WETHERSFIELD, November 18 – The Immaculate field hockey team was well aware of the legacy of their opponent – Granby – in Sunday’s Class S championship game. This was the Bears’ 22nd appearance in a state championship game and Granby was looking for their first title since 2011.
Immaculate was playing in their first-ever championship game – having been stopped twice in the last three years in the semifinals. Granby eliminated Immaculate in the semifinals a year ago.
Immaculate coach Shannon Horosky was beyond thrilled after her Mustangs dominated Granby in a 3-0 victory in the Class S championship game. The Mustangs (20-2-0-1) scored their first goal on a penalty stroke in the first half and added a pair of goals from Molly Coyle in the second half.
Immaculate had 11 shots on net and had eight penalty corner opportunities. The Bears had just three shots on goal and no penalty corner opportunities – a surprising finish for a Granby team that won 18 of their previous 19 games and gave up just four goals in those 19 games.
“They had such a great game,” Horosky said of her team. “They came out and definitely showed how much they wanted this on the field.”
The Mustangs, who fell in the Southwest Conference tournament final to Pomperaug, 1-0, won seven of their last eight games. They frequently beat Granby to the ball and were able to move the ball well around the field.
“When it comes together, it comes together beautifully as it did today,” Horosky said. “We’ve struggled at (other) times (this year).
Immaculate came to play on this championship Sunday. They took a 1-0 lead on a penalty stroke by senior Madison Halas with 16:32 left in the first half. The stroke was called when a Mustang shot hit the foot of a Granby defender standing on the goal line in the goal.
In the second half, Coyle scored twice. She was the recipient of outstanding passing in the crease and had her stick down to redirect the ball into the net. Coyle scored with 17:42 left in the second half when she took a backhand pass from Halas.
Coyle extended the lead to 3-0 with 7:10 left in the game off a pass from sophomore Celia Preveza. The Bears had shutout their last five opponents and had 15 shutouts in 20 games this season.
“Immaculate is a well-coached team that had a great year – a magical year,” Granby coach Sandy Wickman Mason said. “We played really hard. (Immaculate) took advantage of some breaks and we didn’t get many (breaks).”
Granby had great success this season moving the ball with precision. They couldn’t get it done Sunday.
“We tried to force the ball where we wanted to go,” Wickman Mason said. “If we had (moved the ball to the other side of the field) more I think it could have been a different game. When we did, we were very effective.”
Granby was playing in their fourth Class S championship game in the last six years. It was their fourth straight defeat in the finals. Their last title came in 2011.
“We’ve played some great teams,” Wickman Mason said. “We didn’t play horrible. I thought we played pretty well but Immaculate is a very good team.”
The Bears, who have won eight state championships, losing to Stonington in 2013, Lewis Mills in 2014 and North Branford in 2017.
Immaculate 3, Granby 0
Immaculate (20-2-0-1) 1 2 — 3
Granby (18-2) 0 0 — 0
Goals: Madison Halas (I), Molly Coyle (I) 2; Assists: Halas, Celia Preveza (I); Saves: Nina DeGagne (G) 8, Lauren Oskam (I) 3; Shots: Immaculate, 11-3; Saves: Granby 9-3; Penalty corners: Immaculate 8-0