CHESHIRE, Mass. -- Goals have not always come easy for the Hoosac Valley girls soccer team this season.
On Monday, they came early and often.
Shaleigh Levsque scored the first of her two goals in the sixth minute, and the Hurricanes went on to a 5-0 win over Lee.
“Wow,” Hoosac Valley coach Kathy Budaj said. “I’m flabbergasted. We have been working a lot on our offense, but it’s nice to see that we are shooting, and we are putting it in the net.
“Hopefully, we can continue this pattern and this mentality. It’s almost tournament time.”
Hoosac Valley has more work to do than most teams before the tournament, with games on Tuesday at Ludlow and Thursday at Pittsfield at BCC.
The Hurricanes (7-3-6) go into those games having scored eight goals in their last two games and knowing that they have a ticket to the Western Massachusetts tournament in their back pocket.
Lee also knows that it has qualified for the postseason, which is why Wildcats coach Lauren Finnegan decided to rest a number of her regulars and give her junior varsity players a chance to get some experience against the Berkshire County North Division foe.
“Keeper Bella Lovato was out,” Finnegan said. “She had a concussion from the Greenfield game. She’ll probably be fine for tournament. We had my daughter [Maeve Finnegan] who decided to step up. Molly Macchi was still out from Lenox. So I had two subs, and we just talked about heart.
“Eleven girls stepped up. I can’t even tell you how well they stepped up Friday [in a 1-0 win over Lenox]. They made Maeve look good in goal because the 10 girls in front of her played their hearts out and ensured that any chance they had to take a shot would be the worst shot they could possibly take. And that’s how hard they played for 80 minutes.”
Lee also played hard on Friday, but the Hoosac Valley onslaught was too much in the early going.
Levesque scored her first goal with a shot from the top of the 18 that glanced off a Lee defender past Finnegan.
Eleven minutes later, Levesque scored again, converting an Abigail Hugger corner kick to double Hoosac Valley’s lead.
Samantha Loholdt scored midway through the first half, and Riley Robinson added a goal of her own and an assist on Faith Hall’s goal to make it 5-0 at half-time.
Lee recovered in the second half, narrowly outshooting the Hurricanes, 4-3, over the final 40 minutes, but the issue was no longer in doubt.
There also is little doubt that no matter what happened on Monday against Division 3 Hoosac Valley, the Wildcats will be confident going into next week’s D4 tournament.
“I think what [the Lenox win] did was it showed the girls what they’re capable of,” Lauren Finnegan said. “That does play into confidence. When you can say: Holy cow, we can beat Lenox with two subs -- actually one sub toward the end of the game -- and play the way we did … Whoever we face, we can do the same thing. It’s huge.”
Lee (9-5-3) finishes the regular season at home on Wednesday against Mount Everett.