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Division 4 girls soccer: Gateway Regional holds off McCann Tech challenge

Steve Estelle has been coaching the Gateway Regional girls soccer team for 24 seasons.

His Gators won the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament seven times in nine tries since 1998. His teams have played countless squads from the Tri-County League in that span.

None of them matched what No. 6 McCann Tech did Tuesday night in Huntington.

Third-seeded Gateway Regional fought for a 2-0 victory over the Hornets in the quarterfinal round of the Division 4 tournament.

“I’m glad we had to work hard,” Estelle said. “I think it’s the best Tri-County League team we’ve ever played. It was a physical game.”

Gateway (12-3-4) will face No. 2 Cathedral (10-6-3) at a time, date and place yet to be determined. Cathedral beat Lenox 1-0 on Tuesday.

Gateway, which led 2-0 at halftime, outshot McCann 17-0.

“They played hard the whole game,” Estelle said. “We kept working. I give them credit for a hard battle.”

Jessica Van Heynigen scored from Kendall Rooney 3 minutes, 30 seconds into the game for the Gators.

Van Heynigen set the next goal up but she wasn’t awarded an assist. The eighth-grader worked the ball up the left and got a shot off. Alexis Wood (nine saves) made the stop and the McCann defense cleared it.

Unfortunately, the clear went right to Rooney, who nailed a shot from 20 yards out into the upper-right corner of the goal.

Sarah Otterbeck made no saves in the win.

Midfielders Sami King and Rooney played well, while the defense of Alyssa Moreau, Kayla Lent and Jessie Walton assisted in the shutout.

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