GRAFTON -- Coming into the season, the Bromfield girls' soccer team had a commendable goal to achieve: to be good teammates. Mission accomplished. So no one can fault the Lady Trojans for falling to Sutton 1-0 Sunday in the Division 3 Central Mass. District finals at Grafton High School. Bromfield and Sutton fans packed the stands to the brim, and provided a raucous atmosphere for championship soccer.
"Sutton was solid in the air. They certainly won a large majority of the 50-50 balls and they were very physical," said Bromfield head coach Gary Wenger. "We certainly gave them a game." The Suzies won a majority of the 50-50 balls in the air, which led to better opportunities on goal.
From the start, Sutton made it clear that they were going to shut down Bromfield's work-the-ball-from-the-wings-in strategy. The Suzies controlled the midfield for the better portion of the match. Bromfield had their chances at goal against the sometimes overzealous Sutton defense.
The Lady Trojans opportunities came on free kicks from about 30-yards out by their set piece specialist Lizzie Rooney. Rooney let a great free kick fly from the right side of the pitch looking for Osgood. Osgood turned on the afterburners and tried to kick it towards net, but the ball deflected off her right instep wide right with 28:15 remaining in the first half.
The Lady Trojans would not have another solid chance on goal until the 30th minute. Rooney hooked a corner kick in from the right side, but Osgood just couldn't settle the ball in traffic.
Sutton junior midfielder Monica Hall stormed down the pitch with 8:00 remaining and unleashed a screamer from the right side. Bromfield goalkeeper Meghanne Fitzsimmons leaped up and made a fantastic save.
The Lady Trojans would try their luck again at net before the halftime whistle sounded. Bromfield's Sophia Turchetta coaxed a cross into the 18-yard box to a streaking Moriah Arnold, who smashed into Sutton goalkeeper Alex Hill with less than a minute left in the half.
At the half, Sutton head coach David Payne told his players to up the intensity on the Bromfield defense, and they did just that. Bromfield's offensive attacks were limited by the Suzies for much of the final 40 minutes of play.
Sutton had a chance to score the go-ahead goal in the 31st minute on a tremendous through-ball from senior defender Elaina Falcone to Brianna Wason, who sent the ball off the top of the woodwork and out of play.
Rooney would try to thread the needle with Osgood again in the 29th minute on a free kick from 33 yards out. Osgood came blazing into the box and slid to get a shot off, but she rocketed it over the goal with too much pace.
Bromfield's defense held their own for the majority of the match, bending but not allowing a breakthrough. Freshman Elizabeth Charity fed a through-ball into the box and found her classmate, Paige Vigliotta, who connected with the ball off her right thigh past Bromfield goalkeeper Jenn Symula with 11:37 remaining in regulation.
Vigliotta was a late substitution after starting senior midfielder Cierra Dubinsky went down with an apparent leg injury towards the end of the first half.
The Lady Trojans graduate seven seniors from this year's Division 3 runner-up squad in midfielders: Alyssa Johnson, Clara Wang, Kiley Nygren, and Sarah Duckett. On defense: Kara Kennedy and Emma Hall will also be missed.
"They are going to leave a positive personality gap," said Wenger on the graduating seniors. "They really made the team fun, and made the girls want to come every day to practice. They set the tone for a real positive season right from the beginning to the end."