Lenox Boys, Girls Take on Monson in Western Mass Finals
The Lenox Millionaires soccer programs have proven that they deserve a spot in the Division 4 Western Mass Finals after the two teams, both seeded at No. 2, advanced with overtime and penalty kick semi-final victories.
Tuesday evening, the girls took it to penalty kicks against No. 3 Gateway to advance; Lenox goalie Shannon Miesberger explained after the game that penalty kicks have been haunting her in her dreams.
Hopefully for the junior goalie, the Lenox offense will execute Sunday afternoon as they have all season and penalty kicks will be a thing of the past for her and the entire team.
Lenox's best bet to score during the run of play is senior striker Alessandra Arace, who in their two tournament games has pulled through for the Millionaires.
She scored two late goals in their quarterfinal game to move them on over Smith Academy. In the semi-finals, Arace boosted her team as she almost ended it at the buzzer in the first overtime to end it. In regulation, after Gateway tied it at one, the senior answered 10 seconds later to take back the lead.
Arace has the full attention of Lenox's championship game opponent, top-seeded Monson.
"I know Lenox plays a good tough schedule and I know that any team that's comes out of Berkshire County is tested," Monson head coach Eric Degnan said. "I know the Arace girl can play with the best of the best."
Monson (17-0-3), who is unbeaten this fall,has won its two tournament games with scores of 7-0.
The Millionaires will be put to the test as tournament wins have not come easily for them.
"Monson, we didn't get to see this season, but we saw them last year and I know they didn't really lose any players," Lenox coach Kyle Zinchuk said. "We kind of know what to expect from them so we'll take a look at things in the upcoming week."
The Lenox boys soccer team will be going up against the No. 1 Monson boys team(12-4-2).
The Millionaires are familiar with tournament play against Monson as they faced them two seasons ago in the semi-finals, suffering a 6-0 loss.
The Millionaires are searching for redemption Sunday afternoon as they enter the finals.
"We know a lot of their players from spring soccer and we've played them for a few years," Lenox coach Simon Borrett said. "It's not like it's a new challenge for us, you're always aware of good players and good talent."
Borrett continued, saying that his team needs to focus on what it is their game plan is and take away what they saw in their quarterfinal
and semi-final games and go from there.
Head coach Dave Pugh added, "Playing in the Northern Division of Berkshire County gets us ready for a team like Monson. We've played good games and we've had some good results, so we're going to work hard the rest of the week; we're excited."
After suffering the 6-0 loss two seasons ago, the Millionaires faced them last season, ending in a 1-1 draw.
The task is definitely doable for the boys of Lenox, it's a matter of bringing their best game to the plate.
The Lenox girls will take on Monson Sunday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. At Westfield State University, the boys game will follow at 4:30 p.m.