WORCESTER — It took two years, but the Millbury girls’ soccer team finally walked off the field with the championship trophy.
The Woolies edged two-time defending champion Millis, 1-0, Saturday morning at Foley Stadium for the program’s first Division 4 state title, and third overall.
The victory comes two years after a 1-0 loss to Millis in the 2017 state final.
“I think there is justice in this world,” said Millbury coach Hussein Issa.
“I said, let’s get the first goal and shut it down.’”
Sophomore forward Grace Martin netted the winner for Millbury (18-3-2), seizing a chance on a counterattack midway through the second half.
Issa called a timeout with 19 minutes left. Less than a minute later, Martin scored. A ball swung out to Martin on the right wing, and the sophomore tore down the field before sliding a shot past the Millis keeper.
“I didn’t see any defenders around me,” Martin said. “All I saw was the net so I just ripped it.”
She also scored the winner in the Woolies’ 1-0 semifinal victory over West champ Lenox.
Issa’s timeout came at the perfect time. Senior center back Abigail Gilbert was nagged by an injury during the second half, and Issa felt he needed a timeout to reorganize the defense. Sure enough, it was a defensive clearance that spurred Martin’s run.
The goal came 31 seconds later.
“We were a little disorganized,” Issa said.
“That was a game-changer.”
Matt MacCormack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.