Santos Goal Lifts Monument Mountain in Season Finale
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Monument Mountain boys soccer team has the momentum it was looking for going into the post-season.
And thanks to Monday’s 1-0 win at Kirvin Park, the Spartans should start its playoff run a rung or two further up the ladder.
“This sets us up perfectly,” Monument Mountain coach Matt Naventi said of the Spartans’ late-October schedule. “No matter what the results are, to play Belchertown and then Pittsfield -- I’d rather have that and maybe not come out on the right side of every game but have a good build-up leading into the tournament.
“That’s exactly what we wanted. We just missed in a game against Amherst where we conceded in the last four minutes. And that’s playing three of the better teams in Western Mass and having pretty good results: losing twice, 1-0, and winning this one tonight.”
Aidan Santos provided the offense Monument Mountain needed to secure the win when he scored on a through ball from Nate Lacombe in the 52nd minute.
Rhys Curtis made three saves to earn the shutout between the pipes, and Monument Mountain (11-5-1) finished with four wins in its last five games going into Wednesday’s Western Mass tournament seeding meetings.
“Nate slotted the perfect ball through, and Aidan did his job,” Naventi said. “He took a positive first touch and was able to get a good look on goal.
“[Lacombe] missed a couple of opportunities to be on the other end of it in the first half. So just his vision there, just to see Aidan's movement forward, to expect Aidan's movement forward, was a great look on his part to set up the goal.”
Pittsfield (11-3-3) turned up the pressure in the final minutes, but it was too little, too late.
“I think we got hung up on the scoreline in our previous matchup,” Pittsfield coach Andrew Antil said. “Monument came out ready to play and dictated the style and pace of the game. The focus and discipline wasn't there tonight on our end and hopefully this will serve as a good lesson going into the tournament.”
The Spartans also got hung up on that 4-0 loss to the Generals back on Sept. 27 in Great Barrington … but in a good way.
“Without giving away too much, we've had to work on a couple of areas of our play,” Naventi said. “We've been in every game this season with the exception of the first Pittsfield game and the second time we played Greylock. We've got a couple of weaknesses we've tried to target, and we certainly did this time around.
“We've had this reservation moving forward against really good strong teams that we play against. And we didn't do that tonight. We had three or four really good chances, and we were able to get in on the right end of one.”
The D3 Spartans and D1 Generals both learn Wednesday who they will face in the first round of their respective Western Mass tournaments.