By Peter Briguglio
The month of September has ushered in a new Region 15 athletic year. At the midway point of the fall season, numerous teams find themselves gaining national recognition. Below we recap key games and records throughout the past month and delve into the future to see who is primed to make deep postseason runs in volleyball, soccer, and football.
Last year’s NJCAA Women’s Volleyball tournament representative from Region 15 is shaping up to make it back-to-back years with an appearance on the national stage as the #15 ranked Queensborough Tigers have rattled off seven straight victories in regional play to start the season. Over those seven contests, the team has only lost three out of 24 sets. The race for the Region’s second seed is wide open however, with BMCC (5-1) and Rockland (6-1) having the inside track.
Perennial national contender Monroe is having another successful campaign on the pitch in 2017. The men’s team remained unbeaten through September, going 7-0-1 in eight contests while being ranked as the #2 team in the nation. ASA, standing at 4-4-1, appears to be the only Region 15 program capable of upsetting the Mustangs in their plan to return to the NJCAA tournament.
For the Mustang women, a #10 ranking in the national poll is a start, but the team expects greater success heading into the back half of their schedule. The right to advance to the women’s District tournament may be the most hotly contested regional matchup this fall as ASA also finds themselves ranked in the nation’s top 15 teams, checking in at #14. Two regular season matchups will precede their sure-to-be-intense postseason encounter.
In Division III men’s soccer action, Suffolk and Nassau have earned the notoriety in the rankings based on their histories, but it’s BMCC who is asserting themselves as the Region’s top contender. The Panthers have gone unbeaten through September, dominating the #12 ranked Nassau Lions 4-0 back on September 25th. The team from lower Manhattan appears poised to make a run at not only a perfect regular season but a better postseason fate than endured last year when they bowed out of the Region XV tournament in the quarterfinals.
Division III women’s soccer hasn’t seen anyone dominate during the regular season, however Nassau and Dutchess appear to be the region’s best teams thus far. Nassau, while only sporting a .500 overall record through 12 games, has gone a perfect 6-0 in Region XV contests. Dutchess began their year with five straight Regional victories before dropping back to back contests to Nassau and BMCC at the end of the month.
Nassau, ASA and Monroe have combined to win eight of 11 games so far in 2017. Monroe has gone 4-0 to open the year, including a 36-7 defeat over Nassau back on September 8. ASA and Monroe will meet each other on October 28 in a Northeast Conference matchup as the team’s attempt to position themselves for a bowl game bid this fall.