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Saints Women’s Soccer Falls to Lasell in GNAC Championship

Junior Katelyn Fink (above) scored the lone goal for the Saints in the loss. (Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Athletic Department. Used with permission.)

Junior Katelyn Fink (above) scored the lone goal for the Saints in the loss.
(Photo courtesy of the Emmanuel College Athletic Department. Used with permission.)

The Emmanuel College women’s soccer team struggled to contain the GNAC’s top two scorers on Saturday, dropping a heart-breaking 6-1 decision to the Lasell College Lasers in the GNAC Championship game, Lasell’s fifth consecutive conference title.

Lasell’s Bridget Lynch (one goal, three assists) and Megan Cullen (four goals, one assist) easily led the GNAC in scoring during the regular season, and the tandem proved incredibly opportunistic all afternoon.

Cullen opened the scoring just 43 seconds in after a Lasell clearance found a streaking Lynch going down the left side, who fed it in to Cullen, who deposited it into the empty net. The Saints were determined not to let this early strike get to them, and carried the play for the next 18 minutes. The ball barely entered Emmanuel’s defensive end of the field during that span. Kelsie Dumas got a step on a Lasell defender in the 15th minute inside the box, but put her shot just over the bar.

Even after the heavy pressure applied by the Saints, it was still the Lasers to get on the board next. On one of the first Lasell attacks since their early goal, an aerial cross from Lynch again found Cullen, who headed it over the outstretched arms of Emmanuel’s Victoria Laroche, giving Lasell a 2-0 lead in the 19th minute.

The Saints continued to refuse to go down without a fight, and after both teams had goals waved off by offside calls, it was Lasell who buried what proved to be a true game-changer next. Cullen completed her hat trick as she charged down the right side and fired one past Laroche into the bottom left corner of the net with just under two minutes to go in the half. The goal, along with an injury to key defender Ashley Frank in the final seconds of the half, took the wind out of the Saints’ sails.

The Lasers opened the second half with two more goals in the first five minutes that further deflated the Saints. Lynch, along with her sister and fellow senior Kayla Lynch, added the goals that widened the lead to 5-0.

Saints junior midfielder Katelyn Fink made sure the Saints would not be shut out on the afternoon just moments after the Lynch sisters’ goals. A pass from senior Mandy Roberts found Fink at the top of the 18-yard box, who ripped a perfectly-placed strike past Lasell’s Sarah LeClair and into the lower corner of the net. The goal was Fink’s sixth of the season.

In the final fifteen minutes of the game, things turned very chippy. It began when Emmanuel sophomore defender Alison MacDonald made a slide tackle on Kayla Lynch that appeared to be a legal tackle, but Lynch got up and shoved MacDonald in the face. A foul was called on Lynch on the play, but no cards were handed out.

Soon afterwards, Bridget Lynch tackled the ball out of the hands of Emmanuel’s Laroche, a play that warranted a yellow card on Lynch. It was the second time in the half a Lasell player aggressively tackled Laroche.

With two minutes left in the game, Lasell junior Sarah Jones got a yellow card for taking down Emmanuel’s Hannah Konicki and kicking her away from the play. The two exchanged words briefly but were soon separated. The two came back together before the ball was even put back into play. Konicki earned a yellow card on the play as well.

Seconds later Cullen added her fourth goal of the afternoon to close out the scoring for the Lasers.

Three Saints – Laroche, Fink, and junior defender Ari Cardillo – were named to the GNAC All-Tournament team after the game. Lasell’s Bridget Lynch was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

The loss drops the Saints to 13-10 on the season and brings to an end the Saints’ fourth consecutive winning season. It was the Saints’ first appearance in the GNAC title game since 2009, when they dropped a 2-1 decision to Simmons.

The Saints graduate just three seniors from its 29-man roster this season, leading scorer Dumas, Roberts, and goalkeeper Abby Thivierge. The Saints will certainly miss their services come next fall, but also return a strong core group that should make them conference contenders again in 2015.

Curtis Fraser is the Sports Editor and a staff writer for The Hub. He can be contacted at

Posted by on November 8, 2014. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.