May 10, 2009

OCC Women Make It a Junior College Sweep

by J. Jude Hazard | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Midfielder Emily Pierson dodges up field during her four-assist performance in Onondaga's 9-7 win over Monroe in the NJCAA women's lacrosse championship game.

© Greg Wall

Call it the campus of champions.

The Onondaga Community College women's lacrosse team defeated Monroe 9-7 to capture the NJCAA championship on Sunday in its inaugural season, just hours after the men's team won its own championship at Wehrum Stadium.

"They just took care of business and knew what was on the line," Onondaga coach Amy Spin said. "It's a true representation of the lacrosse that's in this area."

Onondaga's Liz Manipole had five goals in the game, and midfielder Emily Pierson added four assists.

Monroe, which played with just once substitute on the bench, scored the game's first goal about three minutes into the first half. The teams entered halftime tied 3-3, but the Lazers went on a four-goal run in the second half to take a 9-4 lead with 15:00 left in the game.

"Our offense was not what we expected. We were a little stale," Monroe coach Craig Chamberlain said. "The unsettled offense that we could have created, we didn't, and I think that is more decision-making than legs."

Monroe (15-3) got two goals each from Heather Ziccarelli and Sylvia Queener. Queener is the younger sister of former Albany standout goalie Brett Queener.

The Tribunes defeated Onondaga 11-10 at Wehrum Stadium one week ago in the Region III Championship in the Lazers' only loss of the season. Onondaga finished the year 15-1.

"Today, they had more weapons fire than we did," Chamberlain said. "If we played 10 times, I bet it'd be 5-5."

Spin said a major part of the game plan was to put defender Jamie Handley on Queener throughout the game.

Before coming to Onondaga for its inaugural season, Spin coached lacrosse at Auburn High School in central New York. She said she knew many of the team's recruits because she coached against them.

"We were all rivals before we got here and we all became such great friends, and that's why we clicked," Lazers midfielder Emily Pierson said. "We knew that we could beat them."

Pierson said that the team was able to watch some of the men's championship game that was held just before the start of the women's game. The Onondaga men defeated Nassau Community College 9-8 earlier on Sunday.

"That got us amped up," she said. "We were all really excited after that. We knew we could do it."

Manipole was named offensive player of the tournament and Lazers' goalie Brittany Baron was named defensive player of the tournament. Baron posted eight saves against Monroe.

"I had full confidence in them from day one," Spin said. "It's not how you start. It's how you finish."

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