Editor’s Note: This report was co-written by two players on the team, Hope Seasholes and Jordan Mitchell.
“This is my second year playing on the Women’s Soccer team,” says Hope Seasholes, an Art Therapy major. “In only two seasons I have seen how we’ve all grown; our energy, confidence, and attitudes changed this year. I could tell that this team would be successful from the first day of preseason, August 18th. Rostering 30 players gave the team depth that was not there before, and no matter how many minutes each person played, everyone contributed to this team. We were successful because of our deep bench and our team charisma.”
She continues, discussing her love of the sport, and why this team was successful. “No matter the season or the game, the first time I step onto the field I am excited and nervous, but I am confidant in my team, knowing they all have my back. The first pass on the field, the first whistle, and the first goal, every single game is a new first. No game is the same, no team is the same. But the things that stays consistent are a high work rate, a positive attitude and constant support. Attitude is the most important aspect of a team. It can lift you up or bring you down. It will determine the result of the game or even the season. If I had to choose one word to describe this team, it would be passionate. No matter the opponent, we stepped on that field and played the game we all love and have played for years. You do it for your team. Being on a team is having a second family. You win together and lose together. I am so proud of every single one of them.”
The Lynx started off the season with a 6-0 win against Eastern Nazarene, recalls Jordan Mitchell. “We experienced a loss to top ranked MIT, but still managed to score twice. Overall, we won 16 games, tied 3, and lost 3 (our best record since 2014). Our defense lead the team to consistent shutouts from October 7th to November 11th, and our NECC tournament MVP and Senior Captain Samantha Turnbull consistently shut down big time offenses and led the defense to the All-Tournament team awards. We played well on the road – beating top competitors like Tufts and Wellesley. For the first time in Lesley history we were ranked #10 in New England for three weeks straight, and finished the regular season still in the rankings. We won another NECC Championship, and beat our rivals, Elms, in penalty kicks after a huge save from one of our keepers Brittley Gann on the second round of kicks.”
“For the NCAA tournament, we went on to play Williams College in Williamstown Massachusetts (ranked number one in New England and fourth in the country). Unfortunately we lost in the first round of NCAA tournament 2-0; however, we were able to hold Williams 0-0 at the half. While a loss is still a loss, people everywhere took notice that Lesley can and will compete in big games.”
Head coach Paul Vasconcelos saw a number of positive signs this season, and he noted the team’s continued growth. “Overall we are very pleased with our season,” he said. “We reached almost all the goals we put forth at the beginning of the season. It’s always great to win a conference championship, and we hope to get back to the NCAA tournament again next year.”
Jordan Mitchell sums up this season: “This year there were six seniors on the team, all of whom we will miss greatly. I am grateful to have played with them for the past two years and I know they will all go on to do great things. As for next year, I know that we can carry this energy into the next season. Lesley women’s soccer was invited to an out-of-conference tournament in Dallas, Texas September 7th 2018, and those will be our first games of the season. This team, and many other current Lesley teams, all have the momentum to do great things.” Mitchell and Seasholes finished the year confident that next season, women’s soccer will give fans even more reasons to be proud of the team’s achievements.