Welcome to another exciting edition of the Junior College Report! We’ve got scores, great video highlights, previews for big upcoming games, and a NEW NUMBER ONE TEAM IN THE NJCAA, plus all kinds of movement in the polls! I’m screaming because we have not seen a team other than Onondaga in the #1 spot since 2017, so this is big news. Nassau is now occupying the top spot, looking tough, and NJCAA lacrosse has never been so exciting as a bunch of other teams move up and down the rankings.
In case you missed last time’s Junior College Report, read it here.
Let’s kick things off in the Junior College Report with a brand new Top 10.
NJCAA Top 10 Poll – 3/4/2019
# – Team (Record) – Poll points – 1st place votes – last poll rank
1– Nassau (2-0) – 60 – 6 – 2nd
2 – Genesee (0-0) – 51 – 0 – 3rd
3 – Harford (1-1) – 46 – 0 – 5th
4 – Howard (1-0) – 45 – 0 – 4th
5 – Onondaga (1-1) – 38 – 0 – 1st
6 – Essex (1-0) – 29 – 0 – 8th
7 – Anne Arundel (0-2) – 21 – 0 – 6th
8 – Suffolk (0-0) – 20 – 0 – 7th
9 – Monroe (0-0) – 12 – 0 – 9th
10 – Mercer (1-1) – 4 – 0 – 10th
10 – Hudson Valley (1-0) – 4 – 0 – Not Ranked
Not only did Nassau move up to No. 1, and Genesee moved up to No. 2, but Onondaga dropped from the top spot (which they occupied for all of 2018) to No. 5 and Harford jumped up two spots to #3. Essex also popped up two spots from No. 8 to No. 6. Anne Arundel lost two games and still moved up a spot, as those losses were to top level teams. Mercer held on to their Top 10 spot, but they were joined at No. 10 by previously unranked Hudson Valley. So it’s a Top 11 this week, which seems fair given everything that went on.
How did all this early season poll movement happen? Let’s get into it!
Recent NJCAA Results/Recaps
Harford 12, Onondaga 8 – I liked Harford coming in to the 2019 season, but even I did not expect this type of statement win, nor did I expect it this early on. Did anyone in the NJCAA? Anyways, with all that being said, I am obviously really impressed by this win for the Fighting Owls. OCC was up 2-1 after the 1st, and 5-3 at the half, But Harford won each of the quarters in the second half by 3 goals (4-1 and 5-2) and proved they can not only score, but also make adjustments and clamp down on D.
Chandler Schmidt led the way for the Owls as he scored 5 goals on 6 shots while adding an assist, and Harford got goals from six different players. Eli Doyle had three of them. Harford peppered the net with shots, and OCC’s Frank Delia made 19 saves, but Harford’s tough D and 12 goals were enough to earn a great win for the program.
Essex 29, Mercer 12 – Essex put in work this weekend and won this game in truly dominant fashion, and after 3 quarters it was 23-3. A tip of the hat to Mercer for never giving up and putting in a strong 4th quarter effort, winning that one 9-6, but the biggest tip goes to Essex, who straight up announced that they are back and for real on both sides of the ball. 9 different players scored for Essex, but 13 points on 7 goals and 6 assists from TJ Ross was just unreal. 6 goals and an assist from Kyle Guenther wasn’t too shabby either! I’m kidding, it was impressive! Travis Pereira made 7 saves while only giving up one goal during his stint in goal, and the Essex D is clearly motivated and tough.
Hudson Valley 19, Union 7 – Hudson Valley turned a tighter 4-2 game after one quarter into a convincing victory, especially in the third quarter, where they outscored Union 7-1. 6 different players scored for HV, with Austin Hinderliter’s 6 goals leading the way. Darren Nagy also had 4 goals, but the real pot stirrer for Hudson Valley may have been Nick Malatesta who scored 3 goals on 5 shots, while adding 4 assists. Trevor Ham made 10 big saves for the win in net and Kerry Blackwood was 19-for-29 on draws.
Potomac State 25, Southern Maryland 10 – A 6-5 opening quarter gave PSC a one goal lead, and they extended it to 7 at halftime, winning the second quarter 8-2. They followed that up with a strong 7-1 third quarter, proving they had found their game legs. Ben Blodgett notched 7 goals to go with 3 assists, and both Titus Thind and Nick Erhardt notched 5 goals apiece, with Earhardt adding 3 assists, and Thind assisting on one goal. PSC was also 4-for-5 on man up chances and close to perfect on clears.
Sussex Vs Tompkins Cortland – This game was postponed, to be made up later I believe.
Nassau 17 vs Anne Arundel 1 – Nassau was absolutely dominant in this game and the amazing thing is that even though they scored 17 goals, no Lions player scored more than 5 points, and only two players scored more than 4 points. Dan Rooney (4g, 1a) and Tanner Germain (1g, 3a) may have led the way, but NCC had 10 different goal scorers and 11 players registered at least one point. Obviously the defense also came to play this year as well, and Nassau was tough to beat on draws, or anywhere really. Are the old glory days of big bad Nassau back? It sure looks that way right now!
ALSO! This Nassau goal was just ridiculous on at least thirteen different levels. Even the hockey assist was behind the back. If you’re out on Long Island, maybe think about making a trip to see the Nassau team play? Probably worth your time!
Big Upcoming Games
Wednesday, March 6th
Sussex vs Union – Usually I’d say Union will win, but at this point I trust nothing and no one, anything can happen and Sussex might win the national championship. Ok, that last bit may be going too far, but until we see more from 2019 teams, making predictions that stick will be tough. I am excited to see what Sussex brings to the table, and how Union bounces back from a tough opening loss.
ASA vs Suffolk – Ok, this is a big one as it looks like new teams in 2019 can win big games, but Suffolk has also been a little under wraps and going through some changes, so WHO KNOWS? What I do know is that this is a big Region 15 game and it could be a thriller or a bloodbath. The end result will be great NJCAA lacrosse, and that’s enough for me.
Saturday, March 9th
Essex vs Genesee – We will see GCC step onto the field for a real game here, and we will see just how good Essex really might be. I’d expect nothing less than an absolutely awesome game here so if you’re in or around Batavia, NY on Saturday, try to check it out!
Nassau vs Onondaga – OCC has fallen in the polls, Nassau is the new #1, and these two teams have a history of battling to the bones in huge games. What more do you need? Syracuse vs Virginia has nothing on this one. Give me Nassau/Onondaga any day of the week.
Sussex vs Finger Lakes – Big test for both teams, and a chance for either one to make a statement.
Suffolk vs Brookdale – I’ll take Suffolk here comfortably, but my predictions clearly mean little to nothing at this point. I used to be so good at picking NJCAA games! What happened? Parity. Love it.
Mercer vs Anne Arundel – AACC needs a win, Mercer needs a big win over a ranked program, and this game should be superb entertainment.
Monroe vs Howard – Monroe can be a new Monroe with a win here. Howard can be the same old dominant Howard with a win here. The thing is, I’m not sure either one is coming easy. This will be a battle, where Howard still holds the edge… but it will be a battle. Count on it.
Sunday, March 10th
ASA vs Potomac State – PSC put up big numbers early on, does this continue as the face newly reformed ASA? Good chance for a nice statement win on either side of the ball.
Union vs Southern Maryland – Both of these teams will be pretty well tested at this point, but I’ll give Union a slight edge here.
Hudson Valley vs Mercer – With these two programs currently tied for 10th in the most recent NJCAA poll we can expect a lot of pride and emotion in this one. There are certainly higher ranked teams playing each other this upcoming weekend, but HV vs MCC may just be the game of the weekend.