Only four NJCAA teams are still alive, two will fall on Saturday, and on Sunday we will see a 2018 champion earn their title. The NJCAA Final Four teams still standing are Onondaga, Nassau, Howard, and Genesee.
Howard played in the finals last year, and each of the other programs has won at least one NJCAA title over the course of their histories and been to their fare share of NJCAA Final Four weekends. Onondaga won last year, Genesee won in 2017, and Nassau last won a title in 2008, but played in the title game as recently as 2014.
No poll this week. Too much NJCAA Final Four distraction! We’ve got a champion to crown, so polls will only matter again when it’s all said and done! I will showcase a final poll, and also rank EVERY single NJCAA team at the end of the year. There is more stuff to look forward to, but I’ll get to that later. On to the playoffs for now!
How’d They Get There?
Onondaga and Nassau qualified directly to the Final Four, but Howard and Genesee had to win their way in to make the final weekend of play. I’ll recap those play-in games below, and I will compare the results to the predictions I made in last week’s post.
Genesee 22, Ocean County 4 – May 5th, 2018 – GCC dominated this game from start to finish, and there is a great write up on the GCC website. Do you want to see some photos? There are photos! There is also the box score. It’s all worth checking out. The win showcased Genesee’s strength at the X, on offense, and on defense. Lots of players contributed, it makes GCC hard to scout effectively, and it shows they are very much ready for business.
I predicted Genesee would win, 21-9, so while I was really close on GCC’s behalf, I did overestimate the number of goals that Ocean would score. At the same time, I said it would be a comfortable margin, and it definitely was.
Howard 16, Harford 9 – May 5th, 2018 – Howard and Harford battled for the third time this year, and while it can be very hard for any team to beat another competitive team 3 times in one year, Howard proved they were a step or two ahead, and punched their ticket to the Final Four yet again. Harford looked up this year, and I don’t think it’s a one year fluke. I expect both of these programs to continue to impress and push for higher levels of success. But enough about next year, because Howard won, and they are still playing now.
I could link to game stories, etc, but instead we have video, and can rejoice in seeing what happened for ourselves. I love NJCAA video highlights, if you haven’t figured that out already.
Awesome stuff as always, from Howard’s Matt Stovall, crushing high quality video like it’s his job. I mean, it is his job, but he still does amazing work and every NJCAA athletic department should have a guy like him on staff.
Back to the game – I predicted Howard would win 16-9, and somehow, that is exactly what happened. I know, that was impressive. I’m impressed myself.
NJCAA Final Four Predictions!
On my predictions I’d say I’m 2-for-2 so far, or batting 1,000. Or 100. I never did understand baseball math all that well, but I’m good to go heading into the weekend.
To see my Final Four predictions (with scores!), check out last week’s post.
Watching The NJCAA Final Four
If you’re in the Syracuse, NY area, and you can get over to Onondaga Community College on Saturday and/or Sunday, then I highly recommend it. It’s great lacrosse, and while I can’t make it myself (sad face) I’ve been to NJCAA title games before and it’s definitely something worth seeing in person. This year’s games should be AWESOME, so if there’s a year to go, 2018 is as good a candidate as I’ve ever seen.
If you can not make it in person, keep your eyes glued to NJCAATV. There will be game links there, and the games should be streamed through the NJCAA. They usually do a pretty decent job with the production quality, and it’s well worth a watch, I can promise you that. Will it be free? I sure hope so, but I’m not sure.
Upcoming NJCAA Stuff!
Like I said above, I’ll be recapping the Final Four, championship, etc in my next NJCAA article, and I will also rank ALL of the 2018 NJCAA teams when the Final Poll comes out from the NJCAA. On top of all that, I’ll be sure to cover the NJCAA All-Americans, and name my own personal All-NJCAA Junior College Report Team, just to add a media perspective to things. My awards are meaningless really, but it’s fun, and it gives me a chance to talk about a couple of guys who did big things, and could be names to watch for years to come.
This report has been short, but that’s only because there were only two games, and my predictions were set a week ago. Locked ’em right in. Now’s the time when we WATCH the games. It’s when it all matters most, so I have nothing more to say.
Enjoy the weekend, and to all the players and coaches going at it this weekend – I hope you play your best lacrosse, that everyone comes out of the games healthy and of sound mind, and that the best team wins. Good luck to you all, this is your moment.