BOLTON — No. 4 seed Groton-Dunstable has had its share of success, but the Crusaders did something Sunday afternoon that no boys soccer team in program history has ever accomplished.
The Crusaders won their first Division 1 Central Mass. championship with a 2-0 shutout of top-seeded Worcester South at Nashoba Regional.
“We have had some success in winning state championships in 2011 and 2012, but the school has not won a district championship in Division 1 in any sport. We knew this was a piece of history for us to accomplish this. I couldn’t be any prouder to bring this trophy back to Groton-Dunstable Regional High School,” G-D coach Sean Wisbey said.
Groton-Dunstable senior captain Matt Krikorian potted both goals to lead his team into Tuesday’s state semifinal against Western Mass. champion Longmeadow at Westfield State, at a time still to be determined.
“In all honesty, I thought I was offsides on that second goal but it was some really good work by Deano (Dean Tornaritis) to get in there and squeeze by,” Krikorian said. “It just happened to slip on my left foot and I put it away. All that matters is that we are heading to the state semifinals.”
Matt Werner stopped six shots to preserve the clean sheet.
Groton-Dunstable made the most of the Colonels’ misfortune.
Worcester South was issued three yellow cards in the first half for excessive arguing about calls with the officials.
“We knew that they (South) would get frustrated at times,” Wisbey said. “We knew to not get involved in that and play the second half out. I couldn’t be any more thrilled about the effort of the kids.”
South nearly scored the game’s first goal on a winding blast from Manesseh Kanadu in the 10th minute, but Werner rose to the occasion with a big-time leaping save.
Krikorian put the Colonels on the ropes in the 19th minute as he had a clear path to the goal down the left side.
The senior captain shimmied through the defense and struck the ball with his left foot past South goalie Kelvin Kosbesorgbor.
“We were in the top-10 for most of the year and have been in first once this season,” Wisbey said. “It is a long season and you are going to have your ups and downs. Sometimes it comes down to getting your team ready to qualify at the end of the season.
“We knew that we had to get through Algonquin — if you want to win it, you have to beat them,” he added.
Groton-Dunstable’s Drew Stone narrowly broke through with the second tally of the match in the 15th, but his midrange shot clanged loudly off the crossbar.
“We knew that we had to get a goal in on them (South) early,” Wisbey said. “Once we get a goal in on them, I knew I could really strangle hold the game. It is the effort of the kids. We have prepared the kids for everything. We turned over every stone, so that all they had to do was come out and execute — they did that today.”
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