WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Goaltending was a big key for the Mount Greylock girls soccer team last fall, and the graduation of all-everything keeper Margot Besnard was a big loss.
The good news for the Mounties is that sophomoer Charlotte Rand brings continuity in goal after making seven varsity appearances for a team that went 11-4-3 and fell in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinals.
"She's doing alright," Greylock coach Tom Ostheimer said of Rand during a break at last week's Drury High School Scrim-Fest. "She got some time, mostly in the second halves of games, some of the games we were up by comfortable margins. But she's good.
"She's a very sure-handed, smart kid."
And she will be tested for the first time on Tuesday when the Mounties host St. Joseph.
Although Besnard's departure is one of the more significant changes on the local soccer scene this fall, Mount Greylock returns three of its top four scorers from a year ago, including its top two.
Senior Sophie Leamon scored a team-high eight goals last year while junior Kelsey Orpin scored seven as a sophomore. Melissa Swann is back after scoring five goals as a freshman, good for fourth on the team's stat sheet.
"Margot Besnard, who we had for five years, is a big loss, but we've got Mackenzie Flynn, who was a starter, Sarah Stripp -- starter, Lucy Barrett started, Kelsey Orpin, Melissa Swann, Miranda Bucky, Sophie Leamon," Ostheimer said. "We've got seven starters. We're missing our goalie, our sweep, a midfielder and a forward.
"On the flip side, we've got a couple of eighth-graders starting. We've got a sizable senior class and then a good young corps of eighth-graders."
Ostheimer expects contributions right away from eighth-graders Elena Cerveira, Mae Burris-Wells and Carolyn Flynn, he said. Flynn will play at forward; Cerveria and Burris-Wells will see time in the back.
"I don't know about startign [in the back], but one has started [in scrimmages]," Ostheimer said. "I know that sounds crazy."
Ostheimer said he is looking forward to generating a little more offense this year.
"Last year, we won a lot of games, 1-0," he said. "That's not going to work this year. It's not all the new goalie. It's some youth in the back.
"Margot was the one who would bail them out ... her or [graduated back] Alexa Adams."