WESTON, Mass. – The Regis College women's soccer team heads to Boston Friday night, Oct. 26, to face Emmanuel College in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Women's Soccer Tournament starting at 7 p.m. at Roberto Clemente Field.
The date and time change happened after administrators from both schools and the conference office looked at a forecast of significant rain and wind all day Saturday, potentially causing hazardous conditions for both student-athletes and spectators. That forecast has also caused the GNAC Cross Country Championships to be pushed back from Saturday to Sunday as well as all other matches in both the men's and women's soccer tournaments to move ahead to Friday or back to Sunday.
Picked to finish 10th in the GNAC preseason poll, Regis finished in a tie for fifth place with Colby-Sawyer at 21 points (7-5). The Pride earned the higher fifth seed over the sixth-seeded Chargers thanks to Regis's double-overtime 3-2 victory Sept. 22.
Regis improved its overall record to 10-6 with a 3-0 victory over Framingham State Wednesday evening. The Pride have won five of their last six matches, with their only loss coming to regular season conference leader Lasell in a close 2-1 decision.
Freshman Kaylee Francis (Millis, Mass.) has made an immediate impact for the Pride, leading the team with 11 goals and five assists for 27 total points. Francis is just one goal and one point away from tying the Regis single-season records in both categories, plus she is tied for fifth in the GNAC in points and tied for sixth in goals.
Payton Fitzgerald (Danielson, Conn.) and Rachel Kelly (Whitman, Mass.) have each earned six goals and three assists for 15 total points so far this year. As a team, 14 different players have scored at least one goal for the Pride this season, as Regis has outscored its opponents 41-30 heading into the conference tournament.
Defensively, Oriana Attridge (Westwood, Mass.) has started 11 of the last 12 matches in net for the Pride, posting a 6-5 record this season with a 1.63 goals against average and an .817 save percentage, second in the GNAC, with 76 total saves. She has not allowed a goal in the last 194:36, including the first two shutouts of her career at Rivier and against Framingham State, plus she made a season-high 16 saves at Lasell two weeks ago.
Emmanuel finished fourth in the GNAC regular season standings with 27 points (9-3). The Saints are 13-5 overall and have also won five of their last six matches, with the only loss coming in double overtime at Saint Joseph's College, 3-2. Emmanuel is coming off a 2-1 victory over Lasell Wednesday night, handing the Lasers their only conference loss of the year.
Mikayla Guthrie leads the Saints with 14 goals and seven assists for 35 total points, tied for first in the GNAC in assists as well as second in both goals and points. Kayla Generis has accumulated 10 goals and six assists for 26 points, and Natalie Dash has contributed nine goals and seven assists for 25 total points.
In net, Emmanuel has depended on junior Lexi Gawron, who has started 15 of 18 matches so far this season. She has posted a 12-4 record with a 0.71 goals against average, tops in the GNAC, and an .818 save percentage, also leading the league. Gawron has six shutouts and brings a streak of 315 straight minutes without allowing a goal into Friday's contest.
This will be the fifth meeting all-time between Regis and Emmanuel, with the Saints holding a 3-1 series advantage. On Sept. 26 at Regis Stadium, the two teams played without scoring a goal until the 84th minute, when Guthrie assisted on a goal by Abba McKenelley to give Emmanuel a 1-0 victory. Attridge made nine saves in the match, while Gawron finished with five saves.
Regis is appearing in the GNAC Tournament for the first time after failing to qualify last year. The Pride are 4-5 overall in conference tournament play from their time in the NECC. Last year, Emmanuel lost to Simmons in the quarterfinals of the GNAC Tournament, 2-0.
The winner of the Regis-Emmanuel match will advance to the semifinals and take on the winner of the quarterfinal contest between eighth seed University of Saint Joseph and top seed Lasell taking place Friday at 3 p.m. The semifinals are scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 31, followed by the championship match Saturday, Nov. 3, at the highest remaining seed.