(SOMERVILLE, MA)-Lesley University senior Ari Sinanis (Guilford, Conn./Guilford) snapped a 0-0 deadlock in the 82nd minute, scoring the matches lone goal and sending the No. 1 seed Lynx to a 1-0 victory over the visiting No. 4 seed Regis College Pride (8-11) in the semifinals of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) men's soccer tournament on Friday afternoon at Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass.
Elms came out pressuring early in the first half forcing Lynx goalie Nigel Leahy (New Paltz, N.Y.) to make an early save on Regis forward Christian Mukala (Malden, Mass.) less than five minutes into play.
Lesley came around in the 20th minute as Ryan Richardson (Santa Barbara, Calif.) sent a corner into the box that Darius Koep (Pittstown, N.J.) headed off the cross bar as the game remained scoreless heading into the half.
The defensive stand-off continued well into the second half as both teams locked down the others offense. It would not be until be the 75th minute that Lesley would generate the first scoring chance of the half. With a Lesley striker breaking through the defense, a Regis defender was left with no other option but to bring down his opponent, drawing a red card, and setting up a direct kick from just outside the box.
A Sinanis' rip off the free kick found it's way around the Regis defensive wall but would be met with a diving save from Pride goalie Stefan Todorovic (Los Angeles, Calif.) to preserve the tie. However, the Lynx would score just seven minutes later as Koep found a streaking Sinanis down the right side as he fired a low drive past the outstretched fingers of Todorovic for the go-ahead and eventual game winning goal at 82:25 of the match.
It was a defensive battle throughout as Lesley held the slight edge in shots on goal (2-1) and corner kicks (4-2).
Leahy (1 save) earned the victory in goal and also shared time in net with Nathan Trucks (Guilford, Conn.). Todorovic logged all 90-minutes in net for the Pride finishing with two saves.
The Lynx will take on No. 3 Elms on Sunday at 4 p.m. at Edward Field on the campus of Buckingham, Browne, Nichols in Cambridge, Mass. In their lone meeting back on October 20th the Lynx defeated Elms 1-0 in overtime.