MASSAPEQUA, N.Y. -- CCBC-Essex was able to keep pace with Onondaga CC during the bulk of their regular-season meeting. In yesterday's National Junior College Athletic Association lacrosse tournament semifinal, the Knights were left in the starting blocks.
Their hopes of a fifth straight appearance in the national title game ended early when Onondaga scored the first seven goals, including three in the first 3:34, and cruised to a 22-7 victory.
Kent Squires-Hill had six goals and an assist for Onondaga (17-0), a powerhouse from Syracuse, N.Y., which will play Suffolk CC in the championship game today. Suffolk defeated Herkimer CC, 13-12, in double overtime in the other semifinal.
"I just thought they were playing on all cylinders and we made some early mistakes," said third-year Knights coach Brian Duncan, who led CCBC-Essex to a national title in 2004. "Whenever you put a team like that up six or seven goals, it's dangerous."
Onondaga has won all but one of its games this season by double-digit margins, the only exception being a 16-8 win over CCBC-Essex on April 1. Onondaga led after the first quarter 5-0, and Squires-Hill scored his fourth goal 12 seconds into the second period to increase the lead to 6-0.
"A different team showed up today," said attackman Steve Bosse, who scored three goals for CCBC-Essex (11-7). "We were hyped up after winning our last four games, but they were a better team."
Bosse scored two goals three minutes apart in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 7-2. But the Lazers answered with three goals in less than a minute, including two by A.J. Vaughn, to take a 10-2 halftime edge.