From the HCC sports desk:
BEL AIR, Md.—The Harford men’s lacrosse team will kick-off the 2009 season this weekend as it travels to the Carolinas for a slate of weekend games against the Clemson, Lindenwood , and North Carolina State club teams. The Fighting Owls will scrimmage the Tigers on Friday, Feb. 20 at 8:00 p.m. and will officially open the season against defending Great Rivers Conference champion Lions on Sunday, Feb. 21 at 1:00 p.m., with both games in Clemson, S.C., before facing the Wolfpack on Sunday, Feb. 22 at 2:00 p.m. in Raleigh, N.C.
Before playing in its official home-opener on March 4 against Delaware Tech-Terry, Harford will scrimmage the Harford County sect of the Crease Monkeys club team, the 2006 American Lacrosse League champions.
Wednesday, March 4 will see the Fighting Owls open competition on their home field which will begin a 15-game NJCAA season for the Fighting Owls, which will pit them against eight of the NJCAA Preseason Coaches Poll top-10 teams, including the No. 1 pick, defending NJCAA champion Nassau Community College, which picked up its 21st national title in 2008.
“At this level we do not have much of an option to change our schedule difficulty,” said head coach Ed Augustitus. “Every year we traditionally play Nassau [the No. 1 preseason pick] and Suffolk [the No. 7 pick], who are always going to be at the top of the pack. MDJUCO rivals [No. 3] CCBC-Essex and [No. 10] CCBC-Catonsville are usually contenders as well, and it’s just our luck that [No. 8] Anne Arundel [another MDJUCO school] is also in the mix this year.
“We like the challenge and we have a great strength of schedule every year. Our goal is to eventually get to where we can play at the level of these top-10 teams and hopefully be mentioned in the same conversation. We wouldn’t be competitive if we did not challenge ourselves with the top-tier teams and for me its not all about the wins and losses, but rather about staying competitive.”
The Owls will host Delaware Tech-Terry for a 7:00 p.m. game on March 4 before hosting Williamson Free Trade on Saturday, March 7 at 2:00 p.m. The following weekend will see Harford travel to New York State as they face Suffolk, the No. 7 preseason pick and 2006 national runner-up on Mar. 14 and then the No. 1 Lions on Mar. 15.
A three-game homestand awaits Harford after its trip to the Empire State, where they will host Alfred State on Mar. 19, No. 9 Hudson Valley on March 21 and Brookdale on March 28.
The three-game roadstand on April 1, 3 and 8 will see the Owls take on No. 6 Howard, a 2007 national tournament semifinalist, the jayvee squad from Stevenson University and the No. 10 preseason pick, CCBC-Catonsvillle, before hosting No. 8 Anne Arundel on April 10 and Montgomery College-Rockville on April 14.
Harford wraps up its regular season schedule with a game at No. 3 CCBC-Essex, the 2008 national runner-up on April 18, before hosting No. 5 Monroe on April 22 and traveling to Brookdale for the regular season finale on April 25.
The Region XX tournament will be held from April 28-May 3, with the first round played at the higher-seeded team, with CCBC-Catonsville hosting the remainder of the tournament. The tournament winner will get an automatic bid to the NJCAA tournament, which will be hosted by Herkimer County Community College from May 9-10.