CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Elms College sophomore goalkeeper Alexa Rinaudo (Bellmore, N.Y.) made four saves but top-seeded Lesley University used a goal in the 104th minute of play by Alexis Giusti (Meridian, Calif.) to lift the Lynx to a 1-0 victory over the second-seeded Blazers in Saturday afternoon's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship tournament title game at Edward Field on the campus of Buckingham, Browne & Nichols in Cambridge, Mass.
With the loss, Elms moves to 11-8-1 on the season and awaits a possible selection to the 2013 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Championship. Lesley improves to 17-1-1 on the season and garners the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship.
Lesley outshot Elms 9-1 in the first half and 9-2 in the second stanza but Rinaudo made three of her four saves during regulation to keep the Lynx off the board and the game 0-0.
The Blazers had a chance to net the go-ahead goal at the 81:46 mark when senior defender Ally Witaszek (Feeding Hills, Mass.) drove a free kick on net but Lesley goalkeeper Jackie Berard (Coventry, R.I.) turned the shot aside to keep the game at 0-0.
Both teams registered a pair of shots in the first overtime period as sophomore forward Melissa Welch (Westfield, Mass.) drove a pair of shots wide of goal, while Giusti fired a shot high and another into the arms of Rinaudo.
Witaszek struck a shot early in the second stanza of extra time that was corralled by Berard before Giusti gathered a Blazers' goal kick short of midfield dribbled forward and then blasted a high curling ball that found the top right corner of the net to send the Lynx to victory.
Berard made three saves in the winning effort, while Giusti had three of the Lynx's five shots on goal including the game-winner.
Witaszek had two of Elms' three shots on target, while freshman midfielder Kylen O'Hearn (Somers, Conn.) had the other offering.
Witaszek, Welch, senior midfielder Christina Goodchild (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and sophomore midfielder Michelle Rossignol (Manchester, Conn.) were all named to the all-tournament team following the contest.
2013 All-Tournament Team
Rachel Gagnon, Regis College
Jasmin Vivar, Regis College
Keelin Dougherty, Bay Path College
Alma Rizvani, Bay Path College
Allyson Witaszek, Elms College
Christina Goodchild, Elms College
Michelle Rossignol, Elms College
Melissa Welch, Elms College
Marysol Flores, Lesley University
Casey Decareau, Lesley University
Sarah Apgar, Lesley University
Hayley Wirth, Lesley University
NECC Tournament MVP: Hayley Wirth, Lesley University