Division 4 girls soccer: Granby survives 9 rounds of penalties, beats Lenox for 4th straight sectional title

  • Granby senior Trystin Burger hoists the Western Massachusetts Division 4 championship trophy after the Rams defeated Lenox on penalty kicks, 6-5, at Westfield State University on Saturday. In foreground are Ella Laliberte, left, and Gabby Walz. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Granby junior goalkeeper Julia Gauvin rests her head on the shoulder of assistant coach Rachel Mick as she mentally prepares for the start of penalty kicks in the Rams' Western Massachusetts Div. 4 championship game against Lenox at Westfield State University on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. After a scoreless tie in regulation and two overtimes, outlasted the Millionaires on penalty kicks, 6-5. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Granby junior goalkeeper Julia Gauvin watches the deciding shot by Katherine Nichols of Lenox go wide of the left post during penalty kicks at the Western Massachusetts Division 4 championship at Westfield State University, Saturday. After a scoreless tie in regulation and two overtimes, the Rams defeated the Millionaires on penalty kicks, 6-5. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Granby junior goalkeeper Julia Gauvin, center, is embraced by junior forward Nora Young, left, and junior midfielder Kaeleigh Croteau after she outlasted Lenox on penalty kicks, 6-5, to earn the Rams the Western Massachusetts Div. 4 championship at Westfield State University on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Granby junior forward Nora Young, top, celebrates with coach Bob Weaver after the Rams won the Western Massachusetts Division 4 championship against Lenox. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Granby eighth-grader Ella Laliberte, center, and her Rams teammates, including junior goalkeeper Julia Gauvin, far left, celebrate their Western Massachusetts Div. 4 championship at Westfield State University on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Granby outlasted Lenox on penalty kicks, 6-5, after a scoreless tie in regulation and two overtimes. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • The Granby Rams celebrate their Western Massachusetts Div. 4 championship at Westfield State University on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. After a scoreless tie in regulation and two overtimes, Granby beat Lenox on penalty kicks, 6-5. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff writer
Published: 11/10/2018 5:15:33 PM

WESTFIELD — Penalty kicks scared Granby freshman Dana Chateauneuf.

She was far down the list of takers for the Rams in Saturday’s Western Massachusetts Division 4 title game against Lenox, but a nine-round shootout called her into service. Granby and Lenox were tied at five makes, and each set of kicks could be the last.

“I was like ‘I hope this doesn’t happen,’ then it did,” Chateauneuf said. “My teammates calmed me down.”

She approached the ball with a running start and fired it into the top-right corner, giving Granby a 6-5 lead. Lenox matched every goal up to that point, and Katherine Nichols stepped to the spot. She pushed the ball left, out of Granby keeper Julia Gauvin’s reach but past the post.

“I didn’t even realize it at first,” Gauvin said. “She missed, that means we won. I started freaking out, and I cried.”

Gauvin ran toward the sidelines, and Kaeleigh Croteau jumped into her arms. Granby celebrated its fourth consecutive sectional title after a 6-5 win in the shootout at Westfield State.

“You can’t explain the feeling, and I swear every time it gets better,” said Granby junior Nora Young, who was a part of all four.

The Rams (15-5-1) will face Central Mass. champion Uxbridge in the state semifinals at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Chicopee Comp. Granby has lost its last four state semifinal appearances, all to Millbury.

“This group is not satisfied at all,” Granby coach Bob Weaver said. “They didn’t overlook this game, but they wanted to play on.”

The game ended scoreless after 80 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods. Lenox (15-5-1) nearly ended it late in the second overtime when Mary Elliot broke down the middle of the field after a through ball. Emily Vallee chased her down with a perfect tackle to snuff out the threat.

“The defense, they don’t get credit during the season for a lot. They’ve been playing lights out,” Weaver said.

Granby hasn’t endured a penalty shootout since a 2010 loss to Gateway in the Division 3 final.

Both teams made two of their first five penalties. Trystin Burger and Young converted for the Rams, while Lenox keeper Sophie Patella made three saves. Julia Pehlert and Nicole Gamberoni scored for the Millionaires, and Gauvin stopped two shots for Granby.

That brought up Abbie Schilling with a chance to win. She rang the right post to extend the shootout and resuscitate Granby’s title hopes.

“I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” Gauvin said. “It was so nerve-wracking. It was crazy.”

It was Gauvin’s first penalty shootout. She made two saves, and Lenox missed three kicks.

Paige Looney thought she won it for Lenox in the seventh round after her shot connected with the crossbar and bounced down. It briefly appeared over the goal line, but the referees called it a miss and allowed the shootout to continue. Julia Frappier, Ella Laliberte, Gabby Walz and Chateauneuf scored for Granby in the later rounds, while Madison Sexton’s attempt was saved.

“That was scary. I just know that our girls are unbelievable PK takers,” Young said. “I think PKs are a crappy way to lose a game, but Lenox gave us a good match. They’re a great team.”

Granby put the ball in the net in the 69th minute, but Laliberte’s header was called offsides.

“That gave us a lot of motivation,” Young said. “Even though it didn’t count, that still motivated us.”

The Rams couldn’t beat Patella, who made 11 saves. Gauvin stopped three for the Rams.

“It was awesome. We came out at halftime like ‘we’re having so much fun out there,’” Young said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.



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