BENNINGTON, Vt.- The Lesley University Lynx won its first ever New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship, Sunday afternoon at Everett field against the first seeded Southern Vermont College Mountaineers. Lesley used two goals in each half, and an Ali Sozeri (Istanbul, Turkey) hat trick to secure its NCAA berth.
Sozeri put the Lynx on the board two minutes into the match when Ari Sinanis (Guilford, CT) played a ball across the box. Southern Vermont had chances to tie the score at the 10 and 15 minute marks, when Noah Massucci (Craftsbury, Vt) hit shots that were saved. Then at the 28:55 Sozeri was fouled inside the box, to give Lesley a penalty kick. Sinanis stepped up and drove home the PK for a 2-0 Lynx lead.
In the second half Southern Vermont tried to find the back of the net to cut the lead. However, Sozeri scored again in the 67th minute to break the Mountaineers back. Sozeri added his third goal of the match ten minutes later. Sinanis played a ball across the middle again that Sozeri one timed out of the air for a 4-0 Lesley advantage.
Sozeri was named the tournament MVP and was joined on the team by teammates Sinanis, Ryan Rodgers (Hollis, NH), Christian Domingo (Granada Hills, CA). Southern Vermont had four seniors on the All-tournament team in Greg Gilmore (Dover, NH), Nick Haggerty (Wyantskill, NY), Connor Murray (Litchfield, CT), and Massucci. Ryan Sullivan and Tavish Leland represented Elms College.
Southern Vermont dropped to 12-5-1 and will hope to get an ECAC post-season berth. Lesley improved to 15-4-1 and will await the NCAA selection Monday afternoon.
MVP: Ali Sozeri
Lesley: Ari Sinanis
Lesley: Ryan Rodgers
Lesley: Christian Domingo
SVC: Greg Gilmore
SVC: Nick Haggerty
SVC: Noah Massucci
SVC: Connor Murray
Elms: Tavis Leland
Elms: Ryan Sullivan