The defending National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Champion GCC men's lacrosse team will open its 2017 season on Mar. 4, and will do so as the No. 1 ranked team in the country. It is the first time in the program's history that the Cougars are the top-ranked team in the NJCAA National Poll.
Genesee will return nine sophomores from last year's team including top scorer Pat Van Bortle and goalie Darin Eakins. Van Bortle, a first team All-American, accounted for 118 points and led the country in goals with 69. Eakins was a second team all-region selection and named NJCAA National Tournament Defensive MVP. He started 16 games last season for GCC.
Also returning for the Cougars will be midfielder Sherman Williams, who started in all 19 games for Genesee in 2016, Chase Neibert, a defender who saw action in 12 contests last spring, and Davis Prince, who tallied the second highest points total on last year's team with 101.
GCC will open its season with three consecutive home games, including Mar. 4 against Tompkins-Cortland CC, Mar. 11 against No. 5 Community College of Baltimore County-Essex and Mar. 15 against Monroe CC. The Cougars will host No. 2 Onondaga CC in a rematch of last year's NJCAA National Championship on Mar. 25 and travel to play No. 3 Nassau CC on Mar. 18 and No. 6 Howard CC on Apr. 8. In all, Genesee will host six regular season games and travel for six road contests.
Full NJCAA National Poll: www.njcaa.org/sports/mlax/polls