CAMBRIDGE, MA – No. 1-seeded Lesley University (14-3-1) knocked off No. 4 Becker College (10-9-2), 2-0, in the New England Collegiate Conference Women's Soccer Tournament Semifinals Thursday night at Edward Field.
The top offensive team in the NECC outshot the Hawks 18-7 in keeping Becker keeper Katherine Cormier (San Diego, CA/Westview) busy all night, earning one goal midway through the first half and landing another early in the second half, advancing to the conference championship for a fourth straight year.
After a quiet first 25 minutes, Lesley got on the board compliments of junior Kate Ryder (Glastonbury, CT/Mercy), who fielded a pass from Veronica Halen (San Diego, CA/Cathedral Catholic) outside the top of the box. From 25 yards, Ryder fired a shot that deflected off the inside of the crossbar and into the net, giving the Lynx a 1-0 lead at 27:30 that held into halftime.
Out of the intermission, senior Tracy Potter (Acton, MA/Acton-Boxborough) sent a long pass ahead for second-year midfielder Sarah Apgar (Andover, NJ/Lenape), and a pair of sophomores connected in upping the Lynx lead to 2-0. Apgar dribbled toward the out-of-bounds line and sent a cross through the box to the left post, where fellow sophomore Jackee Sanchez (Santa Clarita, CA/Golden Valley) came streaking into the box to the post for a diving header. On Sanchez's 14th goal of the season, Lesley took a 2-0 lead.
Becker had its opportunities in the first half, taking five shots and putting three on goal, but quality shots were few and far in between in the second. Lesley controlled the ball, spending the majority of the period in Hawks territory and outshooting the visitors 9-2 in the period in wrapping up a 2-0 win and returning to the league title game.
Cormier made a game-high eight saves for the Hawks, while Lesley keeper Emileigh Lloyd (Middletown, PA/Middletown) made four in the shutout.
Lesley advances to host Saturday's 1 p.m. title game against No. 3 Elms College. The Blazers advanced past No. 2 Mitchell College this afternoon in a 3-3 decision on penalty kicks in New London, CT.