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Sports Editor

MARLBORO — Many things were stacked against the Groton-Dunstable girls soccer team this season. They were replacing a number of talented athletes who were lost to graduation, and faced one of the most rugged schedules in Central Massachusetts, fraught with a number of Central Massachusetts most powerful squads.

But first year coach Sue Hillbrunner pulled things together and the Lady Crusaders made their roller coaster ride a successful one. They earned a post-season berth on Monday night when they eked out a hard-fought 1-0 win over MidWach B rival Marlboro in their regular season finale.

The formula for the clinching victory was tough defense, backboned by goaltender Sandra Lanier, who made 17 saves. Anna Yanchenko provided the margin of victory with the lone goal of the game.

The Lady Crusaders, who finished with a 7-6-5 record, will now await the seedings for the upcoming Central Mass. Division 1 Tournament.