FH: Lasell blanks Simmons in GNAC Semifinal; advances to third straight title game

FH: Lasell blanks Simmons in GNAC Semifinal; advances to third straight title game

NEWTON, Mass. – Sophomore goalie Sofia Rodriguez (Peabody, Mass.) made eight saves for her third shutout of the season Wednesday afternoon as second-seeded Lasell University blanked third-seeded Simmons University, 2-0, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) field hockey semifinal game at Grellier Field.

With the victory, Lasell improves to 10-9 overall and advances to its third consecutive GNAC Championship game, which will be play this Saturday, November 9. The Lasers will travel to top-seeded Saint Joseph's College (Maine), which defeated fifth-seeded Regis College, 5-0, in Wednesday's other semifinal. The Sharks wrap up their season with an 8-12 overall record.

Lasell scored both of its goals just a minute apart early in the second quarter. The first goal, and eventual game-winner, came on a transition play a minute into the quarter as senior Sam Taylor (Hanover, Mass.) dribbled through some Simmons defenders and passed the ball from outside the circle to junior Megan Horrigan (Wakefield, Mass.) just in front of the goal, and Horrigan shot the ball just inside the left post for her fifth goal of the season.

The Lasers doubled the lead a minute later following a penalty corner when senior Brooke Landry (New Milford, Conn.) fired a shot from the left side and freshman Mya Maxim (South China, Maine) redirected the shot near the right goal post for her seventh goal of the season. Lasell recorded the only three shots of the second quarter and held a 6-4 shot advantage at halftime.

The home team outshot the visitors 11-6 in a scoreless second half. Lasell nearly extended its lead late in the fourth quarter but was denied on a defensive save by junior Abby Anderson (South Yarmouth, Mass.)

Lasell finished with a 17-10 margin in shots, while Simmons had a 6-5 edge in penalty corners. Junior goalie Lucy McNamara (Brewster, Mass.) made 11 saves in a strong effort for the Sharks.

Against Saturday's championship game opponent, the Lasers lost to Saint Joseph's (Maine) at home on October 19, 3-0. Lasell has been defeated by St. Joe's in the last two GNAC title games, 3-0 in 2017 and 4-0 a year ago.

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