NEWTON, Mass. (10/21/17) – The Lasell field hockey team clinched the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) regular season title for the first time in program history on Saturday afternoon, defeating the Sharks of Simmons College, 3-0, at Grellier Field.
Sophomore Samantha Taylor (Hanover, Mass.) scored all three goals to secure the undefeated conference record (7-0), as the Lasers earn a first-round bye for the postseason, and await their semifinal fate on November 1.
The Lasers improve to a scorching 14-3 overall, while the Sharks drop to 10-6 this season, and finish 5-2 against league opponents.
The Lasell defense limited the visitors' offensive opportunities to just two shots in the full 70, while the Lasers got 19 shots off in the victory.
Lasell peppered the Sharks' defense early and often, as Taylor tried to ignite the surge in the 15th minute, but Sharks' sophomore Krystianna Pietrzak (Bennington, Vt.) was there to swipe the goal off the line for the first defensive save of her career.
Six minutes later, junior Cailin Flannery (Medford, N.J.) came up with a big stop in transition, and took the ball up the right side. Flannery then crossed the ball into the middle, and found Taylor for the first goal of the game, her 13th of the season.
Taylor's second goal of the game came at 28:32, as she lined up for a penalty corner with seven minutes left to play in the half. Taylor's dish went out to the center for senior Erica Connors (Berwick, Maine), who redirected it to frame and found Taylor on the left side. Taylor tipped it into the bottom left corner for the 2-0 advantage heading into halftime.
Lasell continued to press the Simmons defense with force, and scored the final goal of the game at 42:11. Tensions were high between both teams, as Simmons sent a player off at 41:12 with a green card violation, forcing the man-down situation. Taylor again took the penalty corner for the Lasers, this time finding the stick of junior Julie Franzik (Wallingford, Conn.). Franzik dished the ball back out to Taylor, who finished in the middle netting of the left side.
The Lasell midfield and defense worked to barely allow Simmons to cross half field, as senior Denise Landry (New Milford, Conn.), now 14-3, was not contested in the full 70 minutes. Simmons' keeper Lucy McNamara (Brewster, Mass.) made six saves in the effort, and drops to 10-6.
The Lasers hop out of conference for their final game of the season on Wednesday, October 25 for a home match against Framingham State at 3:30 p.m. Simmons will also play non-conference opponent UMass Dartmouth for their final regular season game, a 7:00 p.m. start on Tuesday, October 24 in Dartmouth, Mass.