Cambridge, Mass-- Lesley Men's soccer finished the NECC regular season with a 5-2 record, earning the No 2. seed and a first round bye in the NECC Men's Soccer Championship Tournament.
The Lynx edged out Elms College for the No. 2 seed by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker. They are led by strong play in goal from Senior James Webb (San Francisco, Calif) and Sophomore David Crutchfield (Shrewsbury, Mass). Offensively, the Lynx are paced by Senior Anthony Vitta (Oceanside, N.Y.). Vitta leads the Lynx in total points (19), goals (7) and assists (5). Classmate Nuno Pereira has added thirteen points and six goals, while sophomore Tiago Pacheco (Cranston, R.I.) has contributed nine points and three goals of his own. Lesley will host No. 3 Elms on Friday, November 3 at 8:00 p.m.
Mitchell College earned the top seed in the tournament finishing the regular season at 6-1 and will host No. 5 seed Newbury College in a semifinal matchup on Friday, November 3 at 2:00 p.m. The semifinal winners will face off in the NECC Championship on Sunday, November 5th at the highest remaining seed.
Wednesday November 1st, Lesley Athletics Sports Information held a brief press conference to get insight on the Lesley Men's Soccer team's approach to the NECC championship tournament. Full video and transcription is shown below.
"We are here with the Lesley Men's Soccer senior captains James Webb, Anthony Vitta and Niko Marcolini. Congratulations on a great season, 5-2 in NECC regular season play and the number 2 seed heading into the Conference Tournament."
Q: What does the team need to focus on to be successful in your second matchup with a tough competitor like Elms College?
A(Vitta): The biggest thing is coming out strong right off the bat. Last game we did come back from being down 3-0 but there was a big change in our intensity in the second half so we are really focusing on starting strong right away.
Q: Thank you. Can you talk a little bit about your team chemistry and unity and how that has influenced your team success thus far?
A(Vitta): Team unity has the number one reason why we have been successful. Like any other season there is going to be a lot of highs and lows throughout. So how quickly a team can overcome those lows and stick together which all comes back to team unity will be the reason why they will be successful.
Q: As a senior class you have made it to NECC Championship Tournament all four years of your careers, including a semifinal appearance your freshmen year. Describe this next phase of your season and what your expectations are heading into this year's semifinal round.
A(Webb): Well, real simple our expectation is to win the tournament. However, it is easier to speak about it as oppose to do it. What we have here as oppose to previous years is team unity. It is amazing to see this group of guys work together as a unit and we are going to take every game, pass, shot, tackle one by one and see where we go with it.
Q: As captains, and experienced veterans what message would you like to give to your team?
A(Marcolini): The biggest thing that is different from the tournament as opposed to the regular season is the intensity. It is one thousand percent right off the first kick-off and like Anthony said before we are focusing on getting that one-percent right from the start.
Q: What advice would you give your teammates who are experiencing this tournament for the first time?
A(Marcolini): We have been talking a lot as a team to be prepared for the game before it happens, before we even get on the bus. One thing I would tell the guys is these playoff games are unlike any other games so you need to get in that place you need to be well before the game starts.
Q: Thanks guys, good luck Friday night, go lynx!
A(all): Thank you.