Mount Greylock's Welch Scores Five in Win over Wahconah
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Since suffering an opening day shutout against a Division 1 powerhouse, the Mount Greylock boys soccer team has scored 23 goals in four games.
Tuesday’s performance was perhaps the most impressive of the bunch.
Finn Welch scored five times to lead the Mounties to a 6-2 win over a Wahconah side that had allowed only four goals in five games and was riding a four-game winning streak of its own.
Welch also had a role in the sixth Mount Greylock goal, putting a shot on keeper Jack Perenick (14 saves) that rebounded to sophomore Tate Kuster, who put the ball in the back of the net for the final score of the night.
“I think, obviously, having the returners and the same front three as last year is key,” Welch said of Mount Greylock’s potent attack. “But I think Emi [Soza-Foias] getting freed up in the midfield is important as well, because he comes in and helps.
“And I think just the work rate. We’ve been working hard in training. The work rate has been excellent from a whole team standpoint.”
Mount Greylock coach Blair Dils agreed that his attackers’ familiarity with one another has been a major asset this fall.
“Especially Emi and Finn,” Dils said of the seniors. “Those guys have been playing together since Grade 5. So they’ve just been finding each other and working off each other. I’ve been lucky enough to get to coach them from going way back.
“They have a brotherly sense, almost, of each other in terms of finding each other. So it’s really nice to watch, and it’s really pretty to watch when it’s clicking.”
Boy, was it ever in the first half on Tuesday.
Soza-Foias fed Welch for the game’s first goal in the 14th minute.
It was a first half that saw the Mounties outshoot Wahconah by a margin of 13-1, but Parenick was able to turn aside most of what he saw until the floodgates opened in the final moments of the half.
First, Welch scored on a quick restart when Leo Rossiter set him up with a free kick from the right wing with 5 minutes, 47 seconds left in the half.
With 4:09 left, Welch scored unassisted after a misplay by a Wahconah defender in the 18 allowed him to get a point-blank try.
Then less than a minute later, Welch earned a penalty kick when he was fouled in the 18, and he converted to make it 4-0.
Three goals in 2:08 put Wahconah in too deep a hole.
That said, John Kovacs’ team managed to regroup at half-time and make a game of it.
Nick Astore got Wahconah on the scoreboard in the 50th minute, and Kevin Huban converted a direct free kick about a minute later to make it a two-goal game at 4-2.
“We talked about it at half-time: Getting our willpower stronger and having that will to compete,” Kovacs said. “Forget about the score. Just compete and fight. And when that happened, we got results. We got some momentum and confidence.
“I think we kind of ran out of gas at the end. But in the first half, it was that [brief] span when they got three goals that we really lost it.”
After Huban’s goal got Wahconah within two, Dils called his timeout to settle down the Mounties.
They responded in the 61st minute when Welch scored off a run up the left wing to push the margin back to three. Ten minutes later, Kuster capped the scoring.
Oscar Low finished with seven saves for the Mounties -- six in the second half.
A big story for Mount Greylock defensively was the play of backs Josh Polumbo and Owen Crowell, who did yeoman’s work containing the dangerous Huban, who entered the game with nine goals.
“Josh [Polumbo] was not a projected starter,” Dils said. “He’s worked hard, come in, and he’s a really solid presence out there. He’s physical. He tackles really well. And he did a really nice job on Kevin [Huban] tonight. And Owen was coming back from an injury. He was out the last couple of weeks. This was his first game back.
“Those guys really worked well together. We really tried to work on dealing with Kevin because he’s such a force up top, and I thought we did a really nice job on him all night.”
Mount Greylock (4-1) hosts Lenox on Thursday, while Wahconah (4-2) hosts Drury.