WSOC: Lasell nips Suffolk in OT in GNAC quarterfinal; Speight scores game-winner

WSOC: Lasell nips Suffolk in OT in GNAC quarterfinal; Speight scores game-winner

EAST BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore Serena Speight (Biddeford, Maine) scored two goals, including the game-winner a minute and a half into overtime Saturday afternoon as fifth-seeded Lasell University edged fourth-seeded Suffolk University, 3-2, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's soccer quarterfinal game at James A. Sarotri Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park.

Two minutes into the first overtime period Speight rolled down the sideline on a breakaway and struck the game-winner past Suffolk keeper Allison Rodrigues.

The Lasers, who avenged a 1-0 loss at Suffolk during the regular season back on October 9, moves on to a semifinal game on Tuesday, November 5, against the winner of top-seeded Johnson & Wales University and eighth-seeded Regis College.

Suffolk's Alyssa Barahona and Lasell senior Caitlin Rotonnelli (Meredith, N.H.) traded goals late in the first half, and Speight and Caleigh O'Brien exchanged goals midway through the second half to set up overtime.

Suffolk had a chance to break open the scoring in the 11th minute when Addisyn Lanza found O'Brien sneaking past several Lasell defenders past the 25-yard line. O'Brien gained possession of the ball and beat her defender to the middle of the box, but her shot sailed wide past the post.

Barahona and O'Brien connected for the first score of the day nearly 32 minutes into the match. O'Brien tapped a short through ball to Barahona inside the box, who had a one-on-one opportunity with Lasell sophomore keeper Angela Sanzari (North Haven, Conn.). The Rams defender let it fly over the outstretched arms of Sanzari into the top left corner of the net to put Suffolk on the board, 1-0.

Seven minutes later Lasell capitalized on a turnover inside Suffolk's defensive zone. Rotonnelli stifled several Rams defenders just outside of the 15-yard line and gained control of a loose ball. The senior then sent off a rocket a few inches below the cross bar to equalize the game at one.

Out of the break, the Lasers continued to attack the Rams. In the 54th minute Speight sprinted past the Rams backline across the top of the box and struck a low winding shot past Rodrigues to give Lasell a 2-1 edge. Freshman Alex Lorenzo (Pawtucket, R.I.) assisted on the play.

O'Brien responded for the Rams nine minutes later. The junior forward dribbled past a pair of Lasers on the 20-yard line and ripped off a high arching shot that found its way into the top right corner of the net to lock the game at 2-all.

Lanza had a chance to break the tie by tapping the ball into an empty net with just under a minute remaining, but Suffolk was called for a foul, forcing the extra frame.

Rodrigues made six saves in between the pipes for the Rams. Sanzari turned away one shot in the victory. Lasell had 22 shots to Suffolk's 9. The Lasell held the edge in corners, 5-1.

 (Courtesy of Suffolk Sports Information)

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