Mount Greylock Boys Get Another Shot at Belchertown
If it’s November, it must be Belchertown-Mount Greylock.
The high schools’ boys soccer teams have battled each other in the Western Massachusetts sectional tournament every year since 2009, and each time it has been the Orioles on the winning end -- by one goal the first three times around, by two goals in 2012 and ‘13.
Last year’s 2-0 loss at Westfield State left a mark on this year’s Mounties.
“Everyone on our team, the minute last year’s game ended, was thinking about this year -- about what it’s going to be like [Sunday],” said Eric Hirsch, who sat out last year’s Western Mass final with a hip flexor.
“That’s how we were preparing. That’s what we had on our minds in preseason. We wouldn’t want to have anyone else. And obviously, they’ve had our numbers the last few years. But we have a large senior class, and we think we can change that this year. We’re excited.”
Hirsch is healthy going into Sunday’s 4:30 p.m. rematch at Westfield State in the Western Mass Division 3 title game. The senior forward leads Mount Greylock with 19 goals and 13 assists. He had one of each in Tuesday’s 5-1 win over Southwick-Tolland as the top-seeded Mounties (14-1-3) scored their 11th goal in two playoff outings this fall.
Second-seeded Belchertown (13-3-4) is led by the trio of Nicholas Drost, Noah Lussier and Christopher Noga, who have 11, 10 and nine goals this fall, respectively, according to masslive.com. Noga has nine assists to give him a team-high 18 points.
Belchertown’s three losses have come against Amherst, Hampshire and West Springfield. Amherst and Springfield are playing on Saturday for the Western Mass Division 1 championship; Hampshire was seeded third in D3 but was upset by Frontier, who lost to Belchertown, 3-0, in the semis.
Belchertown has gone 3-0 against the Berkshires this year, beating Pittsfield (3-1), Monument Mountain (3-1) and Wahconah (4-1), the last in the tournament.
Mount Greylock is a collective 4-0-2 against those three opponents and is 1-1 against teams from Belchertown’s league. The Mounties beat Longmeadow, 2-0, and suffered their only loss of the year against West Springfield, 1-0.
In retrospect, all those games look like mere precursors.
“I think it was inevitable, I mean we hoped it was going to be inevitable,” Mount Greylock coach Blair Dils said. “We’re very excited. These guys have been looking forward to that game since they knocked us out last year.
“It’s really exciting. I think we’ve got a great group of seniors who are ready to lead us. And it’s going to be a super, super match on [Sunday].”