November 6, 2010

Lasell College Women's Soccer is NCAA Tournament Bound

NEWTON, MA – The Lasell College women's soccer team is bound for the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history after defeating Norwich University, 1-0, in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament Championship match on Saturday afternoon at Taylor Field. Freshman forward, and co-tournament MVP, Jamie Harris (Lynnfield, MA) tallied the deciding goal for the Lasers to seal their first ever GNAC Championship.

 

Junior midfielder Jordynn Frollo (Uxbridge, MA) unleashed the sensational pass which set Harris in motion for the game-changing goal in the 88th minute.  Harris settled the ball and slipped between two Norwich defenders before chipping the shot over the top of Norwich goalkeeper Nicki Hunsicker (Emmaus, PA).

 

The second seeded Lasers shutout their competition throughout the entire post-season tournament series en route to the automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Tournament.  Lasell is riding on an eight-game unbeaten streak and an 11-game undefeated streak on their home field (9-0-3) dating back to 2009. The Lasers are now 14-3-3 overall this season, another best in the program's history.

 

"I am extremely excited!" said head coach Vita La Francesca post-game, "I told the team before the game, 'You can make history today; it's all up to you!' And they went out there and made history!"

 

Harris tallied three goals over the course of the tournament to earn the co-Most Valuable Player honor, also scoring the game-winner in the quarter final round against Emerson. Harris' counterpart in the MVP award went to Lasell's junior goalkeeper Elizabeth Stickley (Mashpee, MA) who made two magnificent saves in today's contest, as well as 14 saves throughout tournament action in three shutouts. 

 

The fourth seeded Cadets waged quite a fight in the match, disallowing the Lasers, who are second in scoring offense in the league, to get on the board for over 87 minutes despite holding a dramatic 25-9 edge in shots. "It was a well fought battle between both teams." La Francesca said, "I thought Norwich played well and their defense was hard to penetrate." 

 

Norwich got off the first three shots of the game taking early control in the opening minutes. The Cadet's leading scorer Brittany Casey (Pointe-Claire, Quebec) unleashed a corner in the second minute which landed perfectly for a Baylie Lamarre (Tyngsboro, MA) shot but the attempt shifted wide of the target. Two minutes later a repeat play came about, which this time Bianca Bogda (Cranston, RI) booted high over the net.  At 7:05, the Cadets chanced their final shot for over 31 minutes at which point the hosts proceeded to pick up momentum and take over command of the game.

 

Lasell followed up with the next nine shots and possession of the ball for the better part of the first half.  Frollo connected on Lasell's first attempt, followed by back-to-back Harris on-goal opportunities in the 13th minute. In the 21st minute, Jessica Taylor (Standish, ME) footed a corner for Lasell which led Frollo and Harris both to take shots, neither cashing in. Meredith Hessler (Middletown, RI) also got into the action driving in a ball off a direct kick which tucked just outside the near post of the goal, at 31:51.

 

Casey broke up the Cadet's stalemate in shots at 38:11 collecting a long pass for a breakaway down the center line. The ensuing shot from 20 yards out was block by Lasell defender Molly Clarke (Berlin, CT) who was marking the Cadet sophomore forward.

Arianna DiOrio (Revere, MA) made the final attempt to score in the half for Lasell with 42 seconds to go while Casey got off one last second chance for the Cadets which chipped barely off the top of the crossbar before heading out of play.  

 

After the intermission, Lasell kept the pressure on with freshman defender Jill Greaney (Holyoke, MA) firing off a bomb from the right field which Hunsicker pulled the shot out of the air just under two minutes into the period.

 

 At 52:17, Stickley was tested in net for the first time sprawling to her left to void Casey's attempt at the goal during a breakaway situation. Once again, the Cadets went on an 11-minute stretch without so much as a shot as Lasell carried the weight of the offense.  Norwich's final on-target shot was taken by Casey at 63:07 and was stopped effortlessly by Stickley.

 

Lasell went on to produce the final five shots of the game, including Harris' fourth game-winner of the year. 

 

The game marked the first time Lasell has made an appearance in the GNAC Title game throughout their four seasons in the conference.  Norwich won the GNAC women's soccer tournament title in 2008.

 

Frollo, Clarke, and Mary Farley (Middleboro, MA) were selected as All-Tournament honorees from Lasell for their efforts in the Championship.  Norwich accolades went to Hunsicker, Casey, and sophomore midfielder Lisa Esparza (Dover, NH).  Semi-final round participants Saint Joseph College of Connecticut and Emmanuel each awarded two players to the All-Tournament team as well.  St. Joseph's Kristin Whitman and Melissa Maddeloni and Emmanuel's Darcy Sullivan and Shawn Crifo rounded out the honorees.

 

 The Lasers are the winners of an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Tournament and will await the selection committee's announcement of the bracket on Monday, November 8th at 9:00 a.m. at which point they will learn of their opponent.

 

On about making the trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, La Francesca remarked, "Our team played with so much heart today and so much intensity, they put everything they had into it.  I'm thrilled because they worked incredibly hard all season and they really deserve it."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2010 GNAC Champions- Lasell College

2010 All-Tournament Team 

Name

School

Elizabeth Stickley *Co-MVP

Lasell

Jamie Harris  *Co-MVP

Lasell

Jordynn Frollo

Lasell

Molly Clarke

Lasell

Mary Farley

Lasell

Nicki Hunsicker

Norwich

Brittany Casey

Norwich

Lisa Esparza

Norwich

Darcy Sullivan

Emmanuel

Shawn Crifo

Emmanuel

Kristin Whitman

St. Joseph Conn.

Melissa Maddeloni

St. Joseph Conn.

 

GNAC Championship History 

Year

Regular Season

Tournament

2010

Suffolk

Lasell

2009

Saint Joseph's (ME)

Simmons

2008

Norwich

Norwich

2007

Emmanuel

Emmanuel

2006

Johnson & Wales

West. New England

2005

Simmons

Johnson & Wales

2004

Simmons/Emerson

Simmons

2003

Simmons

Emmanuel

2002

West. New England/Johnson & Wales

West. New England

2001

Johnson & Wales

West. New England

2000

Johnson & Wales

Johnson & Wales

1999

West. New England

West. New England

1998

Simmons

Simmons

1997

Endicott

Endicott

1996

Simmons

Simmons

1995

West. New England

 

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