CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The Lesley University women's soccer team has been recognized by the NCAA as the new all-time DIII Most Improved Team with their amazing turnaround season.
After finishing the 2007 season with a record of 14-4-1 (6-4-1 NAC), the Lynx improved their win total from 2006 by 12 victories. They also decreased the amount in the loss column by 11 games.
The reason for the dramatic increase was in large part due to additional offense support for 2006 Rookie of the Year and leading scorer, Jodi Fralick (Woburn, Mass.) as well as junior midfielder Lani-Cabral Pini (Wilmington, Mass.). Head coach Paul Vasconcelos heavily recruited a freshman class that would not only help Fralick and Cabral-Pini in scoring more goals, but also provide support on the defensive end to keep Lesley competitive. Freshman Lauren Mastellone (Howell, N.J.) scored 16 goals and had 3 assists which was good for second on the team behind Fralick who netted 22 goals and assisted on six more. Another freshman, Alyson Durben (Stow, Mass.), made a major impact on offense down the stretch for the Lynx as she scored six goals and tallied five assists.
Defensively, the Lynx were led by sophomore goalie Hailee Lowe (Hamilton, Mass.) whose nine shutouts shattered the previous Lesley record of two. With Lowe's consistent play between the posts and defensive backs Cathryn Folkestad (Ipswich, Mass.), Dory LeCount (Waltham, Mass.), Luisa Florez (Ridgefield Park, N.J.) and Sarah Etzel (Manorville, N.Y.) swarming opposing offenses, the Lynx were one of the best defenses in the conference.
Despite their early exit in the playoff tournament, the Lynx remain positive that this year's success is only the beginning of several years of winnings seasons in the future. Lesley will move to the New England Collegiate Conference in 2008 where the team should find immediate success. Look for the Lynx to compete for NECC Championships glory in the coming years.
To learn more about the Lesley University women's soccer team, please visit their website at www.lesley.edu/athletics/wsoccer.