Lackawanna College Wins Second Straight NJCAAE Championship In Rocket League


Scranton, Lackawanna County, PA - For the second season in a row, the Lackawanna College Esports Rocket League squad can claim itself as a national champion.

The Falcons completed an unbeaten run through the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association Esports (NJCAAE) Premier Series Playoffs with an impressive 3-0 sweep (3-2, 8-2, 3-2) over Wake Tech CC on Friday evening in the Grand Final. The win gives Lackawanna its second straight NJCAAE championship in Rocket League.

The Falcons and the Eagles have become very familiar with each other, with numerous run-ins over the last few seasons in the NJCAAE regular season and playoffs, and this year was no different, with this being the second meeting between the two sides through this playoff run, with Lackawanna dropping Wake Tech 3-1 earlier this week in the upper bracket final. Wake Tech had won earlier tonight over Heartland CC in the elimination bracket final to get to the championship match.

Guadalupe Oca (Gamertag: AyeOca) got the Falcons going early in game one, scoring two goals midway through the first stanza to put Lackawanna up. Wake Tech battled back with two goals of its own inside the final ten seconds to force sudden death overtime. Both teams went nearly three minutes of OT without a goal, with several big saves and chances going just wide, but Jakob Seamans (Gamertag: Jakob) grabbed a loose ball in the right corner, bounced it hard off the ground and blasted it into the far-left corner to give Lackawanna the 3-2 win and a 1-0 lead.

The second game started brightly for Wake Tech, which took a 2-1 lead in the first 90 seconds. Seamans got the Falcons back to even at the 3:00 minute mark, scoring a long-range bomb, and then scored the go-ahead goal ten seconds later off a nice centering pass from Oca. The Falcons added four more goals through the rest of the game, winning 8-2 and getting a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five.

The third game resembled the first, in terms of how tight the margin was between the two teams. Wake Tech took an early lead at the 90-second mark, but Oca scored to tie the game at 3:07. Wake Tech jumped back out in front at 1:29 to play, but Oca immediately tied the game off the restart, taking the ball and immediately tying the game once again with 1:26 to play. Neither team could find the winner in regulation, so, once again, the game went to OT. The Falcons had several close calls, but finally ended things at the 2:24 mark of overtime, when Seamans banked a pass off the right-side wall, finding Oca cutting across the face of goal, who nudged it off his bumper into the far-left corner to give the Falcons the 3-2 win and the championship.

Oca was dominant, scoring nine goals through the match, while Seamans added four goals for the Falcons. Matthew Kelly (Gamertag: Jkfoshizzle) had a goal, and was tremendous defensively, setting the table for the Falcons offense and keeping Lackawanna's offense on the front foot.

The Falcons have now won two straight NJCAAE Rocket League championships, having previously won the Spring 2023 championship last school year. Dunmore native Robert Dee is the Program Coordinator for Lackawanna College Esports.