Lee Girls Advance Past Westfield Tech
LEE, Mass. -- Shannon Finegan scored the first of her three goals about three minutes into the game, and the Lee girls soccer team went on to a 4-1 win over Westfield Tech on Saturday in the first round of the Western Massachusetts Division 4 tournament.
Finnegan was deep on the left wing when she launched what she later called "a little bit" of a cross and a shot that ricocheted off the post and into the net to put her team up, 1-0, with 36 minutes, 57 seconds left in the first half.
Getting that first goal early was the key for Lee, which led 4-0 before the Tigers (9-6-3) got on the board with just under two minutes left in the game.
"It's really important," Finnegan said. "Once you get that first goal, our momentum is there. We got that first goal in the first five minutes, and then we owned the game the rest of the game."
Lee coach Lauren Finnegan agreed.
"I told them going in when you start the game and you know you're the better team and you know you're going to win, it sets the whole tone," she said. "You put that ball in the back of the net, and the stress goes down, the confidence is there, and now we just play soccer. They played great soccer today."
No. 8 Lee (10-8) moves on to Tuesday's quarter-final at top-seeded Granby (10-5-3), which had a bye through the first round of the sectional.
Shannon Finnegan scored her second with an assist from Carly McElroy on a run up the middle in the 24th minute, and Ann Macchi converted a Paige Berry assist about a minute later for a 3-0 lead.
In the second half, Macchi set up Finnegan with a cross from the left wing into the 18-yard area, and Finnegan turned and fired a shot that went in off the goalie's fingertips.
Lee outshot Westfield Tech by a margin of 16-7, but Brianna Hawley was tested by a couple of chances when the outcome was still in doubt.
In the first half, with Lee holding a 1-0 lead, a Tigers striker got behind the defense and fired a point-blank shot that Hawley stopped to preserve the lead. In the second half, a Westfield Tech attacker fired a shot from deep on the right wing that Hawley went up to catch.
Hawley, like Finnegan, was making her last appearance on the Lee High pitch.
"It was really important," Finnegan said of the opportunity to play one last game in front of the home crowd. "On Senior Night, I never thought I'd play another soccer game here, so it was really nice to hear we were going to have another game here, and I'm glad it went well."