SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – John Manuel Morales assisted on the winning goal and scored an insurance goal of his own on Sunday to lead the Mount Greylock boys soccer team to a 2-0 win over Springfield International Charter School in the semi-finals of the Western Massachusetts Class C tournament.
George Munemo used his third goal of the season to give the Mounties all the offense they needed, converting a Morales corner kick with a header.
Dan Warren stopped every shot he saw to preserve Mount Greylock’s third straight shutout and set up a rematch with third-seeded Frontier in the regional title game on Wednesday at Minnechaug Regional High School.
In addition to being the third straight clean sheet for Warren, Sunday marked the first time this season that Mount Greylock (7-5-5) has one three games in a row this fall, and it is the first time it has been over the .500 mark since Oct. 4.
“We’re starting to move the ball,” Mount Greylock coach Blair Dils said. “We’ve ironed some things out with our spacing. The midfield three are doing a good job of keeping possession. We’re trying to play quicker, trying to play two touch and keep teams from being able to move and adjust. We’ll find those seams and bang the goal.”
After banging in his first goal of the season from 20 yards out in the second half, Morales agreed that Mount Greylock is playing its best soccer as the post-season gets going.
“I think so, but there’s definitely work we can do, and we’re going to keep working,” he said.
Sunday’s match technically marked the end of the regular season for both teams. The Western Mass tournaments in all sports are designed to utilize an “exemption game” that does not count toward the MIAA regular season for state tournament seeding purposes.
The Mounties’ win over previously unbeaten SICS should help Mount Greylock hold or improve the No. 8 ranking in Division 5 that it carried into the weekend in the most recent in-season power rankings.
First comes the little matter of Wednesday’s rematch with Frontier, a 2-1 loser when the teams met on Sept. 30 in South Deerfield.
“We had a great game with them down at their place,” Dils said. “It was really physical and fast-paced. A lot of energy and emotion. Hopefully, the fans will enjoy it on Wednesday night. It’s going to be a good match.”