Welch's Hat Trick Lifts Mount Greylock at Wahconah
DALTON, Mass. -- For three weeks, the Mount Greylock boys soccer team has been swinging with the heavy bat.
In the first half Wednesday at Wahconah, the Mounties hit a grand slam.
Finn Welch scored two of his three goals, and Mount Greylock scored four times before half-time en route to its first victory of the season, a 5-0 win.
The Mounties (1-5), who scored just once in their first five games, evened their record at 1-1 in the Berkshire North after a September dominated by non-league games against the likes of West Springfield, Longmeadow and Ludlow.
“It was great to see,” Mount Greylock coach Blair Dils said of his offense’s production. “We talked a lot about it after the West Springfield game, where we created some great chances down there -- hit a post and had some really good opportunities. We’ve been working on it in training a lot, and it was nice to see guys cash in on it today.
“We’re young. We’re not super deep. And we were up against really talented teams [the first three weeks]. We were hoping to get a couple of points out of those games in the beginning, but I think we’re starting to understand what it will take to play for 80 minutes.”
It took just six minutes for Welch to give the Mounties their first lead of 2018. After a quick restart on a foul on the left wing, Luke Swann (one goal, two assists) set up Welch for the game-winner with 34 minutes, 18 seconds left in the first half.
The early goal took the wind out of Wahconah’s sails - a common refrain for coach John Kovacs’ side.
“It’s been our mantra for two years,” he said. “We have a tough start, we let up goals, and everyone lets down. You have a letdown, and it’s too hard to recover. You’re down 4-zip. You get down too many goals, and you can’t recover.”
In a seven-minute stretch, Mount Greylock delivered the knockout blow with three goals in rapid succession -- unassisted tallies by Swann and Welch wrapped around a Leo Rossiter tally in traffic.
Swann’s goal and Welch’s second both came after they created space for themselves -- Swann on a run from the left wing to the top of the 18 and Welch into the penalty area and the teeth of the Wahconah defense.
“They were finding each other, but each of them is also dangerous off the dribble,” Dils said. “It was nice to see them have a little space to put their skills to good use.”
In the 52nd minute, Welch took a through ball up the middle from Swann and completed his hat trick, beating Wahconah keeper Kyle Brogan, who did what he could to keep it close with eight saves.
Wahconah (2-5-1) tries to snap a two-game losing streak on Friday at home against Hoosac Valley.
“We actually have been making strides with our teamwork, our effort, our blending,” Kovacs said. “All that stuff has been nice. Today we kind of took two steps backward, and we have to get back to that focus.
“Monument [a 1-0 loss last Friday] was great. Monument was fun. It was a pretty even game, anybody’s game. We had chances to win it at 0-0, and we had chances to tie it when we were down 1-zip.
“It was a total team letdown today. We just couldn’t get any momentum.”
David Falk made seven saves to earn the win for Mount Greylock, which stays in the North and goes to Lenox on Thursday.