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Lynx ready to take on region's best at NCAA's

Lynx ready to take on region's best at NCAA's

Three of Lesley’s six fall athletics teams will take on region’s best on Saturday, as the Lynx men’s soccer and men’s and women’s cross country teams prepare for this weekend’s NCAA Tournament and Regional play.

“This is a fantastic accomplishment for the athletes and their coaches,” said Lesley athletics director Jennifer Benway. “They’re holding their own and beating schools with longer traditions - and their determination is evident every time they take the field.”

Men’s soccer punched its ticket to the big dance in grand fashion when they beat the No. 1 seeded Southern Vermont Mountaineers 4-0 in the NECC finals on Saturday, which included a hat trick by Lesley sophomore Ali Sozeri. After scoring a record eight goals in three tournament games, the forward was named NECC Tournament Most Valuable Player, and award he views as a team rather than an individual honor.  

“The MVP award I received reflects the success of my team as a whole,” said Sozeri. “I’m very happy to have helped my team win its first-ever championship,” a sentiment with which his coach agreed.

 “This is a big step for us, and this team earned their spot,” said Lynx head coach Paul Vasconcelos of his team’s first NCAA bid. “We couldn’t be happier seeing our name up there with some of the bigger, more nationally recognized programs.”

Competition will be tough, but I have no doubt this team will make every second count.” Lesley faces Babson College on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Hartwell-Rodgers Field at Babson.

Both cross country teams also look to make history on Saturday, when they travel to NCAA Division III New England Regionals, hosted by Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. Both teams claimed NECC Championships, a fourth straight for the women and third for the men’s team. Their dominance is a testament to their dedication and a huge victory as Lesley’s cross country teams are among the newest in the Northeast - a region with long cross country traditions.

“The Lesley men and women’s cross country team are participating in the biggest meet of their season,” said head coach Dan Flynn. “In a way, this meet is their chance to become the greatest team in Lesley’s history. The women have placed as high as 25th out of 51 teams in the past. This year our goal is to break the top 20 in a region with some of the best cross country runners in the country.”

 “The men have a chance to improve from 38th, their previous best,” said Flynn. “They could have a big jump into the top 30 if everyone runs well. It all comes down to who shows up ready to run and who worked the hardest since June. That will be our test.”