BOSTON, Mass. - Those around the GNAC know about the strength of the women's soccer teams at Lasell College and University of St. Joseph (CT). The only two GNAC teams without a conference loss are gaining regional recognition as both schools received votes in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Continental Tire NCAA Division III New England Regional poll released on Oct. 4.
The Lasers came into the season as the favorites to win the conference, receiving eight of the 13 possible first place votes in the pre-season coaches' poll and they haven't disappointed. In ten contests, Lasell has only lost one, a 2-1 defeat to non-conference foe Elizabethtown in the Lasell College Kick-Off Tournament Championship.
The reigning GNAC champions have shown great balance this year. They have overpowered teams offensively, scoring five or more goals four times, while also keeping their opponents off the scoreboard.
Leading the way offensively for the Lasers is sophomore forward Bridget Lynch. Lynch has scored a goal in all but two of Lasell's matches this year and also has six multi-goal games. Her 1.6 goals per game leave her tied for fourth among all NCAA DIII players.
USJ's season got off to a rough start losing its season opener 1-0 to Mahattanville in a non-conference match, but it has not lost since.
The strength for the Blue Jays is on the defensive end. So far this season, they have not allowed more than one goal in a game and have shutout their opponent six times.
Senior Kristin Whitman, the 2010 GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, anchors the brick wall defense for the Blue Jays. Whitman's experience and defensive prowess are important to a back line that includes freshmen starters Lindsey Cifaldi and Sarah Domschine.
Another key component to USJ's success is freshman goalkeeper Melissa Dodge. Dodge, a two-time GNAC Goalkeeper of the Week this year, has only allowed two goals in seven starts, including an eleven save performance against St. Joseph's (ME).
The two powerhouses were scheduled to square off on Oct. 3 but the game was postponed due to rain and has yet to be rescheduled.
*Article written by Doug Chin, GNAC Specialist