Written by Vinny Messana Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00
Had college lacrosse burst onto the scene one generation earlier, one local resident would have become a household name within the inner circles. Settling for three National Championships and a professional contract, however, is not a bad consolation prize.
Alex Rosier can now add one more accomplishment to the resume, nearly 20 years after his college career ended.
Rosier, a 1991 graduate of Mineola High School, was recently inducted into the National Junior College Association (NJCAA) Men’s Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
“When I got the call I got choked up a little,” said Rosier, a Williston Park resident. “My old coach called and it took me back.”
He had one of the most decorated careers in the history of college lacrosse. After the completion of his All-County season at goalie in Mineola, Rosier went on to play at Herkimer Community College in upstate New York during the 1992 and 1993 seasons.
At the time, Herkimer boasted a top-3 national ranking in lacrosse and was notorious for boasting some of the most talented lacrosse players from upstate.
“Coach Paul Wehrum is a Hall of Fame coach, both at the junior college and D-1 level, and he had a big influence on me,” said Rosier.
Rosier promptly went on to win all 35 games during his two-year tenure to go along with two junior college National Championships. He was the captain of the 1993 team and was named All-American.
“It was something we had to carry on,” he said of the winning tradition at Herkimer.
When it was time to move on to a four-year college after his two seasons, the decision was easy. Rosier moved 58 miles west to another lacrosse powerhouse—Syracuse University.
“Their goalie had just graduated and they were looking for a new one. Coach Wehrum and the Syracuse coach had a good relationship, so it was a fit,” he said.
Despite moving on to play against top-tier talent, Rosier led the Orangemen to the Final Four in ’94 before being knocked off by Virginia 15-14 in OT. During that season, Rosier compiled 245 saves—ranked sixth in program history.
Most people would have been content with such a tremendous season, but Rosier and the Orangemen took it to the next level in 1995. They defeated Maryland 13-9 to claim the National Championship.
Although he was talented enough to play at the professional level, a league did not exist at the time. Rosier went on to play for club teams that competed in tournaments.
Four years later, the Major League Lacrosse was founded by Jake Steinfeld and Dave Morrow. Rosier went on to sign a professional contract with the New Jersey Pride.
While Rosier was successful and living his dream, he “came to the realization that lacrosse wasn’t paying the mortgage,” he said.
At that point in his life, he had begun his career as a member of the New York City Department of Corrections Emergency Service Unit at Rikers Island. Now, with his lacrosse career in the rear-view mirror and with three kids, he still looks back on his playing days with fond memories.
“It was a good run,” he said when referring to his career. The next phase of his career will be in coaching.
“I’m still involved with the local PAL. I enjoy giving back to the kids—that’s what it’s all about now for me.”