CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- Lesley University junior Marysol Flores (Pico Rivera, Calif.) headed home a goal with just thirty-seven seconds left to break a 1-1 tie and send the Lynx to their sixth consecutive New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship match.
Flores charged through a lofted pass from classmate Alexis Giusti (Meridian, Calif.) and flicked the bouncing ball with a header that hit off the crossbar and into the back of the net to secure the 2-1 victory in what was a wild finish.
Just two minutes earlier, Regis junior tri-captain Jasmin Vivar (Attleboro, Mass.) took advantage of one of the only scoring chances the Pride had all night and buried a shot inside the far left post to even the match at 1-1. Vivar settled a cross from freshman Emma Dagesse (Rockland, Mass) sent from 25 yards out on the right side before taking a touch and beating Lesley keeper Jackie Berard (Coventry, R.I.).
The game looked like it was headed to extra time before Giusti found a streaking Flores for the game-winner.
Lesley, who defeated Regis with a late goal in the 2012 NECC Championship match, held possession for the majority of play and outshot the visitors by a 21-2 margin and held a 5-0 edge on corner kicks.
After a scoreless first half, Lynx senior midfielder Casey Decareau (Haverhill, Mass.) broke the scoreless tie in the 52nd minute when she drilled a ball from 35 yards out into the top right corner to give Lesley a 1-0 advantage.
Regis threatened in the 81st minute when junior Kristen Abreu (Woburn, Mass.) sprinted past the Lesley backline chasing a loose ball into the box, but Berard raced out and beat the speedy forward to corral the ball and squander the chance.
The Lynx failed to capitalize on a couple scoring chances in the opening half. In the 21st minute, Lesley junior Hannah Landerholm (Edmonds, Wash.) leaped and put her head on a ball off a Giusti corner kick, but her attempt sailed just over the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.
A Giusti corner started another threat in the 51st minute when Flores flicked a bouncing ball to Landerholm in the center off the box. Landerholm launched a shot through a swarm of Pride defenders, but the ball flew just wide off the far side post.
Regis keeper Rachel Gagnon (Ashford, Conn.) was fantastic throughout, making eight saves on the night while Berard did not make a stop in the win. Regis finishes their season with a 10-7-2 overall record.
Lesley will look to defend their 2012 NECC title on Saturday when they host second-seeded Elms College in what will be a rematch of the 2011 NECC Championship. Elms topped No. 3 seed Bay Path with a 3-0 victory this evening in Chicopee, Mass to advance to the title game. The Lynx topped the Blazers 1-0 in overtime in their regular season matchup.