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Lady Crusaders battle to scoreless tie with Littleton

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LITTLETON — The Groton-Dunstable girls soccer team was looking to secure a post-season berth with a win over Littleton and got half the job done with a scoreless tie, setting up an important game at Marlboro.

Littleton owned a 10-8 edge in shots on goal in the contest, but the Tigers never really mustered a quality scoring chance. The Groton-Dunstable defense of Jess O’Brien, Tory Pfenninger, Abigail Stark and Kristen Mann forced Littleton to take their shots from the perimeter, and Lady Crusader netminder Sandra Lanier made ten saves to earn the shutout.

“We don’t have a lot of depth,” said Groton-Dunstable coach Sue Hilbrunner. “We played a game yesterday and we were a tired team today. We had two great scoring chances, but Littleton’s goaltender came up with a pair of big saves.”

Quality chance number one for Groton-Dunstable came five minutes into the game. Heather Moody used her speed to catch up to a long lead chip and broke in alone on Littleton goaltender Caroline Knowles. Moody ripped a hard shot from close range that was knocked away by a diving Knowles.

Neither team was able to pick up a solid scoring opportunity over the next 30 minutes.

With five minutes left in the first half, Knowles came up big again when she made a diving save at the left post against a hard, skidding shot by Groton-Dunstable’s Krista Ricos.

The Lady Crusaders had two solid chances in the second half to break the ice.

With 12 minutes left, Jamie Alnwick’s well-placed cross into traffic was intercepted by Knowles, with Groton-Dunstable’s Ricos and Anna Yanchenko within striking range.

Seven minutes later, Meredith Shea cut in from the left corner and fired a hard shot that was stopped by Knowles, who made eight saves in the game.