Lenox Boys Hold Heads High After Finals Loss
WESTFIELD, Mass. — Sunday was a tough afternoon for Lenox High fans, who saw their boys and girls soccer teams fall by a combined 9-2 in the Western Mass Division 4 finals.
But boys coach David Pugh put things in perspective.
"It wasn't a tough way to end the season," Pugh said after his squad lost, 4-1, to Monson. "We were the last Berkshire County team standing in the tournament this fall. I was proud of that fact — that both the boys and girls from Lenox were the last teams standing."
And, in fact, the soccer pitch was not the only place where the Millionaires left their mark this fall.
"We're a soccer town," Pugh said. "Lenox is always going to be a soccer town. But ... yesterday, a number of our lads were playing for Lee football, they won the Western Mass championship in Divison 4. Our girls cross country team took first place. ... As a school, we're very proud of our athletes this weekend.
"We had some wins yesterday, we had some losses today. Overall, as a school, we're very proud."
The Monson Mustangs have plenty to be proud of as well after both its boys and girls teams won Western Mass titles.
The boys advanced to the state semifinals after opening up a 2-0 lead at half-time and going up by four goals in the second half to knock off the second-seeded Millionaires.
Connor Hicks scored twice and added an assist to lead Monson.
He opened the scoring in the 13th minute when he converted a penalty kick.
"The ref's put in a situation either way," Lenox coach Simon Borrett said. "He gives the penalty, the team of the kid he gave it against gets upset. He doesn't give the penalty, the team that could have had it gets upset.
"Ultimately, it's one of the those situations where you try to teach your players to defend well in the box, and when two young men come together, mountains collide, I guess. It is what it is, I guess. The penalties didn't change the game."
Six minutes later, Hicks added his second goal off a cross from the right wing to make it 2-0.
Monson made it 3-0 early in the second half, and Lenox appeared to draw within two with about 28 minutes left, but as the Millionaires celebrated an apparent goal, the referee pointed to the linesman who had his flag up for an offsides call.
It was just one of several second-half scoring chances that Lenox lost to offsides whistles.
"They're a very talented, very smart team," Pugh said of the Mustangs. "They knew when to step up and they did at the right moments, and they caught our guys off. We weren't focused enough down at that end at the right times to be coming up with them."
After Monson made it 4-0, Lenox got on the board in the 63rd minute. Joe Bourier's throw-in from the right touch line found Emerson Wolski inside the 18, and Wolski went upper 90 to finish the scoring for the night.
"I see one determined young man right there," Pugh said of Wolski's goal. "He had an older brother who was a captain of our team a few years ago. Emerson was a captain of our team. This was his last year.
"He hit that ball like he meant it. It didn't surprise me he struck that ball coming off the ground the way he did. If he had that opportunity 10 times, he would have done it 10 times over."