Mike Skelton – 1851 Staff
March Madness has come early as the Lasell women’s soccer team upset the #12 Division 3 team in the nation Amherst College 3-1 on Saturday. This marks the first time in history that any Lasell team has won an NCAA tournament game.
Laser goals came from Bridget Lynch, Kayla Lynch and Molly Masiero, while the defense held strong and goalie Ashley Parrelli collected 11 saves in the victory.
The game started off with heavy pressure from the Amherst Lord Jeffs. About 10 minutes into the game, a dangerous cross was whipped in the box which resulted in a header that beat Parrelli, but the certain goal was headed off the line by defender Jamie Osterberg. Lasell immediately countered and scored their first goal.
Following a corner kick, Mary-Kate Dunphy collected the ball and crossed it to the back post and Masiero was there to head the ball past the keeper for the 1-0 lead.
“Once we scored the first we were shocked, but we realized that we could play with them and we settled down and started playing our game,” said Parrelli.
Despite being outshot 9-4 the Lasers were able to hold the lead into the first half.
Amherst came out on the attack immediately at the restart and the game began to open up. Lasell played more on the counterattack, and eventually struck again on a nice passing sequence.
Osterberg cleared a long ball which went behind the defense to Bridget Lynch. Lynch drove down the line and beat a defender one-on-one before sliding a cross to her sister Kayla who calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
Bridget Lynch scored her team leading 24th goal of the season in the 69th minute to extend the lead to 3-0. She outraced the defenders to a long ball over the top and beat the keeper on a breakaway.
With a 3-0 cushion, Lasell tightened the defense and went into lock-down mode. Amherst carried the majority of the possession throughout the last 20 minutes and was able to get a goal back as Amanda Brisco made a nice run and received the ball in the box and was able to round Parrelli and put the ball in the empty net with seven minutes remaining. It wasn’t enough as Lasell was able to frustrate and hold out the Lord Jeffs the rest of the game for a historic win.
“This is the most incredible feeling; we’re all on top of the world right now,” said senior Emily Machado. “We worked so hard this year and we really deserved to win today.”
“It was definitely more challenging, there were a much better team then we usually play in the GNAC. We had already won a championship and we went into the game with nothing to lose, so the pressure wasn’t as high,” said Parrelli.
The women’s soccer team will play tomorrow in the round of 32 against Brandeis again at Amherst.
“We will have more motivation to win tomorrow,” said senior Reegan Brackett. “Today was a wake up call at how much we can accomplish as a team.”