ROCHESTER - After watching an early four-goal lead dwindle down to just one early in the second half, the MCC women's lacrosse team responded like a champion does.
The Tribunes answered Onondaga's comeback bid with a 7-1 run that spanned much of the second half. The result was a 14-8 victory and another Region III championship for Monroe.
MCC (15-0) now advances to the NJCAA national tournament, which will take place May 10-11 in Arnold, MD on the campus of Anne Arundel Community College. Onondaga (14-2) earned an at-large bid.
Monroe will take a 33-game winning streak into the national tournament.
Molly Gray had a goal and two assists during the game-changing run, on her way to four goals and four assists on the afternoon. She was also a force on faceoffs, controlling five draws as the Tribunes corralled 16-of-23 draws on the game.
The Lazers got on the board first as Taylor Smith scored for a 1-0 lead 3:20 into the game. The Tribunes then responded with five straight to take command.
Michelle Schwartz scored the first two goals of the spurt and Gray added two more in a span of just 28 seconds to make it 4-1. Melanie Murphy then scored with Monroe down a player for a four-goal lead.
Cassidy Ubieta snapped the streak with a free position goal with 16:56 remaining to make it 5-2. Gray then followed with another score to restore the four-goal advantage.
The Lazers fought back, as Taylor Smith and Makenzie Annable had goals to cut the lead two two. Annable's score came with just 17 seconds left before the half, giving OCC some momentum heading into the break.
Annable then added another goal 1:06 into the second half, and suddenly the MCC lead was just 6-5.
That's when Monroe turned the tide. Jamie Wallace won the ensuing draw and quickly got the ball to Gray. The sophomore midfielder found Schwartz in front of the goal, and Schwartz in turn found the back of the net just 21 seconds after Onondaga had cut the lead to one.
With the momentum back on their side, the Tribunes proceeded to rattle off six of the next seven goals. Murphy and Kali Domicolo each had two of the scores, while Gray and Schwartz had the others. The run effectively put the game away.
Schwartz finished with four goals and one assist, while Murphy and Domicolo added three goals apiece. All three joined Gray on the all-tournament team. Defender Jessica Riggall also earned all-tournament honors after collecting six ground balls and causing four turnovers on the weekend.
Smith finished with three goals Sunday and had nine total on the tournament. Annable scored twice, and Ubieta, Jenna Battaglini and Nicole Devona all scored once. Smith, Annable, Devona, and goalie Abbie Burd represented the Lazers on the All-Tournament team.