Kershaw, Hirsch Lead Mount Greylock Boys to Final
Down a goal midway through the first half of their Western Massachusetts Division 3 semi-final against Southwick-Tolland, the Mounties lined up for a corner kick from the left wing. Benni McComish’s entry was on target, the defense failed to clear, and the Mount Greylock attack did the rest.
Taylor Carlough headed the ball to Felix Kershaw, who returned it to Carlough, who crossed to Eric Hirsch on the left side. Hirsch headed the ball toward Sam Dils on the end line, and Dils crossed back to Kershaw, who buried his seventh goal of the year.
“We really are not a set piece scoring team, you know,” Hirsch said. “I’m not really sure if we scored off a corner all year. But when the ball’s in the mixer like that, anything can happen.”
Mount Greylock (14-1-3) picked a good time to start scoring on corner kicks. Kershaw’s first goal of the game erased the early deficit and sent the Mounties on their way to a 5-1 win and a rematch in the regional championship game against Belchertown, which won 3-0 against Frontier on Tuesday night and 2-0 the last time it played Mount Greylock, in the 2013 Western Mass final.
Hirsch, who went on to contribute a goal and an assist, said that it was satisfying to have all the combinations come together in Kershaw’s game-tying tally.
“I got a header on it, Sam had a great cross, and Felix had a great finish,” he said. “We have the skill to do it. We don’t always do it. But we were able to get one, any way we can.”
Mount Greylock coach Blair Dils said it was nice to see the Mounties’ skills come out in a game the way he sees them on display in practice.
“It’s the kind of things we’ve been working on in training: Trying to get the edge, finding guys in front of the net, one-touch passing -- not only passing to teammates but passing it into the back of the net,” he said. “Those are things we work on all the time.
“It was rewarding to see goals get scored with assists. The other night [a 6-0 quarter-final win], we had several goals with no assists, which is unusual for us. Tonight, I’d say most of them, with the exception of the PK, were assisted goals.”
It is arguable even the penalty kick came with an assist -- at least in spirit.
The game-winning goal certainly did.
In the 38th minute, Hirsch made a run on the right wing, beat his man in the box and slid a diagonal pass to Sam Dils, who finished for the eighth time this year to make it 2-1 heading into half-time.
The PK came midway through the second half. Hirsch fed Kirshaw on the left wing, and the 6-foot-1 sophomore was hauled down in the box, drawing the penalty try. Kirshaw took the shot himself and hit the back corner of the net to make it 3-1.
Hirsch, who leads the Mounties in scoring, got his 19th of the year a couple minutes later with an assist from Emmanuel “Crow” Brennan. And Dan Flynn put the finishing touches on the victory with his 11th goal of the season in the 87th minute.
Mount Greylock keeper Cal Filson, who let one in early after a Southwick forward collided with defender Taylor Carlough for what could have been called a foul right in front of Filson, made three saves in the win.
As of 11 p.m. Tuesday night, the MIAA had not posted the date or location for the Division 3 championship game.