NEWTON, Mass. (11/1/17) – The Lasell field hockey team is headed to its first-ever Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship after defeating crosstown rival Mount Ida College in overtime, 1-0, on Wednesday afternoon.
Cailin Flannery (Newton, N.J.) was the deciding factor in the semifinal match, knocking in her fourth game-winner of the season in the 72nd minute.
It was a battle between keepers Denise Landry (New Milford, Conn.) and Grace Ryan (Livermore Falls, Maine) for the entirety of regulation, as neither team capitalized on a combined 35 shots. Lasell held a 12-5 advantage in shots on goal, as Ryan posted 11 saves in the setback. Landry turned away all five shots on net from the Mustangs, and heads into her first GNAC championship holding a .857 save percentage, and a 0.86 goals against average.
The Lasers outshot the Mustangs by a landslide 11-2 in the first half, with both Mount Ida shots coming from top-scorer Lexi Minicucci (Westfield, Mass.) in the first four minutes. Minicucci came up big for the visitors in the 29th minute, when Erica Connors (South Berwick, Maine) took a crack on net about five yards out. The ball soared past Ryan's left side, but Minicucci recorded her first defensive save of the season at a most opportune time to keep Lasell at bay.
Roles reversed in the second stanza, as Ida held a slight 11-9 advantage in scoring attempts. Sarah Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) lined up for one of the Mustangs' nine second half corners at 56:50, and dished the ball out to Minicucci. Minicucci lofted the ball into the air to try and put the Mustangs on top, but a completely stretched Landry turned away the senior's attempt, and the 0-0 score held throughout regulation.
In Lasell's only other overtime contest this season, Flannery was again the deciding factor, beating the Pioneers of Western Connecticut in the 82nd minute on October 17th. This time, Flannery and the Lasers needed just two minutes of overtime to put the game away, as the junior evaded a double-mark and blasted the game-winner right corner.
In its best season to date, the 16-3 Lasers will host the No. 2 Monks of Saint Joseph's Maine on Saturday for the Championship. Game time is set for 12:00 p.m. on Grellier, and can be viewed live here .