The NJIT Highlanders are the 54th team in our 2017 schedule preview. The Highlanders went 1-14 overall in 2016, their second year of varsity play. NJIT was an independent in 2016, and will continue to be independent in 2017. Let’s dive into their schedule.
The Highlanders begin the season with a four-game road trip, starting with Lehigh on February 4. They return to action two weeks later on the 18th to take on Princeton, followed by games against VMI on the 25th, and Hofstra on the 28th. NJIT lost to VMI, 10-7, last season.
The team’s home opener is on March 4 against defending MAAC champion Quinnipiac. With the construction of the school’s Wellness and Events Center in progress, NJIT will play their home games at Ranger Stadium on the campus of Drew University. The Highlanders were very close to defeating the Bobcats last year, falling 9-7. They host Mercer on March 10, before making the trip to West Point to take on Army on the 13th. The Highlanders return home to take on fellow New Jersey school Rutgers on March 17, followed by a trip to Fairfield to take on the Stags on the 21st. The month ends with a home game against Wagner on the 25th. NJIT lost to Wagner, 10-8, last year.
The Highlanders host another in-state school, Monmouth, on April 8, before they take on Lafayette in Easton three days later. NJIT makes a trip to Virginia to take on Hampton on April 15, followed by their final road game of the season against Manhattan on the 22nd. The regular season finale is at home against UMass Lowell on April 29. It should be a good matchup, as UMass Lowell defeated the Highlanders, 7-6, in overtime last year.
NJIT returns a good amount of players from last year, as they’re one of the newer D1 programs. Midfielder Ryan Callaghan is the team’s only senior this year. Attackman Aaron Forster led the Highlanders in assists and points last season. But some players such as Joe Lomeli, Jeese Rice, Ryan Bradway, and Joe Roach are not on this year’s roster. Alex Stiers returns on defense, while Nick Marzullo is the team’s only captain and will return to goal, and there’s also a question on who will take the face-offs. Travis Johnson and his group’s biggest goal for this year is to grow the program more and sustain less personnel losses on their team. Some of their new recruits may be better than the players that were on the team for the first two years, but we won’t know until they play the games.
To see every team’s schedule and which one’s we’ve highlighted, check our our master schedule list.