Division 4 girls soccer: Granby takes Ware’s best shot, but advances to sectional f

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  • Ella Laliberte, of Granby, moves the ball against Ware during the Western Massachusetts Division 4 semifinal. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ella Laliberte, center right, of Granby, moves the ball through Ware defenders Olivia Wallace, from left, Andrea Bell and Olivia Vadnais during the Western Massachusetts Division 4 semifinal, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kaeleigh Croteau, right, of Granby, moves the ball ahead of Amelia Bonnayer, of Ware, during the Western Massachusetts Division 4 semifinal, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Julia Frappier, right, of Granby, moves the ball ahead of Aislin McClure, of Ware, during the Western Massachusetts Division 4 semifinal, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Briana Sosa, right, of Granby, passes ahead of Caitlin Hess, of Ware, during the Western Massachusetts Division 4 semifinal, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kaeleigh Croteau, right, of Granby, moves the ball ahead of Amelia Bonnayer, of Ware, Wednesday at Chicopee Comp. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla McCreary, right, of Granby, passes ahead of Jackie Dugay, of Ware, during the Western Massachusetts Division 4 semifinal, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Julia Frappier, right, of Granby, moves the ball ahead of Aislin McClure, of Ware, during the Western Massachusetts Division 4 semifinal, Wednesday at Chicopee Comp. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Nora Young, front right, of Granby, begins a shot against Aidyn Welsh, of Ware, during the Western Massachusetts Division 4 semifinal, Wednesday at Chicopee Comp. Olivia Vadnais looks on. Granby won 2-0. Visit gazettenet.com for more photos. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kaeleigh Croteau, front, of Granby, moves the ball against Sereya Dauksewich, of Ware, during the Western Massachusetts Division 4 semifinal, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 at Chicopee Comp.

  • Ella Laliberte, left, of Granby, moves the ball ahead of Sydney Dimarzio, of Ware, during the Western Massachusetts Division 4 semifinal, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Nora Young, right, of Granby, moves the ball against Aidyn Welsh, of Ware, during the Western Massachusetts Division 4 semifinal, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 11/13/2019 11:13:42 PM

CHICOPEE — As the Granby girls soccer team walked down the sideline after Wednesday’s game against Ware, players looked at one another and repeated the same phrase as they hugged one another.

“We’re not done yet.”

Nora Young and Kaeleigh Croteau scored in the second half to push the top-seeded Rams past No. 4 Ware, 2-0, in the Western Massachusetts Division 4 Tournament semifinals at Chicopee Comp.

“(Ware) gave us everything they had,” Granby coach Bob Weaver said. “You’ve got to credit Ware, their coaching staff and players. They gave us everything we could handle. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Semifinals are semifinals.”

The Rams (14-4-2) move on to play Lenox Memorial (10-8-1) in the sectional championship game at Springfield Central’s Berte Field, Sunday at noon.

Granby dictated the tempo in the first half. After surrendering two corner kicks to Ware early, Young, Croteau and Julia Frappier each put in solid shots on net within a three-minute period to put pressure on the Indians’ back line.

Croteau had three great scoring opportunities in the first half. The best came with 15 minutes to go. She brought the ball down the left wing with speed and weaved past two defenders as she turned toward the top of the penalty box. As she moved to the right, she sent in a hard shot past Ware keeper Abigail Hayman, but the ball bounced off the left post.

A few minutes later, Ella Laliberte got the ball in the penalty box off a run and scored, but it was called back because she was offsides.

Young nearly scored with two free kicks toward the end of the first half, but both missed the mark.

Moving into the second half, Granby had the momentum, but Ware gradually started to play a more balanced game.

The Rams moved the ball down field, but had issues finding seams in the final third to create scoring opportunities.

“I think with our team being young there are some nerves that had to be worked out in the beginning,” Young said. “Everybody was working so hard. We had a couple minutes at the beginning of the second half that weren’t our best, but we snapped out of it.”

Young’s goal snapped the Rams out of it.

With 17:35 to go in regulation, Laliberte slipped a ball to Young into the penalty box from the right wing.

Young backed into a Ware defender and tried to turn onto her left foot. As a second defender came, Young pushed the ball to her left foot and sent in a low shot past Hayman to put Granby ahead.

“I just have a sense of where the net is,” Young said. “That was a great ball that I was played. Our athletic director (Alison Jordan-Gagner) told me once that I just have to turn around and hit it. That is what went through my mind.”

Granby kept the pressure on immediately following Young’s goal. Two minutes later, Croteau brought the ball down the middle of the field and toward Ware’s penalty box. With green grass in front of her, she unleashed a hard shot past Hayman from 25 yards out.

“Nora’s goal got us going, and I thought we needed another,” Croteau said. “I dribbled it up and saw it was wide open, so I let it go.”

Scoring important goals is nothing new for the Rams senior.

“(Kaeleigh) has scored big goals for us all year long,” Weaver said. “We kind of expect that from her.”

Croteau almost scored again with 11 minutes to go in the game with a low spinning shot toward the left post, but was denied by a diving save from Hayman.

Granby and Lenox will meet in Sunday’s sectional final for the third year in a row. The Rams have won two straight Division 4 titles, and four straight Western Mass. titles in all.

“I’ve been up there to watch them play a few times to see what they have,” Weaver said. “It’ll be a good game.”




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