Mount Greylock Boys Rally, Come Up Short in Western Mass Final
AGAWAM, Mass. -- The Springfield International Charter School boys soccer team needed 10 minutes to score a goal on Sunday.
It needed to play 10 minutes of furious defense at the end of the match to keep Mount Greylock from getting the equalizer.
In the end, the Bulldogs held on for a 1-0 win in the Class C Western Massachusetts title game at Agawam High School.
Fifth-seeded Mount Greylock fired nine shots on SCIC keeper Sebastian Wraga in the second half -- most of those after the 70-minute mark.
“We responded in the second half,” Mount Greylock coach Blair Dils said. “It helped a little bit having the wind. The guys got a little hungrier in the box, and their goalkeeper came up huge.”
The Mounties (4-10-3)* played from behind most of the match after Eric Kibarra broke down the middle of the defense and slipped a shot past Dan Warren (nine saves) with 30 minutes, 16 seconds left in the first half.
Mount Greylock,which scored seven goals in 14 regular season games, managed just one shot on goal in the first half, when Quinn McDermott took a try off a cross from George Munemo in the 44th minute.
Dils tried a number of different combinations up top to try to spark the Mount Greylock offense.
“That’s normal,” he said. “We’ve been trying to rotate two sets of forwards in, just a hockey style line change, just to try to keep the energy high. But we were a little concerned about the low energy in that first half. I don’t know if it was nerves or what. Maybe the heat a little bit.
“But we definitely didn’t have that extra step we saw in the second half.”
Henrik Bingemann set the tone early after the break when he got some space about 30 yards from the goal and drilled a shot that went just high of the crossbar in the 49th minute.
Five minutes later, McDermott took a shot on goal from the top of the 18 that Wraga was able to turn aside.
In the 69th minute, Christian Sullivan headed a cross from the left wing on target, but Wraga was in the right spot to make the save. Moments later, Munemo fired a shot from the right side of the 18 that forced the SCIC keeper to make a diving save, and Diego Galvez fired a shot on the rebound that Wraga again went to the ground to stop.
While Springfield International Charter School, formerly known as Sabis International Charter School, celebrated its regional crown, Dils and the Mounties were starting to think of the week ahead, when they will have a chance at different hardware in the Massachusetts Division 5 state tournament.
“Some of the teams that we’ve played this past week, we’ve gotten a little sense of the flavor of Division 5,” said Dils, whose Mounties played the regular season in a league that included D4 Monument Mountain and Pope Francis, D3 Pittsfield and D2 Agawam and Westfield.
“If we can find a way to score some goals, we could be pretty dangerous. But that’s been our struggle, and that’s going to determine how far we go.”
*For purposes of MiAA playoff seeding, Sunday’s game does not count in either team’s record. Also, Mount Greylock’s Western Mass semifinal win in penalty kicks went in the books as a tie for state power ranking purposes. The record in the story reflects their record if Sunday’s game is counted as a loss and Wednesday’s game was a win instead of a tie.