The top-seeded Rangers (15-1-2 regular season) advanced to the semi-finals against the winner of Monday night's quarterfinal between Groton-Dunstable and Wachusett. Wachusett is seeded fourth, and Groton-Dunstable fifth, in the 10-team bracket. Westborough earned a first-round bye.
Westborough hadn't faced eighth-seeded Tantasqua this season before Sunday, head coach Paul Mumby said.
“But, they beat Marlborough coming into it (2-1 in overtime, in the Sectionals’ first round). They played Minnechaug as well, in the regular season. So, I kind of figured they weren’t a bad team. But I thought we could beat them," he said.
"But, today, we started out slow. I think we thought, ‘Okay, we’re
going to win.’ They came out, and they gave us a game to start with, and our
girls weren’t playing as they should play.”
McGourty put Westborough ahead 1-0 in the 17th minute, assisted by senior Mia Natale.
Tantasqua tied the score at 1-1 in the 23rd minute, on the first of two goals by Meaghan Kelley (assisted by Taylor Farland).
Westborough regained the lead in the 25th minute, on Thomas' goal from junior Ashley Butler. And McGourty and senior Kylie Jones gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead as the half ended.
McGourty scored unassisted about a minute into the second half, for a 4-1 lead.
But Tantasqua cut the lead to two, 4-2, on a Kelley goal from Farland in the ninth minute.
Thomas then scored her second goal, from senior co-captain Katie Litwin, in the 12th minute.
Westborough played strong defense, led by senior keeper Margo Murphy, the rest of the way.
"Margo’s been probably the surprise of the season," Mumby said.
"We didn’t have a goalkeeper to start the season, and Margo stepped up and she’s been fantastic.”