CAMBRIDGE, MA – Lesley rallied with two timely goals from two unlikely suspects in the game's final nine minutes, retaining the Charles River Cup in a 2-1 win over Emerson Wednesday night at Edwards Field.
A back and forth first half featured six shots for the Lions and four for the Lynx, with the highest-quality opportunity of the first 40:00 of the half coming on an Eric Dabdoub (Monterrey, Mexico/American) header with 15:50 remaining that rolled just left of the Lynx goal. Just over two minutes later, Lesley answered with its best looks, an Ali Sozeri (Istanbul, Turkey/Miller School) breakaway attempt that rolled left and a Sozeri header with just over nine minutes remaining that deflected off the crossbar.
Having dodged two bullets from the Lynx leading scorer, Emerson capitalized at 41:13 on Kevin Peters' first goal of 2010. The senior beat Lesley goalkeeper Zach Almeida-Beers (Rehoboth, MA/Dighton-Rehoboth) to his right from inside 10 yards on a feed from sophomore Jacob Lawrence (Clifton, VA/Centerville) to put the Lions up 1-0 at the half.
The second half opened much as the opening half did, as an up and down battle featuring more fouls than shots. But as the Lions did in the waning minutes of the first, the Lynx offense came to life late.
Lesley midfielder Darius Koep (Pittstown, NJ/Del-Val) marched the length of the field and launched a cross from deep in the left corner, and the ball later deflected the way of defender Christian Domingo (Granada Hills, CA/Granada Hills). Having dodged three defenders with a plethora of moves, Domingo beat Lions keeper Aaron Drescher (Latham, NY/CBA) from 20 yards on the right wing into the lower left corner of the net, tying the contest 1-1 at 81:31. For Domingo, the goal was his first.
With momentum squarely in its favor at home in Cambridge, Paul Vasconcelos' club, which squandered a late game-tying goal on Sunday at St. Joseph's of New York, completed its comeback this time around.
Inserted by Vasconcelos moments earlier, Joe Petit (Salem, MA/Salem) took a pass from Koep just inside the keeper box at 84:36, launching a laser past Drescher into the upper left corner of the net. On Petit's second goal of the season, the Lynx went on to victory, retaining the Charles River Cup.
Lesley took nine shots to Emerson's six in the second. For the game, the Lynx put four shots on goal to the Lions three, with each goalkeeper securing two saves. Lesley held a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks and committed eight more fouls than Emerson, which excludes a yellow card on Petit with under 90 seconds to play.
The Lynx retain their hardware, now winners of two straight Charles River Cups. Lesley, now 3-0 against Great Northeast Athletic Conference foes, opens its New England Collegiate Conference slate on Saturday, playing host to Daniel Webster at 3:30 at Edwards Field.