Mount Olive, N.J. - The spring athletics season is still months away but Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) lacrosse team is hard at work, preparing for another successful year by scheduling a series of high-level scrimmages throughout the month of October.
The fall practice season kicked off with a visit to Alvernia University on Oct. 5, a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III team, which ended in a 21-7 victory for the Vikings.
The forthcoming slate of games includes a triple-header on Sunday, Oct. 20 in Turkey Brook Park in Mount Olive, NJ. That day, Mercer Lacrosse will play Felician University (NCAA Division II), the French National Lacrosse Team, and ASA College.
Lacrosse Head Coach Rob Siris pinpointed Mercer’s game with the French National Team as the most intriguing of the bunch.
“We’re not really sure what to expect against them, and that’s good for us,” Siris said.
The exhibition match originated from a connection Siris formed with Felician University’s head coach, Brendan Bonacum.
“Bonacum was named to coach the French team last spring,” Siris said. “We scrimmaged Felician last year, so this game is an outgrowth of that relationship.”
He added, “This is a new challenge. And our coaching philosophy includes encouraging our players to embrace new challenges head on.”
Siris is eager to get back on the field this fall. Last year, in the team’s inaugural season, the Vikings notched a 10-6 record and the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 19 championship. Individual awards added to the teams fast-growing trophy case, including five players named to the All-Region 19 team as well as a Brady Moore being named Region 19 Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year.
Three of those All-Region honorees – Jack Earley, Evan Janiec and Nate Raccagno – are on Siris’ list of players to watch in 2020. Janiec and Raccagno combined to recover 112 ground balls last year, while Earley paced the offence with 53 points while snagging 26 ground balls of his own.
Among the newcomers, Siris made note of local recruits Brandon Guios (Hightstown), Ryan Daunt (East Windsor) and Joey Ferrara (Brick), as well as Adam Weintraut and Arthur Williams, both of whom are attending Mercer from Colorado.
In addition to the games at Turkey Brook Park, the Vikings will also host one fall season game, against Albright College (NCAA Division II) on Saturday, Oct. 26at 5:00 p.m.