The NJCAA regular season has come to a conclusion and regional playoffs are set. In the upper midwest, the Region 11 tournament will be played this week in Iowa. Dakota County Technical College (DCTC), the lone NJCAA Division I program in Minnesota, will join six teams from the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) in a single-elimination tourney.
DCTC (14-2-1) completed their best regular season in program history. The Blue Knights have a national ranking of 17th (NJCAA Top 20 poll) and 14th (NSCAA Top 20 poll) in the most recent national polls. Among those 14 victories this season included wins against Iowa Lakes, Marshalltown and Anoka-Ramsey (ranked #10 in NJCAA Division III).
On the pitch, DCTC were led by Sikiru Kareem with 10 goals and 2 assists. A sophomore forward, Kareem is one of three players from Mather High School in Chicago on the Blue Knights roster. Freshman midfielder Jose Andriano (Bloomington Kennedy HS) lead the team in assists (14) and also contributed three goals this season. Sophomore goalkeeper Gafari Ayodele (Chicago Amundsen HS) was 9-1-1 in 11 starts, including six clean sheets. Julien Delany-Garcia, a freshman from St. Paul Humboldt HS, started five games in goal for Dakota County and is a part-time striker.
Region 11 features some of the top Division I programs in the country. Iowa Western finished their season undefeated and sits atop the national polls. Dakota County (17th & 14th) and Marshalltown (18th & 15th) are also ranked nationally. As the only non-ICCAC team in the region, DCTC are seeded last of the seven participants. That means the Blue Knights open with a quarterfinal matchup against 2-seed Marshalltown. That winner will advance to face the winner of 6-seeded Scott CC vs 3-seed Iowa Central.
Tuesday, October 29 – 3 PM
- Indian Hills (4-13) at North Iowa Area (5-10)
- Scott (3-14) at Iowa Central (12-6)
- Dakota County (14-2-1) at Marshalltown (14-3-1)
Saturday, November 2 – noon
- Iowa Western (18-0) vs North Iowa Area
- Dakota County vs Iowa Central
Sunday, November 3 – noon
- Semifinal winners