GARDEN CITY, N.J. -- Nassau Community College goalkeeper Charles Parr was named the defensive Most Valuable Player of the National Junior College Athletic Association final four. As far as CCBC-Essex was concerned, though, Parr could have shared the honor with the rest of his teammates.
A swarming Nassau defense shut down Essex, which scored its fewest goals in more than two months in an 11-6 loss to the Lions in the national championship game at Mitchel Field.
"They were shutting me off, and usually when they shut you off it's tough to run," said Essex attackman Andrew Reinhardt (Calvert Hall), who was limited to two goals a day after he had four goals and four assists in the Knights' 17-10 semifinal win over Herkimer. "When they shut you off, you almost get down a little bit because you want the ball so bad. They played a very smart game. They deserved to win it."
Reinhardt was the only player with multiple goals for Essex, which scored at least 17 goals in five of its previous seven contests and hadn't scored fewer than seven goals since a 15-6 loss to Navy Prep on March 8.
Essex coach Brian Duncan was pleased with the offensive adjustments the Knights made at halftime but felt they could have executed better around the cage. "We weren't able to capitalize on the couple opportunities we did have," Duncan said. "The wrong guy took the shot sometimes from the wrong position, and it was a turnover shot instead of a possession shot.
"That was the difference in the second half. We had our looks, we had some chances. Just our shots came from the wrong place instead of making one more pass."
Essex (10-7) led 2-0 and 3-2 in the first half but fell behind for good 5-4 three minutes into the third quarter. The Knights attacked throughout the second half but failed to get the equalizer as Parr, who made 21 saves, stopped several shots at close range.
"One of those [shots goes in] and then that momentum changes," Reinhardt said. "If we got that momentum going, it would have been different. But you can't really say, 'What if?' "
Mike Colonell scored with 13:43 to play to close the gap to 7-6, but Nassau (12-3) scored the last four goals to seal its NJCAA-best 21st title.