By John Torsiello
The Granby Memorial High School field hockey team played its way into the semifinals of the Class S state tournament with a 1-0 win over Nonnewaug last week.
The ninth-ranked Bears handled the top-ranked and previously unbeaten Berkshire League champions on their home turf, 1-0, and were set to face fourth-seeded Northwest Catholic Wednesday (after press time) at Simsbury High School.
Olivia Johnson scored the only goal of the game at the 6:55 mark of the first half off a penalty corner.
“The North Branford win in the first round of the state tournament was a confidence builder,” said Granby head coach Sandy Wickman-Mason this week. “The Nonnewaug game was played in rainy conditions, and we were able to notch up our level of play on yet another grass field.”
Granby goalkeeper Alyssa Grimaldi played an outstanding game, coming up with key saves, particularly in the first half to secure the shutout.
Said Wickman-Mason, “We put out an excellent team effort to advance to the semifinals. Northwest Catholic has had a great season, placing first in the Central Connecticut Conference. We expect a hard fought game. We will need our “A” game from everyone. We are excited to be back on turf.”
Granby opened up its quest for a state Class S title with a thrilling, 1-0, overtime win over North Branford on the road last Tuesday.
Katie Calnen found the net with 52 seconds left in the overtime period to provide the winning margin.
Granby led in penalty corners, 14-8, and goalie Hanna Crose had eight saves, six in the first half and two the remainder of the contest.
After starting the season 8-1, they lost four of their final seven games of the regular season but did have a 2-0 win over South Windsor in the final contest prior to the state tournament, and have won three straight games.