CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The second-seeded Lesley University women's soccer team has advanced to the New England Collegiate Conference Semifinals following a 2-0 win over seventh-seeded Newbury College tonight in First Round play on Edward Field.
The Lynx, who improve to 14-4-2 on the season, will move on and play host to third-seeded Regis College on Wednesday night at 8:00p on Edward Field. The Pride advanced to the Semifinal Round following a 5-0 win over six-seed Becker College on Saturday afternoon.
In other NECC playoff action, top-seeded Elms College raced past eight-seed Mitchell College 6-0 and will battle fifth-seeded Bay Path University in the Semifinals. The Wildcats advanced following a 3-2 upset over No. 4 seed Southern Vermont College.
After a frustrating opening 78-minutes where the Lynx were shut out despite out-shooting the Nighthawks 24-0, Lesley finally broke through when junior Karlie Rubin (San Diego, Calif.) buried a shot from just inside the 18-yard box following a feed from sophomore Jordan Mitchell (Sachse, Texas).
That goal would open up an opportunity for an insurance marker just 3:07 later when sophomore Samantha Bessey (Algonquin, Ill.) settled a through ball from senior Victoria Ramirez (Redwood City, Calif.) and trickled a shot in past a sliding attempt from the Newbury keeper.
Lesley would take control of the match early on with multiple opportunities in the first half. The Lynx nearly opened a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute of play when Bessey connected for a header from six yards out, but her attempt clanged off the crossbar.
Newbury sophomore goalkeeper Noelle Sass (Randolph, Mass.) turned away another Lesley scoring chance in the 23rd minute when she gathered up a drive from senior Victoria Ramirez (Redwood City, Calif.) from 12 yards out.
Sass would follow that save with another phenomenal stop when she thwarted away a one-timed attempt from senior Julie Essick (Boerne, Texas). Essick nearly struck again moments later when she ricocheted a shot off the crossbar in the 37th minute. Sophomore Jordan Mitchell (Sachse, Texas) gathered the rebound off the bar and fired a shot high to keep the Lynx scoreless heading into halftime. Lesley outshot their guests by a 10-0 margin in the first half.
The Lesley offense continued to fire away at the Newbury cage to start the second half. Rubin drilled a right-footed laser from 25-yards, but Sass was there to make a terrific diving save to her right and knocking the ball over the crossbar. The sophomore keeper made another diving save sending away a header by sophomore McKenna Straube (Junction City, Ore.), on the ensuing corner kick.
Sass continued to shine in between the pipes and made her third – and perhaps best save of the night – when she leaped and punched a Rubin header from inside he six yard box over the top of the bar.
Sass made 11 stops on the night in the losing effort while Lesley keeper Lilly Donovan (Newburyport, Mass.) did not face a shot in the shutout. Lesley outshot Newbury 26-0 on the night and had all ten corner kick opportunities.