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NJCAA Playoffs! Junior College Report

Last week I wrote an early Junior College Report and I hit up the Regional and early rounds of the NJCAA playoffs, then I went off to Prague to play box lacrosse, but I’m back now, it’s all about to go down, and we do have some recent results worth discussing! There is also a poll to share, and seeing as most teams are now done, the only real movement we will see moving forward should happen at, or near, the top, so this one might be pretty close to final!

The first thing I’ll say this week has nothing to do with NJCAA lacrosse specifically, but I’ll say it anyway. If you’re serious about this game, make your way to the Ales Hrebesky Memorial sometime in the near future, when your college career is over. It is a life changer of a lacrosse event.

Ok, now quickly to the polls, lots of big recent results, video highlights, NJCAA Playoff brackets, and predictions, and more! It’s a great time of year, and the weather is finally decent! I hope you can tell how excited I am.

NJCAA Top 10 Poll – April 30th, 2018

Poll Ranking) Team Name (Record, Total Poll Points, any 1st place votes, last week’s poll ranking)

1) Onondaga (13-0, 60, 6, 1)
2) Nassau (13-1, 54, 0, 2)
3) Genesee (11-2, 48, 0, 3)
4) Howard (10-2, 42, 0, 4)
5) Harford (8-5, 36, 0, 6)
6) Anne Arundel (8-4, 28, 0, 5)
7) Suffolk (9-3, 25, 0, 8)
8) Ocean County (7-7, 14, 0, NR)
9) Monroe (9-3, 13, 0, 7)
10) Delaware Tech (10-6, 8, 0, 9)

Also Receiving Votes: Tompkins Cortland (9-4, 2, 0, 10)

The top 4 teams in the poll stayed where they were, but Harford and Anne Arundel swapped places due to a convincing head to head win by HCC.

Ocean County made their way back into the Top Ten in a serious way, leapfrogging a couple teams, but that’s what happens when you make the six-team NJCAA playoffs! OCC, Nassau, Genesee, Howard, Harford, and Ocean County are still alive. Everyone else is done for the year, so the only movement we can see will be higher up the food chain, when it’s all on the line.

Meaningful Recent NJCAA Lacrosse Results

Monroe 9, Merchurst NE 5, April 25th – Monroe was a heavy favorite in this game coming in, but the final score simply didn’t reflect that as accurate, and that’s a good thing! Monroe has really come a long way, and deserve a lot of credit for the year they had, and I hope they continue to climb as a program in 2019 and beyond. That is a very good lacrosse team. But MNE also showed a lot of promise, and what gets me most excited is seeing multiple NJCAA programs on the rise. This game was a showcase of two programs doing just that.

Tompkins Cortland 11, Hudson Valley 8, April 25th – Just when you think Region 3 couldn’t give you any more competitive games, this one goes off and comes down a three goal affair. HVCC and TC have both stepped up their level, and just as with Monroe and MNE, if it continues, the entire NJCAA will see the benefit. Each of these teams has a great coaching staff, and I can’t wait to see what these guys continue to do at their respective programs. A huge tip of the hat to all the players as well. If you guys didn’t buy in, this would not have happened. Impressive stuff. Keep it going.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BiIX5SgH7Wy/?taken-by=mtblax

Harford 16, Anne Arundel 8, April 26th – Harford needed a convincing win over AACC and they got just what they wanted. This was an important game, both for where it lead, but also for what it meant, and a good margin of victory provided Harford with a nice foundation to move forward upon as they would face Howard in the coming days.

Onondaga 35, Tompkins Cortland 2, April 28th – Not a lot to say here other than Onondaga captured one of the two Region 3 titles with the win, they did it big, and they now move on to the Final Four at the #1 seed in the country. The Lazers look ready for some playoff ball.

Genesee 22, Monroe 6, April 28th – Genesee took the other Region 3 title for another bid into the NJCAA playoffs and they did so in relatively dominant fashion over a good Monroe squad. The Cougars are another team that seems ready for big games at the right time of the year.

Nassau 14, Suffolk 4, April 28th – Suffolk has been riding high lately, so to see Nassau limit them to only 4 goals, and control the game in the way they did, means Nassau is for real yet again in May. This is not a team that will look to win in scoring blowouts, but they can put up goals when they want or need to, so Nassau winning a 14-13 game over a high scoring opponent isn’t out of the question. The Lions intrigue me!

Delaware Tech 17, Union County 13, April 28th – Delaware Tech was the favorite to win here, and they pulled it out but it was tight! There was a lot on the line, and I love seeing a lot of goals getting scored by both teams. It means they were laying it all on the line.

Ocean County 21, Brookdale 13, April 28th – Opposite DTech and UC, Ocean County put up a ton of points to out pace Brookdale by a solid margin. They would face Delaware Tech the next day, so maybe the larger margin would pay off with slightly more rested legs?

Ocean County 10, Delaware Tech 9, April 29th – I have no idea about the legs thing, but whatever it was Ocean County had it and they pulled out the one goal win to shock the world. I thought Union might get in there in the semifinal, and I liked Delaware Tech overall, but it turns out that Ocean County is now the one dancing, and they won two big games when they had to to get there. I love surprises and competitive games. This is another shining example of NJCAA regions on the rise.

Howard 17, Harford 9, April 29th – Howard won the game, and won comfortably, but Harford put up a great fight, and showed just how talented they are. Will we see ONE MORE HCC-HCC game in the NJCAA playoffs? Yes, yes we will, and everyone knows how hard it is to beat a good team 3 times in one season.

NJCAA Playoff Brackets

You can actually find a visual bracket courtesy of the NJCAA, here, but it’s really pretty simple:

Harford plays Howard on May 5th in Columbia, MD. The winner faces Onondaga on May 12th in the final four in Syracuse, NY.

Ocean County plays Genesee on May 5th in Genesee, NY. The winner faces Nassau on May 12th in the final four in Syracuse, NY.

The two final four winners play each other for the NJCAA 2018 National Championship on May 13th. All the final four games will be played on Chuck Wilbur field on Onondaga’s campus.

And then… it’s over. It happens in the blink of an eye!

NJCAA Playoff Predictions!

I don’t have to make predictions, but they are fun, and that’s why I do it. I love being proven wrong, and the uncertainty of games is what makes all of this worthwhile. It’s why we play! So take these predictions with a grain of salt, and let’s see how they play out over the course of the next 11 days! I’ll add in margins of victory and even scores for an added challenge.

First Round:

Genesee over Ocean County, by a comfortable margin, 10+ goals. (21-9)

Howard over Hardford, by a 5+ goal margin, for their third win over the Owls this year. (16-9)

Final Four:

Nassau over Genesee, by a slim margin, 3 goals or less. (13-11)

Onondaga over Howard, by a 5+ goal margin. (22-14)

Finals:

Onondaga over Nassau, by a slim margin, 3 goals or less. (15-12)

Will my predictions hold up? I’ll be honest, I like my picks. Will my margins hold up? They seem solid, but who knows. How about the scores? Do they look reasonable? I can’t wait to find out just how wrong I’ll be! Good luck to the four teams in action this weekend!

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