MONROE COMMUNITY COLLEGE 12, ONONDAGA COMMUNITY COLLEGE 11, overrtime
Melissa Smith scored 40 seconds into the first period of sudden death overtime play Sunday and the Monroe Community College Tribunes completed a 12-11 come-from-behind victory over Onondaga Community College in the Region III title game at Wehrum Stadium.
The Tribunes, the NJCAA’s two-time reigning national champions, had trailed the top-seeded Lazers by two goals before scoring with three minutes left in regulation. Monroe won the ensuing faceoff and Onondaga never regained possession of the ball over the final 9 1/2 minutes of competition.
Monroe sat on the ball after winning the faceoff down 11-10 and ran the clock down. Smith finally shot and tied the game with 1:18 left on the clock.
The Tribunes took possession again on the following faceoff and had a chance to win the game when a free shot was awarded with 18.2 seconds on the clock. Kelly Reilly’s initial shot was stopped by goalie Lauren Webster. Monroe picked up the loose ball after the save but did not take another shot before time ran out.
Monroe held the ball for the entirety of the first two three-minute overtime periods. Each times, Emily Peets won the faceoff and the Tribunes ran the clock down to the final minute before attacking the goal and in the second period they failed to record a shot.
When the game went to sudden death, the Tribunes turned more aggressive. They took possession again, charged down the field and immediately set up their attack. Smith delivered the winning goal with a wraparound from behind the goal, firing her shot from the right of Webster.
Smith, the regional tournament’s most valuable player, had three assists to go with her two late goals. Reilly led the Tribunes with five goals and added two assists. Hannah Barnett added two goals while Peets had a goal and an assist while dominating the faceoff circle. Remie Harr made 10 saves.
Monroe defeated Jefferson Community College 20-7 in Saturday’s semifinals and Onondaga was a 24-14 winner against Herkimer County Community College. Dolgeville’s Marissa Mowers scored three goals in her final game for Herkimer and earned a spot on the tournament’s all-star team. Michelle Varney, the other General on the all-star team, had five goals and an assist.
Monroe hosts the national championship tournament next weekend and both regional finalists will be in action. Monroe meets Maryland’s Anne Arundel Community College in Saturday’s first semifinal. Onondaga takes on Nassau Community College in the other semifinal.
Compiled From Times Staff Reports