Mount Greylock Boys 'Lay It All Out There' on Senior Night
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- On Monday afternoon, the Mount Greylock boys soccer team was a dispirited group.
Somehow, it managed to play some of its most spirited soccer of the year on Monday night.
Sam Dils scored twice and had an assist, and J. Bath had a goal and an assist to lead the Mounties to a 5-3 win over Amherst on John T. Allen Field.
The Mounties (3-11-1) took the field a few hours after hearing that the MIAA would not allow them to participate in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament.
Between that and the fact that 2015 Division 1 semi-finalist Amherst was in town, it could have been a very long Senior Night.
“It’s been hard,” Mount Greylock senior Emmanuel “Crow” Brennan said. “We’ve been playing at practice like we were going to get into the playoffs. Every day, we’ve been working really hard. We also knew this was a possibility. So, we dealt with it, and today we came out and played the game we know how to play.”
Brennan said Monday’s team meeting was worse than the Oct. 16 session when it heard the team needed to forfeit seven games (including six wins) because of an administrative error.
“It was more than that,” he said. “When we first talked about [the forfeits], we still had hope we were going to get in, and it didn’t even feel like we weren’t going to get in. Today, when we knew we weren’t going to get in, it killed us all. It made it feel real.
“It didn’t feel real before.”
Mounties coach Blair Dils was impressed with his team’s ability to process the new reality and dive head first into its final two games of the season.
“I loved the energy of the group tonight,” he said. “These guys brought it. They weren’t sulking or moping about the decision today, and they laid it all out there for the seniors tonight.”
It was a pair of juniors who sparked the offense early.
In the first minute, Sam Dils made a run down the right wing and sent a cross for J. Bath, who finished to give the Mounties a 1-0 lead.
Then, after Amherst answered in the fourth minute, Dils and Bath connected again. This time, it was Bath feeding Dils on a play that started with a free kick from high on the left wing to make it 2-1.
“I’m really proud of J. Bath for coming out strong tonight,” Brennan said. “I think this was the first game he started. For him to come out in the first minute like that -- that goal really gave us the momentum to go forward and come out with this big win.”
The frenetic scoring pace continued as Amherst again tied it with 26 minutes, 15 seconds left in the first, and Mount Greylock regained the lead at 3-2 less than a minute later.
The eventual game-winner came when Zach Condon redirected a Kyle Bazonski free kick from the left wing to cap a stretch of five goals in 16 minutes.
Blair Dils was surprised as anyone to see the two teams ultimately combine for eight goals on the night.
“No, I never expected that,” he said. “Maybe 8-0 for them. But every time you think you sort of figure things out, a game like that happens. We haven’t played in almost two weeks, and I had no idea what to expect.
“We’ve had really good training sessions, and guys have been working hard. But to put five up against a team like Amherst is a really good night in any season.”
Mount Greylock took its first two-goal lead in the 48th minute when Sam Dils notched an unassisted goal for his team-leading ninth of the season.
The Hurricanes scored off a corner kick in the 70th minute to make it 4-3, but Mount Greylock answered with a goal off a restart with 2:38 left. Tyler Marten set up Brady Foehl to finish a play that started with another Bazonski free kick.
After beating the Hurricanes, a program it last played in 2013 (a 5-1 Amherst win), the Mounties finish the year Tuesday at Frontier (10-3-3), the defending Western Mass D3 champion.
“Right before the game, in the locker room, we said this is the semi-final and tomorrow’s the final for us,” Brennan said. “We took it to Amherst tonight with a good win, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”