NEWTON, Mass. (11/2/13) – The Lasell College women's soccer team advanced to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference semifinals with a 2-0 defeat of Johnson and Wales University. The top-seeded Lasers held off the 8th seeded Wildcats to improve to 15-3-1 on the season while JWU dropped to 6-11-3 for the year.
The two sides got off to a very even start, with the young Wildcats giving the hosts all they could handle. A well-struck ball by Shannon Feulner (Rockleigh, N.J.) skipped over the crossbar for Johnson and Wales in the 7th minute of action and Lasell's Jill Greaney (Holyoke, Mass.) nearly got Lasell on the board in the 11th minute when her effort struck the cross bar. Kayla Sypek (Westhampton, Mass.) forced the Lasers keeper, Leah Pappalardo (Whiman, Mass.), into a save in the 12th minute as JWU continued to press the Lasers defense.
Kayla Lynch (Dover, N.H.) nearly put the hosts on top in the 21st minute with a ball from distance that rang the crossbar, and the Wildcats suffered another near-miss when Eryn Mahoney's (Merrimack, N.H.) effort in the 25th minute found the frame as well, narrowly missing a chance to push her side in front.
Lasell got on the board in the 31st minute when a ball played out of the back found freshmen substitute Megan Cullen (Amesbury, Mass.) who out-muscled a defender and touched the ball beyond JWU keeper Alexa Rose (Lancaster, Pa.) where Bridget Lynch was able to take advantage of the open net and tap home the goal. JWU's Mahoney forced Pappalardo into another save with a shot from distance, winning the Wildcats a pair of corners that Lasell escaped damage on to take their 1-0 lead into the half.
Lasell held a 9-7 advantage on shots in the opening 45 minutes however JWU won three corners to none for Lasell.
The second half saw the momentum swing more in the favor of the host's side, as Lasell opened play with the first five shots of the half including their second goal from Devon Day. Kayla Lynch played a ball to Day just outside the six-yard box and watched as Day's effort snuck inside the post.
The Wildcats were forced to chase the game once faced with a 2-0 deficit and struggled to find a rhythm offensively getting out shot 16-3 in the final 45 minutes of play.
Leah Pappalardo made four saves in the match for Lasell, while Rose finished with five saves on the afternoon for JWU.
Lasell will host Emmanuel College, 3-0 winners against the University of St. Joseph's, on Tuesday November 5th at 1:30 p.m. in the GNAC semifinals.