EAST BOSTON – The fourth seeded Suffolk women's soccer team traded blows with Lasell for 90 minutes of action to force and extra session, but saw its season end when the fifth ranked Lasers potted the game-winner less than two minutes into the extra session to take the GNAC Quarterfinals tilt, 3-2, Saturday afternoon at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park.
SCORE: Suffolk 2 | Lasell 3
RECORDS: Suffolk (10-6) | Lasell (9-10)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk had a chance to break open the scoring in the 11th minute when Addisyn Lanza found Caleigh 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.
Alyssa 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 keeper Angela Sanzari. 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. Caitlin 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 Serena Speight sprinted past the Rams backline across the top of the box and struck a low winding shot past Suffolk keeper Allison Rodrigues to give Lasell a 2-1 edge. Alex Lorenzo 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.
Two minutes into the first overtime period Speight rolled down the sideline on a breakaway and struck the game-winner past Rodrigues.
KEEPING UP WITH THE KEEPERS
- Rodrigues made six saves in between the pipes for the Lasers.
- Sanzari turned away one shot in the victory.
- O'Brien paced Suffolk's offense with a goal and an assist. Barahona also found the back of the net.
- Lasell had 22 shots to Suffolk's 9.
- The Lasell held the edge in corners, 5-1.
- The visiting Lasers had nine shots on target, while the hosts had three attempts on net.
- Suffolk hosted its first GNAC Tournament game for the first-time since 2010 and second time overall.
- The Rams competed in the conference post-season as the fourth seed for the first time.
- Suffolk entertained Lasell on its home pitch in the playoffs for the first time.
- Barahona tallied her second goal of the season, while O'Brien notched her seventh assist.
- O'Brien recorded her 10th goal of the year
- The Rams went into overtime in the GNAC Tournament for the first time since falling to Albertus Magnus in a double OT thriller in the semifinals in 2016.
- The post-season OT action marked the third conference playoff game to need extra time in the Rams' history.
- Suffolk is 1-2-0 in OT in the GNAC Tournament with its only extra time victory in the league playoffs coming via penalty kick decision over Saint Joseph's (Maine) in 2013.
- All three of the blue-and-gold GNAC OT tournament games have come in the quarterfinals.