Mounties Pass Big Test Against D-1 Amherst

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AMHERST, Mass. -- Going undefeated in Berkshire County wasn't enough for the Mount Greylock boys' soccer team this year. On Saturday, the Mounties challenged themselves by going down to Amherst and beating a quality Division 1 opponent 2-1 on the road. 

Junior Nathan Majumder scored both goals for Greylock (13-0-2), raising his season total to 13 tallies in the process. According to head coach Blair Dils, Majumder's first goal, set up by senior Ryan Mahar, was of the highlight-reel variety.

"Nathan made a great individual play on our first goal," Dils said. "He received a great pass from Ryan about thirty-five yards out, took on two midfielders, then slipped past the center back. He fired a low accurate ball across the goal mouth to hit the left side of the net. A great goal."

The Mounties kept the pressure on the Hurricanes througout the first half, earning an 8-5 edge in shots in the first 40 minutes of the game. 

"We played a tactically smart, sound game," Dils said. "Even though they were a little quicker and bigger in a few places on the field, our boys played with more passion. We had them on their heels in the opening 15 minutes of the match, and we did well to force turnovers in the midfield and on the wings throughout the match.

"In the second half, we were content to protect the lead and look for attacking opportunities when they arose. When they went to four forwards with about 20 minutes left, we were able to exploit their three backs. Nathan and Benni McComish put a lot of pressure on their left back, which led to the winning goal."

The pressure put on by Greylock's frontline eventually led to a turnover in the Amherst box, which Majumder finished off for a 2-0 lead in the 66th minute. Despite holding a 9-4 advantage in shots in the second half, the Hurricanes wern't able to find the back of the net until Gabe Rudd scored off an indirect kick from midfield with three minutes left in the game. 

Junior goalkeeper Sean Houston played a big role in earning the win, collecting six and a ton of respect from his head coach. 

"Sean was a man among boys tonight," Dils said. "He patrolled his box expertly and used his athleticism to be first to the many airballs they played into the box. He showed a lot of poise. If you watched him tonight, you would know he's a special player."

After earning its third one-goal win of the season against a Division 1 Springfield school, the Mounties will now turn their attention to clinching the North Divison. They can do that with a win over Lenox at home on Monday night. Gametime is set for 6 p.m.

"We didn't anticipate running the table on our Springfield Valley competition this season," Dils said. "We wanted more challenging games just to see where we stand. We didn't really accomplish anything by beating Amherst, but we did learn we can raise our game to another level, and that's important heading into the postseason."

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