SHEFFIELD, Mass. — The Mount Everett boys soccer team had a long time to get ready for the post-season.
It wasted no time getting its offense in gear.
Just 49 seconds into Thursday’s Western Massachusetts Division 4 quarter-final, Andrew Consolini took a through ball inside the 18 on the right side and crossed to Pedro Rodrigo, who finished to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead en route to a 4-2 win over Mohawk Trail and a berth in the sectional’s final four.
Top-seeded Mount Everett (10-6-2) next week will take on either No. 4 Gateway (10-7-1) or No. 5 Monson (7-8-3) for a chance to play for the Western Mass title.
Eagles coach Joe McSpiritt said that Rodrigo’s goal gave his team a boost on a soggy afternoon.
“That’s huge,” McSpiritt said. “Especially because this is one of those days where it’s wet, it’s wild. Anything could happen. So being able to come out and get on the front foot early was huge.”
Mount Everett went on to take a 3-0 lead before Mohawk scored twice in a wild first half.
The visitors’ second goal, in the 28th minute, changed what looked to be a laugher early on into anyone’s game going into the break.
“We took our foot off the gas for a minute and kind of let them get back in it,” McSpiritt said. “We just had to remind them all throughout the season to play with composure, which means doing the right thing at the right time. And I think in the second half, we did a good job of coming out and playing with composure.”
Mount Everett re-established its two-goal lead early in the second half and held off a Mohawk flurry in the closing moments to win in its first game since way back on Oct. 29 — eight days before Thursday’s playoff opener.
The Eagles dominated the early stages, following up Rodrigo’s goal with a blast from the top of the 18 by Consolini six minutes later. Moments after that, Jack Carpenter had a try from the top of the area. Both were denied by Mohawk Trail keeper Reuben Bassett (14 saves).
Jordi Peck broke through in the 16th minute.
Jacob Ten Broeck took a pass from David Bautista-Cruz on the right wing and sent the ball into the middle of the 18, where Peck was able to settle and slip a shot into the back of the net to make it 2-0.
A couple of minutes later, on a Mount Everett corner kick, Carpenter headed the ball toward the goal, where it went off the leg of a Mohawk defender and past a diving Bassett for the three-goal margin with 22 minutes, 17 seconds left in the first half.
Mohawk answered with two goals seven minutes apart.
First, the Eagles were whistled for a handball inside the 18, and Mohawk converted the penalty kick. Then a cross from the left wing set up the visitors’ second goal to make it a one-goal margin.
It stayed that way until the 48th minute, when Consolini was fouled from behind near the top of the 18, drawing the game’s second PK. Carpenter converted with a shot low to the right of Bassett to provide the final margin.
Michael Devoti made it stand up with four of his five saves in the second half to earn the win goal.
Thursday marked just the third time all season the Eagles scored four or more goals, but their offense may be jelling at the right time. Nine different players have scored this fall, and Mount Everett’s offensive versatility was on full display on a slick pitch Thursday.
“The boys did a great job this year of learning how to play as a team so they’re all filling spots, they’re filling roles, they’re filling space on the field, and it definitely helps our attack,” McSpiritt said.