[Editor’s note: Sophomore Jillian Narby, a business management major with a specialization in sports marketing and management, is a goalkeeper for the women’s soccer team.]
Lesley’s women’s soccer team had another successful year, which culminated in an exciting 3-2 win over New England College on Saturday the 3rd of November, giving the Lady Lynx the NECC championship. Seniors Sam Bessey (2) and Rachel Buckley (1) scored to put the Lynx past New England College in the second half. But getting to the championship was not easy, and it took a team effort to make it happen.
Coming off a successful 2017 season, when the team won the NECC championship and made a strong showing in the NCAA tournament, Lesley’s women’s soccer team came back to preseason hungry for more. After a long and hard preseason, the Lynx started out the new season with a 6-1 win over Suffolk and a 1-0 win against Wellesley. With a roster of thirty players, senior captain McKenna Straube knew how important this season was for the whole team. She said, “We trust each other and are happy to show up everyday and work toward our goals as a team from player 1 to 30. We know what we are capable of, and now are focused on making sure we reach that potential.”
As it turned out, that is exactly what the team did. Women’s soccer faced tough competition against nationally ranked #25 MIT and #3 in the West University of Texas-Dallas, playing hard but taking losses in the end. However, this didn’t dampen the excitement and energy that the players felt as the season continued. The girls rallied against then nationally ranked #10 Brandeis University, defeating the Judges 1-0 in regular time.
The Lynx’s success continued to grow during conference play. Defeating rivals such as Elms College and New England College put some space between them and the rest of the conference. The success came from not only top scorers like seniors Jordan Mitchell and Sam Bessey, but strong defense by freshman Sophie Smurthwaite and junior Mel Matthewson. The Lynx did not concede a goal in conference play, and that carried over to the playoffs. In fact, the women’s soccer team clinched first place, setting the tone and going undefeated in the conference.
The team faced Dean College in the quarterfinals of the NECC tournament. Two goals by senior Jordan Mitchell helped propel the Lynx into the semifinals against Southern Vermont on Wednesday, October 31st. Well into the fall season, the girls never faltered in their push towards their NCAA goal. Straube mentioned that “this season has been really special. We have a team dynamic where we’re even happier to be here together in November as we were to see each other in August.” The team’s drive and determination earned a spot in New England as the eighth ranked team, causing excitement and interest throughout the region.
Despite the tough losses, difficult injuries, and long bus rides, women’s soccer is continuing to make a name for themselves and for Lesley University, both on and off the field. Our student-athletes have crushed conference play and regular season competition, and now the team has won the NECC championship, much to the delight of the fans who braved cold and windy temperatures to cheer the team on to victory. On Saturday, November 10, the Lady Lynx lost their NCAA game 3-0, to #15 Amherst College. But despite that disappointment, it was a very good year for Lesley women’s soccer; and everyone on the team was proud of what they had accomplished.