Wahconah Girls Win Western Mass
WESTFIELD, Mass. -- The No.1 seeded Wahconah girls’ soccer team proved to be just that Saturday afternoon.
Wahconah took home its first Division 3 Western Massachusetts title since 2009 with a 1-0 win over No. 6 Granby at Westfield State University.
It came down to a second half goal from Jocelyn Hill when she received a ball from Hannah Brennan inside the 18. Hill turned the ball and shot it on net, high over the Granby goalie's head.
“I was tired and coach always says you have to push through even when you’re tired and that’s what I did,” Hill said. “I turned the ball and I just shot it and I cannot believe it went in, I thought it was going to hit the crossbar.”
Hill’s goal came with 20 minutes left in the second half after a scoreless first half from both sides.
Wahconah had a lot of opportunities in the first half compared to Granby’s. It worked the ball outside on a few plays, sending it into the box creating great opportunities, but it just couldn’t hit the ball on net.
“We still need to work the ball outside more,” Wahconah coach Pat West said. “You know, go outside and bring it back and open them up, but we’ll continue to work at it.”
Granby saw many more opportunities in the second half then it did the first; its speed up front was a key factor to these chances, but Wahconah’s defense and goalie Jamie Downer came up big for their team, putting a stop to ever shot they had.
“Jamie Downer throughout the year has been just wonderful, she just keeps coming up big,” West said. “We’ve had a lot of shutouts and she is largely responsible.”
“They [Granby] were maybe as quick as we thought; except the reality of it was just wow they’re fast.”
Late in the second half Granby’s offense had a few chances to tie things up; giving Wahconah a few late scares.
“We knew about it and we prepared for it,” West said about Granby’s speed up front. “But for a little while, 5 or 10 minutes we were kind of looking at it that they were going to hurt us maybe if we don’t step up.”
Wahconah was able to hold the shutout to the final whistle and earn the Western Mass title and a berth in this week's state semi-finals.
“We worked so hard for this and we knew that second half that we have to pull through and that’s what we did,” Hill said.
Wahconah will now head back to Westfield State Tuesday evening for a 5 p.m. start.