Lenox Girls Bow Out in Western Mass Final
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- In the end, the 2016 Western Massachusetts Division 3 champions had too many weapons for their opponent in Saturday's D4 final.
The top-seeded Granby Rams scored five unanswered goals to overcome an early deficit and earn a 5-1 win over third-seeded Lenox (12-6-3) at Westfield State University's Alumni Field.
"You really can't focus on just one person with them," Lenox coach Kyle Zinchuk said of the Rams. "They've got 22, Nora [Young], 3 [Isabel Bullock], Summer [Molin], Trystin [Burger]. They've got a few bodies that you have to watch out for. We knew who they were. It wasn't that we were surprised by who their threats were. We just made a few too many mistakes in our marking of them."
Zinchuk was disappointed in a few "uncharacteristic" lapses by his defense but not in the performance of his rookie keeper, Sohpie Patella, who made 10 saves -- five while staring into the sun at the north end of the field in the first half.
"Sophie's been great for us all season," he said. "I know she took it hard, giving up the first couple of goals to flip the momentum. I think she took that a little hard. But as an eighth-grader, what she's done for us this season has been truly phenomenal, and she can't put her head down on any of those because none of those were her fault. She's kept us in so many games this season. She needs to be really proud of the way she's played this year."
Lenox seized the early momentum when Abby Schilling laced a shot from 25 yards out under the crossbar and into the goal to give the Millionaires a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute of play.
That is where it stood for the next 15 minutes before Young scored from outside the 18-yard area on the right wing, putting the ball inside the far post to make it 1-1.
Three minutes later, Molin headed in a Young free kick to give Granby a 2-1 lead it never relinquished.
Young added her second goal of the game just before half-time, converting a cross from Bullock.
In the second half, Lenox took an own goal on a scramble after a corner kick, and Molin added her second of the game in the 75th minute to provide the final margin.
Granby moves on to the state semi-finals, where last year the Rams dropped a 3-2 decision to Central Mass' Millis.
Lenox, which was making its first trip to the finals in two years, returns most of its squad for the 2018 season.
"We've got a lot coming back next year, so there's that to look forward to," Zinchuk said. "Unfortunately for the seniors, they won't be here for that, but they really need to take away that they have done a tremendous job for the last three or four years of generating the kind of team mentality and the kind of program that we want to have. That's their legacy. Whatever we continue on and are able to do, they're the ones who set the tone for that.
"They've had a great season for us: Sarah Fenton and Kristin Parkinson both on the field today and Talia Traversa, who tore her ACL and wasn't able to play the second half of the season. All three of them have done a remarkable job for us in terms of creating a great environment and a winning environment."