Western Mass. Girls Soccer: Lee into semis with win over McCann Tech
LEE — The Lee girls soccer team spent much of the end of its regular season trying to get all of its players healthy. Now that the Wildcats have their players back playing, they showed just what the team is capable of with a 3-0 win yesterday over McCann Tech in the quarterfinal round of the Western Massachusetts Division IV tournament.
Karli Retzel scored twice for fourth-seeded Lee (9-8-2), as the Wildcats now move on the semifinal round where they will play top-seeded Monson and on a date, time and location to be determined. Shannon Finnegan also added a goal for Lee, which led 3-0 at halftime.
"We practiced every day this week and worked on some various things with the girls and tried to get some girls healthy," Lee coach Lauren Finnegan said. "And then we tried to get the girls who were unhealthy through the season working together because they haven't played together. So we tried to get them working together and communicating more."
Fifth-seeded McCann (14-5-1) played much better in the second half, with at least four solid opportunities to score, while not allowing Lee to score. But Aimee Dowling hit the post with about a half hour remaining in the game before Monique Martel barely cleared the crossbar on an attempt with about 18 minutes remaining.
With just over eight minutes left and still trailing by three, Julia Esoldi put a solid shot on net, but it was saved by Lee goalie Brianna Hawley. Dowling tried one more time just over a minute later, but Hawley again made the save.
"It was a tale of two halves" McCann coach Mike Dowling said. "We had a chance at three, four, five goals in the second half. We missed two right in front, hit the post and had one just sail over. They capitalized on their opportunities and we missed a couple of marks in the middle. They outplayed us in the first half, but we gave them a game."
Retzel opened the scoring in a first half that Lee dominated as she controlled a bouncing ball off a corner kick from Finnegan and put it in the back of the net in the 17th minute. Retzel doubled the Wildcats' lead in the 21st minute, lofting one over the keeper's head and in from outside of the box.
Finnegan then scored off a rebound in the 27th minute for Lee, making it 3-0 in favor of the home squad. Maddie Graziano almost made it a four-goal advantage in the 32nd minute, but her shot hit off the crossbar.
L—Karli Retzel (Shannon Finnegan), 16:32. L—Retzel (UA), 20:09. L—Finnegan (UA), 26:43.
Saves—McCann Tech: Alanza Quinones 7. Lee: Brianna Hawley 3.
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