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Men’s lacrosse looks to make a statement in home opener

Photo credit: NCC NOW

Last spring, NCC’s Department of Athletics approved the creation of a men’s lacrosse program. This spring, the team is playing in its inaugural season.

On Saturday, the team will battle Region XIX foe Brookdale Community College in its first home game ever.

“We have good students and good athletes on our squad,” head coach Paul Miller said. “With their enthusiasm and hard work, we will continue to be competitive in our region.”

Miller brings his experience from his playing days at Kean College and his previous job as head coach of the William Allen High School lacrosse team in Allentown.

Lacrosse, long popular among Native Americans, combines speed, contact and passion, which make for a fast-moving game.

The Spartans already have two games in the books, but their 0-2 record doesn’t reflect the efforts of the team since starting practice last fall. Practicing three to four days a week in the fall and now six days a week, the team has worked on its conditioning, Miller said.

The team’s first match – a 26-2 loss — was played at national powerhouse Community College of Baltimore — Essex, a former NJCAA national champion.

“That match gave us a wake-up call,” said NCC attackman Travis Hartranft.

Hartranft is one of seven freshmen from Easton Area High School who comprise the team’s “Easton Mafia.” He scored an unassisted goal against CCBC-Essex and two more goals against Tompkins-Cortland Community College.

The weather and field conditions have played havoc with the Spartans’ schedule, causing three games to be canceled. Despite this, the team has continued to hone its skills, says R.J. Corlete, a midfielder. Corlete, a Freedom High School graduate, says the Spartans want to make a statement going into their first season.

Hartranft and Corlete are team captains on the 14-man squad.

“Both of these guys set the examples for the other guys on the team,” Miller said. “Whatever needs to be done, these guys are there.”

The Spartans’ next game will be against Brookdale Community College on noon Saturday at NCC’s lacrosse field at Green Pond and Hecktown roads, across from the dorms.

For more information about the lacrosse team and other Spartan athletic teams, visit nccspartans.com or facebook.com/nccspartans or on Twitter @NCCAthletics