Junior goaltender JJ Barry of Palos Verdes has committed to attend and play lacrosse at NCAA Division II Colorado Mesa. Barry played behind Connor Jongewaard (Centre College) as a sophomore last season and played junior varsity as a freshman because of Jongewaard and then-senior starter David McCann (Duke).
In limited action last year, he posted a 2.9 goals-against average and a .625 save percentage. He is expected to be the starter in goal with the Sea Kings open the season March 4 against St. Margaret’s. Palos Verdes coach Jimmy Borell described Barry as a “ridiculously quick goalie with great hands and a lot of speed.”
“I think he loved the school, area, skiing and coaches,” Borell said.
Barry also fronts a band called Alinea, which recently played at Saint Rocke club in Hermosa Beach. Barry is the lead singer, lead guitar player and main songwriter. (See below for a brief clip, courtesy Borell’s @laheatlax Instagram account.)
We sent Barry a couple of questions about his commitment to Colorado-Mesa via email. Here are his responses:
What other schools did you consider?
I visited many D-I schools on the East Coast and met with many coaches. The most important thing was whether they had an engineering program and how accepting the coach was of this. It became clear that many coaches don’t want engineering, pre-med or other tough majors for their players because of the heavy school work burden. Schools that wanted me, I passed on for various reasons, and those I was interested in just didn’t work out. I also visited with MCLA coaches, and I felt that that was not enough of a lacrosse commitment for me at this time.
What tipped the scales toward CU-Mesa?
- Location and campus — Not going to the East Coast was definitely a benefit. CMU is in a beautiful valley, and the campus is a really nice size. Also, it seems that all the buildings are brand new!
- Coaches — The coaches have an excellent balance of school, lacrosse and other activities. It is well-rounded! They encourage us to ski, fly fish and do other activities, not just lacrosse. However, they want to win and are building a program using the same path and respect for the game of the top programs in the country.
- Engineering — CMU has a special engineering program that is done in conjunction with University of Colorado-Boulder (a top-35 engineering school). I will receive a liberal arts degree from CMU and simultaneously receive an engineering degree from Colorado Boulder. This tipped the scales for me.
How does the band fit in with the choice of CU-Mesa?
CMU will allow me to come home on a weekend and do a gig with my band, Alinea (follow us on Instagram @alineatheband). This was definitely a factor in the decision. The band is very important to me, and I want to continue to pursue this avenue. We just performed at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach and are looking to get into the studio soon.