BY DANIEL JEAN-LUBIN | A thrilling 12-11 win over the County College of Morris Titans (4-6) on March 27 boosted the ASA Avengers men’s lacrosse team’s record to 6-3. The victory was monumental for two reasons. Freshman and Rookie of the Year candidate Joe Granata scored a career- and game-high seven goals — including the game winner — for the Avengers. This latest offensive explosion puts Granata’s season total at 25 goals, and moves him to seventh place over all in goals scored in the nation.
That wasn’t the reason for all of the team’s celebration, however, because with the victory, the Avengers have already matched their win total from their inaugural 2012 season. In addition, for the first time in the young program’s history, the Avengers lacrosse team is three games over .500 (including 1-0 in conference play) in what is considered the toughest region in junior college lacrosse.
Progress is what this season is all about. The ASA Avengers began their second season on March 2 with a 19-9 loss to Harford Community College, extending their losing streak dating back to last season to five.
The team’s first victory came the next day at Northern Virginia Community College in a 25-8 rout. Sophomore Casey Jackson, ASA’s leading scorer last season, provided most of the offense with 10 points (8 goals and 2 assists). This win gave the Avengers all the confidence they needed and sparked a five-game winning streak, with victories over Union County College, Dean College, Delaware Technical Community College and conference rival, nationally ranked Suffolk Community College.
During the streak, ASA outscored their opponents by a combined 92-56, breaking a school record for goals scored over a five-game span as well.
The Avengers would go on to drop back-to-back games at Howard Community College and Community College of Baltimore, only scoring 15 goals during that stretch. The lack of offense can be linked to the loss of Jackson, the second-leading scorer in the National Junior College Athletic Association. A native of British Columbia, Jackson was netting goals at a torrid pace. During the team’s winning streak, he scored a whopping 32 goals, with 12 assists to boot.
ASA’s journey to eclipse their previous win total will begin on April 4 when they travel to Hoboken to take on the Stevens Institute of Technology junior varsity (7-2). After that, the Avengers will play the next five on the road before hosting Delaware Technical and Community College on April 20 in their regular season finale.