute pleasure shining some light on the wonderful world of Junior College Lacrosse through the weekly Report post. I will follow up the NJCAA playoffs and championships with my own All-NJCAA team, and I will also put together a post showcasing all of the NJCAA players who are currently committed to go on and play at the next level in 2019. It’s all about playing the game, becoming a better student, and opening new doors that will serve these kids for the rest of their lives. I love NJCAA lacrosse!
But on top of all that, it’s been a true pleasure seeing people excited to have their portion of the game covered. So while I write these weekly articles because I enjoy it, I also write them for the fans of NJCAA lacrosse. I’m thrilled to be able to provide a weekly column dedicated to an oft-overlooked division of college lacrosse, and I thank you sincerely for trusting me, and for following along each week. Thank YOU, and by you, I mean YOU. Thank you.