NEWTON, Mass. (10/31/17) – The Lasell College women's soccer team is headed to their eighth straight Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship after defeating Saint Joseph's Maine 3-1 in the semifinal match on Tuesday afternoon.
Senior Casey Meissner (Sandwich, Mass.) scored all three goals for Lasell in a 20-minute window, as the top-seeded Lasers improve their overall record to 12-5. The Monks conclude their 2017 campaign at 13-6-1.
The Lasers came flying out of the gates and deflated the Monks just 52 seconds in, as Melissa Vasquez (Pawtucket, R.I.) sped up the left flank and placed a through ball to Meissner. Meissner found her footing and finished top corner, as the Lasell held a 1-0 advantage without even a minute expired.
In the 14th minute, the visitors ignited their offensive spurt as top-scorer Haley DaGraca (Saco, Maine) looked to break the scoreless drought with a header on frame. Carly Zdanek (Newton, N.J.) backtracked and cleared the ball of Lasell's goal line, but Hannah Butler (Melrose, Mass.) was there to collect the loose ball, and buried it through the middle to knot the score 1-1.
Just 42 seconds later, Meissner broke the tie with her second of the game, a top-corner finish after a breakaway. Lasell continued to pepper Monks' keeper Brooke Troup (East Bridgewater, Mass.), who recorded nine saves in the game, but was again foiled by Meissner at 20:05. Zdanek took the ball up the right side, beating two Monks defenders in the stretch, and crossed the ball into center field for Meissner's finish.
The Lasers held the 3-1 advantage going into halftime, and hung on to the lead despite seven second-half shots from Saint Joseph's. Sarah LaClair (Belchertown, Mass.) stopped all five shots on goal from the Monks, and moves to 12-5 this season. Troup wraps up her season at 13-6-1, and ends career with the Monks at 36-27-6.
Lasell will host its eighth GNAC Championship on Taylor Field this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The Lasers will face the victor of tonight's latter semifinal match between the second seeded Wildcats of Johnson and Wales and the sixth seeded Sharks of Simmons College.