DANBURY, Conn. — Myah Croze’s 17th and 18th goals of the season lifted Western Connecticut State over Castleton 3-1 in a Little East soccer semifinal played in a persistent rainy/snowy mix Thursday night.
The goals broke up a 1-1 deadlock and lifted the second-seeded Colonials into Saturday’s championship game. The Colonials, 14-5-2, capped a two-game sweep of the Spartans, who they beat 4-2 in the regular season.
No. 6 Castleton finished the season at 10-10.
Loren Henderson’s acrobatics in goal and Makenzi Bellando’s seventh goal of the year got the Spartans to a halftime deadlock at 1-1 in a game where they eventually outshot 36-13 overall and 21-7 on net.
The host Colonials were dominant in the half with prolonged forays into scoring position and Henderson was equal to the challenge with 11 saves. Western Connecticut put 12 shots on frame to Castleton’s four before the break.
Moments after the Colonials grabbed the lead on Skylar Jorge’s goal (12:43), Croze hit a booming shot from outside the 18 that a leaping Henderson one-handed over the crossbar.
Soon after, Nicolette Stocks hit a grounder that sent Henderson diving at the left post to cover. Bellando then struck, unassisted, at 30:57.
The second half began much more even and the Spartans were able to put some pressure on Karly Martin (six saves). CU saw a chance to take the lead go by the boards when Rylee Nichols’ hard shot was just wide and hit the outside netting.
Croze broke the tie with 21:49 to play and later padded the lead with a penalty kick past Henderson, who finished the 18 saves.
All-SVL teams announced
The all-Southern Vermont League field hockey teams:
Bailey Cameron, Kennedy Mullen and Daisey Phelps, Hartford; Haley Lassen, Stefanie Allen and Kaylee Kosmalski, Rutland; Efremia Geralia and Riley Callen, Burr and Burton; Halle Dickerson, Meagan Kelly and Taylor Goodell, Bellows Falls; Coach of the year, Heather Scudder, Bellows Falls.
Maya Waryas, Bellows Falls; Katie Sunderland, Rutland; Dailey Phelps, Hartford; Annabelle Gray, Lola Herzog, and Hannah Callen, Burr and Burton.
Elinor Ross, Alia Edmunds and Brittney Jackson, Otter Valley; Natalia Dorcely, Springfield; Anna Breslen, Fair Haven; Alyssa Slocum, Hannah Wood, Hayley Fortin, Peyton Richardson and Angelina Bigwood, Windsor; Sami Yates and MacKenzie Yates, Woodstock; Rachel Rooney and Edie Cay, Brattleboro; Co-coaches of the year, Stacey Edmunds, Otter Valley, and Jodi Wood, Windsor.
Kaylin Bailey Brattleboro; Makaila Dorcely, Reilly Tennis and Anna Church, Springfield; Jordyn Howard, Fair Haven; Alice Keith, Otter Valley; Maggie Parker and Allie Cimis Woodstock, Sophie Markowski, Otter Valley.