Monument Mountain Boys Roll to Third Straight Win
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. -- Two weeks into its season, the Monument Mountain boys soccer team was 2-3-2 and coming off two straight losses.
Three weeks later? The Spartans have a three-game winning streak after Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Pittsfield.
Three different Spartans scored as Monument Mountain won a third straight game over Berkshire County opponents.
The season started to turn for coach Matt Naventi’s team after giving up six goals in a pair of losses to Westfield and Belchertown. The next three games showed that the Spartans can compete against the top teams in Western Massachusetts.
“We beat Agawam, 2-0, [on Sept. 27], and, to that point, they hadn’t conceded a goal, and it’s still their only loss on the season,” Naventi said. “Then, we tied Pope Francis, where I thought we played a little down in the second half and were just fatigued. And then we ended that week after a couple of days off, we tied Ludlow, 0-0.
“If, on paper, you could tell me that was going to happen in the beginning of the season, I’d take that any time, for sure. … We’re getting good results against good teams, and it’s paying off for us now because we’ve moved up 10 spots in the state rankings that came out today.”
That MIAA power ranking stands to improve a little more after Wednesday, the Spartans’ second outing of the season against the Generals, who tied Monument Mountain (6-3-4) back on Sept. 13.
The game-winner came in the seventh minute when Sean Scarbro cashed in a centering pass inside the 18 from Jackson Potoski on the right wing.
Midway through the first half, Eddie Boyko doubled the Spartans’ lead after receiving a throw-in from Ben Kleinman.
Monument Mountain kept up the pressure with the 2-0 advantage. In the 27th minute, Pittsfield keeper Will Kinne (11 saves) had to come off his line to deny a dangerous cross into the 18 by Potoski. Three minutes later, Christian Blanchard was just wide of the goal on a try off a feed from Erving Henderson.
But it was not until the 72nd minute that Pittsfield’s defense cracked again.
Monument senior back David Flynn did the honors, heading in a Potoski free kick from deep on the left wing; that kick was awarded after the sophomore Henderson was taken down on one of many threatening runs he made over the course of the afternoon.
“We’ve had, with some of these injury problems that we’ve faced, five freshmen and a handful of sophomores get good game experience,” Naventi said. “If we didn’t have the injury problems, we probably couldn’t rely on them. But in order to do well in the Western Mass tournament and the state tournament, you’re going to need to be deep. That’s just the reality.
“And I think we’re approaching the point where we have 15 or 16 guys that can fluidly move in and off the field, and you don’t see any letdown, which is great.”
Monument Mountain goes to Wahconah on Friday.