WOODBURY >> Before every season the captains of the Granby field hockey team choose a quote that will be the team’s motto for the season. This season the captains choose “Will to Win” and that was what the Bears showed in its 1-0 win over top seeded Nonnewaug.
“Our defense is very good and we play well together and we have the ‘Will to Win,'” said junior Olivia Johnson, who scored the lone goal of the game in the first half. “We wanted to represent, that we work hard and that we are going to win.”
The Chiefs came into the game as the No.1 seed in the Class S tournament, only losing to Thomaston in overtime early in the season, and had its eyes set on going further in the tournament, said head coach Kathy Brenner.
“We played a great game and we didn’t give up,” she said. “We had plenty of chances.”
Johnson’s goal came at the 6:55 mark on a penalty corner and that was all the Bears needed to advance to the Class S semifinals.
“I think our intent was to get more goals than them,” smiled Granby head coach, Sandy Wickman Mason. “But getting the first goal, took some pressure off, let us breathe easier.”
“Our game plan was to score early and often,” said Johnson, a junior. “It helped to get the goal in the first half.”
The Bears controlled the pace of the game and had more opportunities to score.
“We played strong,” said Wickman Mason. “We seized the opportunities; we were in the circle a lot.”
Coming into the game the Bears had to get used to playing on grass, having played on turf field all season.
“One of the things was that we had to adjust to playing on grass,” said Wickman Mason. “We’ve been practicing on grass, we knew in the tournament we would have to play on it.”
At the 3:30 mark, the Bears took a time out to rest its players before a final rush by the Chiefs. Brenner took that time to talk her players, asking them if any of them needed a substitute, all said no.
“I was trying to motivate them, I told them to play with all their heart and that there wouldn’t be one hero, the whole team would be heroes,” she said. After the time out the Chiefs maintained pressure getting a couple of shots that went wide, including a corner that just went wide of the net.
“It just wasn’t enough,” said Brenner of the Chiefs’ last chance effort to tie the game. “The last three minutes were good. It just didn’t work out for us.”
The Granby Bears move on to the semifinals and will face, No. 4 Northwest Catholic next week at a date, time and site not yet determined.
No. 9 Granby 1, No. 1 Nonnewaug 0
At Nonnewaug High School
Granby 1 0 – 1
Nonnewaug 0 0 – 0
Goals: G – Olivia Johnson.
Saves: G – Alyssa Grimaldi 6. N – Gemma Bauer 5.
Records: Granby 13-5, Nonnewaug 16-1-0-1.