clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #70 NJIT Highlanders

NJIT recorded their first multi-win season in program history.

NJIT Athletics

With the 2019 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to look back at how all 73 teams did during the season, along with an early look at each squad for 2020.

Note: These are not end of season rankings.

We started our series on Friday with LIU and Merrimack as they become the two new teams entering Division I in 2020, as well as our first 2019 recaps with Hampton, St. Bonaventure, and Mercer.

So let’s continue our 2019 Year In Review!

#70 NJIT Highlanders

Conference: Independent
2019 Record: 2-13
Head coach: Travis Johnson (5th Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Aaron Forster (36)
Assists: Aaron Forster and Collin Fogerty (17)
Points: Aaron Forster (53)
Faceoffs: Tyler Stevenson (134-of-275; 48.7%)
Ground balls: John Tachon (57)
Caused turnovers: Kevin Falteisek (21)
Goals against average: Alexzander Hunt (15.31 GAA)
Save percentage: Alexzander Hunt (49.9%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: A Aaron Forster (36 Gs, 17 As, 29 GBs, 4 CTs), M Ryan Darrow (25 Gs, 8 As, 25 GBs, 6 CTs), D Kevin Falteisek (21 CTs, 41 GBs, 1 A), FOGO Tyler Stevenson (48.7% FOs, 50 GBs, 2 CTs, 2 Gs), A Cole Robillard (10 Gs, 4 As, 11 GBs, 1 CT), SSDM Brett Goldstein (2 CTs, 12 GBs, 1 G, 1 A), D Alex Stiers (2 CTs, 5 GBs)
Senior scoring departing: 106 of 234 points (45.3%)
Senior starts lost: 49 of 150 (32.7%)

Season Summary

For the first time in program history, NJIT won more than a game. Along with beating Hampton on the road, they pulled off a home win over Monmouth in early March.

That was a good sign for a team that is still struggling since their first game in 2015. But despite another year of double-digit losses, the Highlanders did provide some tough battles to teams during the season.

They pushed Delaware to a low-scoring affair in the first half before the Blue Hens started to put goals on the board for an eight-goal win. Despite giving up eight goals to Quinnipiac in the opening quarter, NJIT was able to rally back and make it a one-goal deficit in the second half thanks in part to nine goals from Aaron Forster. They were hanging around with future NEC foes Saint Joseph’s and Wagner, and fought hard against Manhattan and a high-scoring battle against Siena.

Similar to their mascot, NJIT fought hard throughout. In the Delaware loss, goalie Alexzander Hunt recorded a program-record 22 saves to stymie the Blue Hen offense. He finished fifth in the country with 13.87 saves per game. With a defense that included Hunt, Kevin Falteisek, and John Tachon, the offense had some flare as well. The Highlanders notched at least 10 goals in four straight games late into the season, which also set a program record, with seniors Forster and Ryan Darrow, along with sophomores Collin Fogerty and Jackson Boyd, putting up points. Eight players recorded at least 10 points, with four putting up at least 20.

29 guys on the NJIT roster played at least 10 games, which is a lot for one team. But there was a reason for that. The Highlanders sometimes even ran five midfield lines to better prepare themselves for the big future ahead, which was playing in the NEC as well as at their new on-campus home.

Looking Ahead

For the first time since their inaugural year in 2015, NJIT will be able to play their home games on campus. From 2016 until 2018, the Highlanders played at Drew University and practiced away from campus. This season, the team played in Newark at Rutgers-Newark’s Alumni Field. But nothing feels better than playing at home. And it’ll be even better when the team becomes a member of the Northeast Conference for 2020.

But they will have some challenges as they enter the conference. Over 45% of their senior scoring graduates, including Forster and Darrow, their top two scorers. Players such as Fogerty, Boyd, Colton Johnson, Vincent D’Agostino, Ryan Kaden, and Joe Covino will be relied on to put up some more points.

Tachon returns for his senior year on defense, along with rising sophomore Matthew Bowerman. Hunt will provide some stability in goal, but Tyler Stevenson’s departure leaves a hole at the faceoff X. Rising redshirt senior Sean Duncan is an option as FOGO Matt Rueter transferred to Wagner.

Poll

How many wins will NJIT get in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    0-1
    (21 votes)
  • 53%
    2-3
    (40 votes)
  • 16%
    4-5
    (12 votes)
  • 2%
    6+
    (2 votes)
75 votes total Vote Now