Wahconah Girls Fall in Western Mass Final

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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WESTFIELD, Mass. -- The defending Western Mass Division 4 girls soccer champions from Granby scored the game’s first three goals en route to a 5-1 win over Wahconah in Saturday’s sectional title game.
But while the result was far from what Wahconah coach Meghan Smith had hoped for, her first season at the helm in Dalton was everything she could have wanted.
“I’m proud of them,” Smith said. “We came, we made it this far. It just wasn’t in our favor tonight.
“It’s our first year, and we changed some things up. And these girls trusted us. And they brought themselves here. And we’re proud of them for that. I can’t be upset.”
Wahconah (13-6-2) pulled off a big upset of top-seeded Monument Mountain just to get to the Western Mass final.
But No. 2 Granby (16-2-3) got off to a quick start when Allison Bessette curled in a corner kick in the fifth minute to put her team up 1-0.
Nora Young followed with the first of her three goals to double the lead in the 12th minute, and and she scored again with 10 minutes, 32 seconds left in the first half when she broke in unmarked against Wahconah keeper Sage Howes (eight saves).
Wahconah finally got on the board in the 32nd minute when McKenna McIlquham headed in an Emmy Cote corner kick to make it 3-1.
“She was working on that header all year,” Smith said. “I’m glad she got it because she was close, all year long, and it finally came through for her.”
Smith credited McIlquham and the rest of the Wahconah seniors with easing the transition to the new coaching staff.
“They were the backbone of this team,” Smith said. “They got the girls up. They let us know what was going on. They kept the girls strong and focused. They’re going to be missed.”
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