NCAA Team Reviews: NJIT Highlanders

Photo credit to Larry Levanti Photography
Photo credit to Larry Levanti Photography

For the better part of four months, many of us watched some exciting college lacrosse, whether it was on TV, online, or in person.  There were good games, which included all of Championship Weekend, and there were bad games, such as low scoring affairs and of course, the horrendous winter weather.  I take a look back at all 69 Division I teams and how they fared this season and what to look forward to in 2016.


2014 Record NA
2014 Conference Record NA
2014 Scoring Offense NA
2014 Scoring Defense NA
2014 Goals Leader NA
2014 Assists Leader NA
2014 Points Leader NA
2014 Goaltending Leader NA
2014 Face-Off Leader NA
2014 Ground Balls Leader NA
2014 Caused Turnovers Leader NA
2014 Quality Wins NA
2014 Bad Losses NA
2015 Record 0-12
2015 Conference Record NA
2015 Scoring Offense 4.50 Goals Per Game (Last in DI)
2015 Scoring Defense 13.25 Goals Allowed Per Game (65th in DI)
2015 Goals Leader #92 Joe Lomeli – Freshman (19 Gs)
2015 Assists Leader #29 John Roach – Freshman (7 As)
2015 Points Leader #92 Joe Lomeli – Freshman (21 Pts)
2015 Goaltending Leader #33 Nick Marzullo – Freshman (.474 SV %)
2015 Face-Off Leader #26 Zachary Melillo – Freshman (.454 FO%)
2015 Ground Balls Leader #26 Zachary Melillo – Freshman (58 GBs)
2015 Caused Turnovers Leader #28 Rich Brunje – Freshman (8 CTs)
2015 Quality Wins None
2015 Bad Losses UMass Lowell (9-7), Manhattan (7-5)


The Highlanders of NJIT experienced first year pains, something that nearby Monmouth experienced in 2014.  They went winless in 12 games played this season with a team of 22 freshmen out of 24 total players (one sophomore, one senior).

They played their first game in program history on February 20th as they fell on the road to Stony Brook 18-4.  They lost in their first home game eight days later to Quinnipiac 10-3.  In their first good chance to record a win, they fell to fellow first year program UMass Lowell 9-7 at home, followed ten days later with a 6-3 home loss to fellow New Jersey school Monmouth.  Fast forward to March 31, where NJIT played a tough game against Manhattan, who was also looking for their first win on the season.  The Jaspers jumped out to a 5-2 lead after the first quarter, and eventually won 7-5.  In their final game against Dartmouth, they fell to the Big Green 7-5.

Although the Highlanders failed to win a game this season, the players got experience playing against multiple Division I teams.  The leading scorer, Joe Lomeli, started only one game, which was the last game of the season against Dartmouth, but he looks like to be the program’s first budding star.  They have a great coach in Travis Johnson who has been at Stony Brook, Penn State, and most recently Mount St. Mary’s.  This team can only go up from here, just look at Monmouth.


Cameron Cronk Goaltender Eastside Catholic (WA)
Chris Delente Midfield St. John’s Prep (MD)
Carson Metzker Midfield/FO Germantown Academy (PA)
Jack Mazurek Midfield/FO Don Bosco Prep (NJ)
Darren Almodiel LSM Chantilly (VA)
Jacob Sieber Attack/Midfield North Hunterdon (NJ)
Davis Carr Midfield/Attack Manheim Township (PA)
Sean Bannon Defense/LSM Pascack Hills (NJ)
Shane Kenney LSM/Defense Gloucester Catholic (NJ)
Tyler Stevenson Midfield/FO Rutgers Prep (NJ)
Grant Toller Midfield Holy Ghost Prep (PA)

As of now, NJIT has nearly everybody coming back for 2016, along with 11 incoming freshmen, to expand the roster to 34 players.  More legs could mean better competition for playing time and more depth, which could lead NJIT to their first win in program history.  There is also no official news about conference affiliation for next season, but as the school recently announced that they would join the Atlantic Sun, which includes Jacksonville and an associate membership with the Southern Conference for lacrosse, it looks like the Highlanders will join the SoCon in time for 2016.