PAXTON, Mass. - For the first time since 2011, the Norwich University women's soccer team is in prime position to make the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) playoffs.
The Cadets (6-9-1, 5-5-1 GNAC) significantly boosted their chances of qualifying for the postseason with a 5-1 victory over Anna Maria College on Tuesday afternoon in league action.
Sophomore Karyssa Lachance (Gorham, N.H.) and senior Kaila Lemmer (Barnard, Vt.) each scored two goals, while junior Sydney Rocheville (Salem, Mass.) also added one to lead the Norwich offense in the victory.
Lachance scored her 13th and 14th goals of the season in the 37th and 48th minute to move into sole possession of ninth place on the all-time Norwich women's soccer goal scoring list with 24 career goals.
Lemmer scored on a penalty kick in the 75th minute and then added another goal 11 minutes later to bring her season total up to five on the season as Norwich pulled away in the second half.
After a scoreless first 36 minutes, Lachance finally opened the scoring with her 13th tally of the season unassisted. Rocheville stretched the lead to 2-0 with her third goal of the season coming on a long free kick from 35 yards out that evaded the goalkeeper and bounced into the net. Lachance quickly kept the momentum firmly on NU's side coming out of the halftime break with another goal on an assist from Rocheville.
Anna Maria got a goal back in the 85th minute to break up Kim Watt's (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) shutout bid. However, Lemmer capped the scoring just 1:39 later with a goal off an assist from Morgan Smith (Northfield, Vt.).
Watt made eight saves for the Cadets to improve to 6-8-1 on the season.
Norwich is currently tied for sixth place with Univ. of St. Joseph with 16 points, but the Blue Jays have played two games less than Norwich.
The Cadets are four points clear of ninth place Regis, but have also played two more games than the Pride. Norwich will have an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot on Saturday when it hosts Regis at 7 p.m. on Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium.