Go big in DIII.
That is exactly what Josh Currier ’16, a former Virginia Wesleyan University Men’s Lacrosse player, did, which amounted to his success in college that led him to the professional level.
Currier was drafted after a successful career with the VWU Men’s Lacrosse program. He became the only Marlin to be named an All-American all four years, and became the highest Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) player drafted by the National Lacrosse League (NLL) in round one, picked sixth to the Rochester Knighthawks in 2016. This success continues well after his collegiate career.
“Easily hands down the best player to play here,” said VWU Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach J.P. Stewart. “One of my top two or three moments ever in this profession was the night he got drafted in the first round.”
After his last year at Virginia Wesleyan, he left holding nearly all the VWU lacrosse program records and several ODAC marks. He then went on to have a successful career with the Peterborough Lakers of Major Series Lacrosse before getting drafted.
“I had a feeling I could do it, and after my senior year, I came home and played summer lacrosse, and I did well again. I had a feeling I would get drafted, and I didn’t think I would get as high as I did but it was great. I had a great couple of years in Rochester where I first started and I am thankful for the opportunity I got there because I think that helped out in the long run,” said Currier.
Coming to warm beach weather in Virginia Beach from snowy Canada, Currier was a long way from home. He found out about VWU through a connection that his coach at Hill Academy had with former Assistant Men’s Lacrosse Coach Luke Riley. “Coach Riley used to call me walking up and down the beach in the warm weather while I was up here in the snow and he sold me on it right away,” said Currier. He said it was different from home and that he is a homebody, but “Coach Stewart and Coach Riley helped out a lot with making me feel at home.”
Currier’s hard work has paid off. His philosophy in college focused on being the hardest working player on the team. He said he was never the star player growing up and got cut a bunch of times. However, he currently plays attack for the Saskatchewan Rush professional team in the NLL. Other teams he has played for include: Archers LC, Philadelphia Wings, and Rochester Knighthawks.
In his two seasons with the Knighthawks, Currier accumulated 35 goals and 31 assists. He went on to play with the Philadelphia Wings in 2019 and 2020 after being selected in the fourth round as the seventh pick in the 2018 Expansion Draft. With the Wings, he scored 51 goals and 46 assists. After, the Men’s Lacrosse alumnus was signed by the Archer Lacrosse Club from the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) in 2020. The PLL had a shortened 2020 season and during this Currier scored six goals. Currently, in the season with Saskatchewan, Currier has 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points for the 2022 season.
The Ontario, Canada, native has been playing lacrosse since he was young alongside his brother, Zach Currier. “We were very competitive from the time we started playing any sport until around 15-16 until we started to like each other,” said Zach Currier, Josh Currier’s younger brother and a former Princeton University Men’s Lacrosse player who currently plays professionally with the Calgary Roughnecks. “We were always trying to one-up each other and it was an interesting household to be part of growing up.”
The Calgary Roughnecks, Zach Currier’s team, and Saskatchewan Rush, Josh Currier’s team, have played each other three times this season. The Roughnecks have beaten Saskatchewan two out of the three times they have played each other. “It is always exciting having some friendly banter,” said Zach Currier. “There is one play that Josh brings up that he beat me to a loose ball and he won’t ever let me hear the end of that one.”
Josh Currier’s family was supportive of his passion for lacrosse and even more excited when he got drafted. “I don’t think I would be in the position I’m in if it wasn’t for them. They have been supportive the whole way,” said Josh Currier.
A typical day for Josh Currier when he is preparing for an upcoming game is getting off work from his day job at 4:00 p.m. “We’re not making millions like the NFL guys. We do have day jobs up here, I am a plumber during the week,” said Currier. After he gets home, he goes and workouts then watches some previous game film before the upcoming game that weekend. Then he flies to Saskatchewan and has practice on Friday. Then, the team goes back to the hotel and eats dinner and goes to bed. Saturday morning, the team will shoot around and then go back to the hotel and relax before the game. “It’s a little bit of a different league where you kind of have to take it upon yourself to prepare for each weekend rather than when I was in college we were always together as a team doing all the preparations,” said Currier.
Coming to VWU opened up a lot of doors for Currier. He had an amazing career at VWU and made lasting friendships with not only his teammates but with his coaches and their family.
“Josh is such a good person. I think very fondly of the relationship he created with my daughters. He went out of his way all the time to make my girls feel at home, to make my girls feel welcome and include my girls when they were around. Still to this day they actually keep in touch with each other and that’s unique for a college kid, especially a college male athlete,” said Stewart.
Five years later, Currier still wants to play professional lacrosse. To the young lacrosse players, he offers this piece of advice, “Something I tell a lot of kids is to work hard, and if you have the dream of going to play DI lacrosse, that’s not always the end all be all,” said Currier. “One of the suggestions I have for young players is not to overlook DIII and DII schools where there is plenty of really good lacrosse… If you think that you can go to a school and make an impact right away, I think that has a lot of value.”
By Shirell Washington