CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – For the ninth time in as many seasons, the Lesley University women's soccer team will advance to the New England Collegiate Conference title match as the second-seeded Lynx came back to top third-seeded Regis College 3-1 tonight on Edward Field. After falling behind 1-0 in the opening half, the Lesley offense , led by a pair of goals from sophomore Jordan Mitchell (Sachse, Texas), scored three times in the second to secure the comeback and punch their ticket to the finals.
The four-time defending champion Lynx will travel to top-seeded Elms College for a battle with the Blazers for the fourth straight season in the finals. Elms punched their ticket to the championship round with a 3-0 victory over Bay Path University earlier this evening. The Lynx have defeated the Blazers in each of the last three title matches by scores of 1-0, 3-0, and 1-0 (2-OT), respectively.
Regis started the scoring early as they capitalized on their first opportunity of the night. Junior Tais Salles (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) saw her initial shot attempt knocked over the crossbar by Lesley keeper Lilly Donovan (Newburyport, Mass.) before Salles curled the ensuing corner kick off Donovan's outstretched hands and into the back of the net to stake the Pride an early 1-0 lead.
The Lynx offense held possession throughout the majority of the first half and continuously fired away at the Regis goal forcing keeper Amanda Matias (Ludlow, Mass.) to make several saves in the opening 45-minutes. The best opportunities for the hosts came in the 15th minute. Junior Karlie Rubin (San Diego, Calif.) sent a corner to the head of classmate Samantha Turnbull (Holtsville, N.Y.), but her attempt bounced over the bar. Just one minute later, sophomore Samantha Bessey (Algonquin, Ill.) charged into the Pride box and connected with a header on a beautiful cross from fellow sophomore Jordan Mitchell (Sachse, Texas), but her attempt also sailed high.
The Lynx outshot their counterparts by an 11-3 margin in the opening half.
After the break, the Lynx used another opportunity from the corner to threaten to even the match when junior Maddy Kelly (San Jose, Calif.) drove a header from the back post, again over the crossbar.
Lesley finally broke through in the 62nd minute as Mitchell one-timed a pass from classmate Xaelel Allen-Caballero (Henrietta, N.Y.) and popped her right-footed shot over the diving Matias and into the right corner of the net. The goal was Mitchell's 11th of the season.
The Lynx struck again just 3:22 later when Rubin settled a pass from senior Tori Ramirez (Redwood City, Calif.) and blasted a laser from 20-yards out screaming into the back of the net to give the Lynx the 2-1 edge.
The offense continued to press on and nearly connected for a third marker just four minutes later when Ramirez released a right-footed rocket that clanged off the crossbar. Bessey charged in for the rebound but her attempt kicked wide of the nearside post.
The Lynx would finally get their insurance marker as Mitchell and Allen-Caballero teamed up once again for a one-timed cross to put the game out of reach with the 3-1 lead.
Donovan turned away four shots in the win between the pipes for the hosts while Matias also made four saves in the loss.
Lesley outshot Regis 10-3 in the half and 21-5 overall in the match while holding a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.