After CCBC-Essex committed a turnover early in the second quarter against top-seeded Onondaga, the Lazers needed just a minute to take advantage, with Parrish Young firing the ball past Knights goalie Max Edelmann.
CCBC-Essex could not afford to make those types of mistakes against perennially high-powered Onondaga in the National Junior College Athletic Association championship Sunday.
Onondaga was too deep, and pulled away for a 16-8 victory at CCBC-Essex. The Lazers (18-0) extended their winning streak to 105 games and won their seventh straight national title.
CCBC-Essex was coming off a hard-fought, 17-16, victory over Nassau the previous day and the players' legs appeared to wear down against Onondaga.
"Our goals around here are pretty high," CCBC-Essex coach Shawn Burke said. "We've been to eight straight final fours. This is our third national title game in six years. If you're not the one team left standing at the end, obviously, you're disappointed. But I'm not disappointed in my guys at all. They finished 15-3 and to be one of only two teams playing on the last day of the year in the country is a real credit to them."
Midfielder Cole Rainier, who entered the game leading the NJCAA in assists (42) and second in points (83), led CCBC-Essex with three goals and an assist. Edelmann finished with 20 saves on 36 shots.
Matt Bennett had three goals and an assist for Onondaga.
Trailing 6-3 at the half, Knights attackman Cameron Stone scored just 27 seconds into the third quarter. However, that was as close as CCBC-Essex would get
Tyson Bell, Young and Bennett each scored in a three-minute span to boost the lead to 9-4. After Blake McDonald scored an unassisted goal with 3:20 left in the third quarter to pull the Knights to within four, Onondaga's Tom Koster scored with just six seconds remaining.
"I think we came out strong," Rainier said. "They're good. They just outplayed us today. We thought we were going to come back strong in the second half."
Bennett and Rainier traded goals to open the fourth quarter. A pair of slashing penalties on the Knights helped Kyle Killen give Onondaga a 12-6 lead with 10:05 left. From there, Brine Rice had two goals, while Max Bosworth and Sean Lattimore also scored for the Lazers to close out the game.
Julian Jackson and Dylan Bruce added late goals for CCBC-Essex.
"Essex is a great, great program," Onondaga coach Chuck Wilbur said. "They have Division I players all over the field. We are just happy to get out of here with a win. We've got as deep of a team as we've ever had. Essex had to get worn down with a hard game yesterday."
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CCBC-Essex lost in the regular season to Onondaga, 11-6, on March 21.