Mount Greylock Boys Open with Win at Wahconah
DALTON, Mass. -- Even when Wahconah scored the game’s first goal in the season’s second minute, the Mount Greylock boys soccer team was not pushing the panic button.
“We felt like we could move the ball, and I saw some early signs we were having success moving the ball,” Mounties coach Blair Dils said. “Mistakes happen, and those goals are unfortunate, but as a team, you have to learn how to deal with them.”
And deal with them, the Mounties did -- scoring the next five to earn a season-opening, 5-1 victory under the lights.
“I think quietly, as a team, we were confident, but give Wahconah credit,” Dils said. “They played us physically. They pressed hard. They got us to turn the ball over. They got us to turn the ball over in their front third, and they did well to put us on our heels and take us out of our game for the first 15 minutes or so.”
Sam Dils scored twice and had an assist, and Quinn Johnstadt scored a pair to lead Mount Greylock.
But the game’s first goal came off the toe of Wahconah’s Matt Lighten, who took advantage of a golden opportunity in the opening moments.
The hosts’ pressure in the Mount Greylock 18 forced a turnover that gave Lighten a chance against a wide open net, and he buried the shot to give his team a 1-0 lead.
“I looked at my assistant coach and said, ‘That’s too early,’ “ Wahconah coach John Kovacs said. “No. 1, you’re playing against a good team. And scoring early, there’s way too much time. You have to maintain and keep an effort going.
“And we did, but you knew at some point in the game, they were going to get back into it.”
Dils got the equalizer in the 20th minute, one-touching a cross from Tyler Marten.
Mount Greylock had a chance a minute later to go on top, but Anthony Dondiego stopped Brady Foehl’s shot from about 10 yards to keep it a 1-1 game at half-time.
Dils nearly broke the tie in the 49th minute, but once again, Dondiego was there to deny the opportunity.
The floodgates opened moments later, when Naka O’Connor took a through ball from Thomas Astle and finished a run up the middle with the eventual game-winner.
Five minutes later, Dils scored his second of the game to give the Mounties some breathing room at 3-1. Johnstadt scored twice in the final 11 minutes to put the game out of reach.
“I think we relaxed a little bit,” Blair Dils said of the difference in the second half. “We felt that the goal was going to come. We felt if we continued to make them chase the ball, that would make them more tired, and maybe we’d have a little more space to finish.
“That seemed to be how it played out as we went on in that second half.”
Wahconah faces another tough test on Thursday afternoon at Pittsfield. Mount Greylock travels to West Springfield on Saturday.
This game was later forfeited