CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Lesley University senior Veronica Halen (San Diego, Calif.) fired a free kick into the upper-left corner of the goal with 1:10 left in double-overtime to lift the Lynx over the Suffolk University Rams in the season opener this afternoon at Edwards Field at Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols. Halen was met by a rush of teammates after she connected with a hard right foot from 25 yards out that sailed over a wall of Rams defenders and proved to be the game-winner. The Lynx start off the year 1-0 for the second straight season, after beating Suffolk 2-0 in the opener of the 2012 campaign.
Suffolk nearly ended the game earlier in the second-overtime period when senior Meghan McHale (Halifax, Mass.) sent a corner kick into the box to the foot of classmate Gabrielle Balestrier (Mohnton, Pa.) who unleashed a shot, forcing Lynx keeper Emileigh Lloyd (Middletown, Pa.) to make a save falling to her right.
Lesley kept control of the ball throughout the majority of regulation, nearly capitalizing on several chances. Freshman Tara Coleman (Lanoka Harbor, N.J.) got a chance just five minutes in to the second half as she got behind the Rams back line, but Suffolk goalkeeper Melissa Brouillette (Shelton, Conn.) came out to make a sliding save to break up the play.
Just three minutes later, Halen had another breakaway opportunity when she beat Rams defenders to a bouncing ball from junior Hannah Landerholm (Edmonds, Wash.), but her one-timed shot sailed over the bar.
Suffolk had a few chances of their own late in regulation. In the 63rd minute, senior Monica Wolf (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) ripped a shot off a bouncing ball from the top of the box, but Lloyd was there to make the save. Later in the 85th minute, McHale had an opportunity off a free kick from 30 yards out, but her shot sailed wide past the far post.
The best chance in the first overtime came from Lesley's side as freshman Morgan Zack (Bellevue, Wash.) had her shot ricochet off the crossbar and classmate Cassidy Hopkins' (Porter, Tx.) attempt off the rebound was stopped by a fantastic save by Brouillette.
The two teams played the first 18 minutes of overtime without any goals before Halen's shot connected for the win.
Lesley outshot Suffolk 18-5 on the night, including a 4-1 edge on shots during the two overtime periods, and also held a distinct 9-1 advantage on corner kicks.
Lloyd made two saves for the Lynx after entering to start the second half while Brouillette was credited with six saves for the Rams.
Lesley returns to action on Sunday, September 1st when they travel to Mount Ida for a 12:00p start. The Rams will return to the pitch on Saturday, September 7th when they head to Gordon College for a non-conference matchup. Kick-off for that match is scheduled for 12:00p.