CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - For the first time in school history, the Lesley University women's soccer will be hosting its first ever North Atlantic Conference playoff game. The game will take place this Saturday, October 27 at 1 p.m. against Elms College.
The Lynx completed a historic turnaround for the soccer program, improving from 2-15-2 in 2006 to 14-3-1 in 2007. Head coach Paul Vasconcelos attributes his success this season to a group of players, who in his mind, have come together and created a winning formula for success on the field.
Led by returning veteran players, the Lynx have shown discipline and smart decision-making in every game they play. Junior Lani Cabral-Pini (Wilmington, Mass.) has played midfield extremely well this year, as her six goals is good for third on the team. What is most important about her six goals is that five of them came against NAC opponents, which has helped the Lynx reach the #4 seed in the conference tournament. Defensively, sophomore Cathryn Folkestad (Ipswich, Mass.) has barred most opposing forwards from reaching the keeper. Folkestad, along with the other defensive backs, have helped freshman goalie Hailee Lowe (Hamilton, Mass.) post four conference shutouts (nine overall).
The force that has made the Lynx such a feared opponent in the NAC, however, has been their young and effective offense. Last year's Rookie of the Year, Jodi Fralick (Woburn, Mass.), followed up her stellar 22 goal freshman year with yet another 22 goal performance in 2007. She led the team with 8 game winning goals and tallied 6 assists as well, bringing her season point total to 50 which is one point shy of her 2006 total. The NAC awarded her with two Player of the Week honors this season. Fralick, however, is not the only offensive threat on this team. Freshman Lauren Mastellone (Howell, N.J.) has emerged as consistent goal scorer on the Lynx squad as she netted 16 goals of her own in a strong rookie campaign. Freshmen Alyson Durben (Stow, Mass.), a Rookie of the Week recipient, and Christina Corso (Shoreham, N.Y.) chipped with 6 and 4 goals, respectively.
Given the abundance of talent on this young Lesley team, the Lynx could be a dark horse in the NAC tournament. Their first opponent in this weekend's quarterfinal is Elms College who gave the Lynx some trouble in their first meeting. The game ended in a 1-1 tie after 110 minutes of play and two overtimes so look for Saturday's match up to be a hard fought, competitive match.
To learn more about the Lesley University women's soccer team and their tremendous turnaround 2007 season, please visit their website featuring news stories, statistics, scores and player profiles.