W-LEAGUE: Boston Renegades win playoff opener in OT

Meghan Welcome's overtime goal Tuesday night lifted the Boston Renegades to a 1-0 victory over the Western Mass Lady Pioneers in the W-League's New England Division final at Bowditch Stadium in Framingham, Mass.

The Renegades (11-4-0), W-League champions in 2001 and 2002, advance to this weekend's Eastern Conference final four at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, N.J. Boston will join the top-seeded New Jersey Wildcats (14-0-0) and the winners of Wednesday's finals in the Northeast Division and North Central Division.

Welcome, a Franklin Pierce University senior and two-time NSCAA Division II All-American, tallied in the 104th minute from University of Virginia junior Kara Frederick's assist. The goal was Welcome's 11th of the season.

Ashley Phillips, a U.S. under-19 pool goalkeeper who will be a freshman at Clemson this fall, made two saves for the shutout.

Western Mass completed the season with a 7-8-0 record.

The Montreal Xtreme (11-3-0) will play host to the Rochester Ravens (8-6-0) in the North Central final at Catalogna Soccerplexe in Lachine, Quebec. In the Northeast final, the New Jersey Lady Stallions (10-4-0) visit the Long Island Lady Riders (11-3-0) at Stony Brook University.

Finals also will be played Wednesday in the Atlantic Division (Hampton Roads Piranhas vs. Charlotte Lady Eagles at Virginia Wesleyan College) and Midwest Division (Chicago Cobras vs. Fort Wayne Fever at Mooseheart, Ill., Stadium), with the winners moving on to this weekend's Central Conference title game.

The winners of the W-League's three conferences will join the Ottawa Fury in the championship final four Aug. 7-8 at Carleton University in Ottawa.

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