FALMOUTH — Haley DeGraca had never scored a winning goal at any level. She picked a good time and place for her first.

DeGraca scored off a perfect crossing pass from Tori Daigle with 10:19 left in the second overtime as third-seeded Thornton Academy defeated second-seeded Falmouth 1-0 in a Western Class A girls’ soccer semifinal Saturday.

“It’s my biggest goal,’’ said DeGraca. “Ever.’’

The Trojans (14-1-1) will play at top-seeded Windham in the regional final Wednesday. The Eagles beat Thornton 1-0 on Sept. 21. It will be the Trojans’ third appearance in the final in the last five years.

“Lots of guts,’’ said Thornton Coach Chris Kohl. “This group of kids is one of the hardest-working groups I’ve ever had, and I wanted them to get to championship week.

“These kids have laid it all out all the time and I’ve so proud of them. And I’m hoping for some more.’’

Falmouth (12-3-1), which won the last three Class B state championships, was playing in Class A for the first time.

The Trojans controlled play throughout but couldn’t finish until the final play.

Daigle, a junior right wing with sprinter’s speed, had been held in check all game by Emma England of Falmouth, who countered Daigle’s speed with great instincts.

But Daigle gained control at midfield and got past England on the right wing.

“We knew what Tori could do with the ball on her foot,’’ said Falmouth Coach Andrew Pelletier. “Emma did a really, really good job shutting her down for the most part throughout the game. But, just one time.’’

Daigle sent a pass across the field. DeGraca cut in from the left as Falmouth keeper Maggie Seitz raced out to intercept the pass.

“I saw Tori beat her defender and she just sent the perfect ball,’’ said DeGraca. “And in my mind I said I was going to get this, no matter what I (had to) do, because I wanted my team to win so bad.’’

And she did.

DeGraca got her foot on the ball a microsecond before Seitz got there, and it sailed into the back of the net.

Daigle said the Trojans had worked on that play this week. “Just a couple of days ago,’’ she said. “And it actually worked.’’

“Perfect run, perfect timing,’’ said Kohl. “We’ve been working on those things a lot this year and (DeGraca) just came in at the right time, anticipated the run and just buried it. And then it all went to pandemonium.’’

Mike Lowe can be reached at 791-6422 or at:[email protected]Twitter: Mike Lowe PPH


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