Monument Snaps Greylock's County Win StreakGREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — It took the entire year and parts of four other seasons, but the Monument Mountain boys' soccer team finally handed Mount Greylock its first loss in Berkshire County play since the Mounties' started their 67-game streak back in 2008.
The Spartans scored three goals in the final 11 minutes of the match, breaking open a tie game to pull away for a 4-1 win at home on Sunday afternoon. Junior forward Lucas Wartella had two goals and an assist in the win, including the gamewinner off a pass from classmate Daniel Huertas in the 69th minute that allowed Monument to avenge its only county loss of the season; a 2-1 road loss to Greylock two weeks ago.
"It's difficult to see our county streak come to an end, but Monument played very well today and deserved the result," Mounties head coach Blair Dils said. "All the credit to them. They played three games in four days and still were going strong at the game's end."
Unlike the first game between the two squads, the Spartans (13-2-2) were able to protect a one-goal lead in the final 10 minutes of the match. Wartella set up senior Nick Masiero with an insurance goal in the 78th minute before the hosts added another tally a minute later on a strike from sophomore Sam Plishtin. The two late goals were likely a result of Greylock (14-3-1) pushing forward to try and tie the game. That being said, the four goals were the most allowed by Mounties keeper Sean Houston (three saves) and his defense all season long.
"Monument is a very tough team to play on the road," Dils said. "They're very organized on defense, and their team speed is very good. No team in the Division 2 tournament would really want to play them."
Dils said his defense played strong despite the absence of injured senior Keath Machado.
"Ian Brink, a sophomore who usually plays forward, was converted to a back for the game, and he did an outstanding job and played 80 minutes."
After a stellar regular season in which his team posted 10 shutouts, Dils said the Mounties shouldn't sulk too much about their first Berkshire County defeat since losing 2-1 to Lenox in late September of 2008. It was quite an impressive streak for the Greylock seniors, who were in eighth grade the last time their team lost to a county opponent.
"We've had a very successful regular season," Dils said. "We qualified in the minimum number of games, and we won the North Division for the fourth year in a row. We're going to take a few days off, get back to intense training and prepare for our first-round opponent. We have a lot of young guys on the team and they're very excited about playing in the Western Mass. tournament for the first time."
While their opponents won't be released until Wednesday, it's likely both the Spartans and Mounties will be among the highest seeds in the Division 2 draw. Last season, the two teams met in the Western Mass. semifinals, with Greylock pulling out a dramatic 1-0 win in double overtime.
"This result did very little to make anything clear about the seeds going into the tournament," Dils said. "We'd like to think we'll have a higher seed than Monument because of our North Division title, but you just never know given this new Walker 2.0 system. We're all very curious how things are going to sort themselves out on Wednesday."