McGrath Scores Twice as Drury Tops Hoosac for South Division Crown
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The Drury girls soccer team got to end its season with a victory and capture a league championship.
The fact that those came against the Blue Devils' biggest rival? That was just icing on the cake.
Kayla McGrath scored two goals to lead Drury to a 3-1 win over Hoosac Valley in the championship game of the Berkshire County South Division tournament on John J. DelNegro Field.
"We've worked hard all season," McGrath said. "We were especially excited today to play against Hoosac because of the Hoosac-Drury rivalry. And tying them in the regular season, it kind of scared us a little bit coming into this game.
"We thought we have to push ourselves as hard as possible coming into this game. Hoosac is a very good team, expecially with Sydni Jamros up front and Lily Boudreau on the back line."
Any nerves the Blue Devils had coming into the contest were eased just a bit when McGrath converted a direct free kick from 35 yards out in the fifth minute of play to give Drury a 1-0 lead.
"That definitely motivated us a ton," she said. "We knew we needed to come out strong. And having that goal quickly definitely changed the whole game for us.
"We knew we had to keep the intensity up the whole game to keep that lead, and we did."
Drury eventually led 3-0 in the second half before Hoosac got on the board with nine minutes to play.
Midway through the first half, Elli Miles doubled the Blue Devil lead when she ran a through ball from Hailey Kingsley in the middle of the field and beat hard-charging Hoosac keeper Emma Meczywor (13 saves) before depositing the ball in the net.
McGrath scored again under pressure from a Hurricane defender behind and Meczywor in front to make it 3-0 with 15 minutes to play.
Six minutes later, the Hurricanes earned a corner kick on the right wing side.
Tia Kareh served the ball into the 6. A Drury defender deflected the ball to Hoosac's Sharaya Keele, who managed to sneak it between the near post and Blue Devils keeper Mackenzie Dobbert (six saves).
The goal allowed the Hurricanes to take something positive from the game. Drury, which started the season with a couple of bad losses to North Division foes Pittsfield and Monument Mountain, has lots of momentum to take into preseason for the fall 2021 season in four short months.
"We're going to miss the seniors terribly, some of them I've been coaching since they were really little," Drury coach Maria Bartini said. "It's a little emotional. Our practice yesterday was emotional for me.
"It's been a lot of fun. The juniors and seniors have been playing together for a long time, that group through youth soccer has been a cohesive group. But I'm really looking forward to the fall. We've got some young players who got a ton of experience that they wouldn't have had otherwise and got a lot of great minutes on a varsity field.
"Even if I have a bunch of freshmen on the varsity next year, I'm not going to be too worried because they have lots of experience."