TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

June 20, 2015 — A pin in the lacrosse balloon?

This past week, Niagara County Community College, a two-year institution located about 15 miles north of Buffalo, N.Y., announced that it would be dropping its men’s and women’s lacrosse teams.

Now, given the growth of the sport nationwide, the dropping of the sport in a two-year college may not mean much in the grand scheme of things. But the thing is, there were only 18 community colleges offering women’s lacrosse last year, and only 31 two-year institutions offering it on the men’s side.

Of course, there is not nearly the crisis in community college lacrosse that there was in field hockey during the 1990s, when the number of competitive teams dropped to just two.

Time was, junior colleges were great places for scholarship athletes to develop their study and on-field skills. Pro players like basketball’s Larry Johnson were developed there. Former Old Dominion soccer player Paula Beaudette actually played community-college field hockey, setting an all-collegiate record for goals in a season before a woman named Marina DiGiacomo would score 63 goals in 2000.

But as college has gotten more expensive, and as community college is being seen as a more important tool to get more graduates to become competitive in a global workforce, it is discouraging to see community college sports programs foundering. I’m hoping that there will be other two-year institutions willing to give their students a chance to play a great sport.

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