DALTON, Mass. -- The Wahconah boys soccer team waited until the final day of the regular season to qualify for the Western Massachusetts tournament.
But it wasted no time making the most of its last-chance opportunity.
Pedro Santos scored the first of his four goals in the sixth minute, and Wahconah took a 4-0 lead into half-time en route to an 11-1 win over Drury.
Kevin Huban also scored four goals, and Ethan Wesley had four assists as Wahconah got the victory it needed to finish .500 with an 8-8-1 mark. On Wednesday, it will find out where and against whom it will begin post-season play.
Just making it to the post-season is a major accomplishment for John Kovacs’ squad.
“We met with our captains back in June, and we talked about turning the tide because we hadn’t made the tournament the last three years,” Kovacs said. “We had to change it up. Our mission, and our goal was to make the tournament. And we had to work hard to get there.
“Obviously, we play in a tough division. The [Berkshire County] North Division is one of the hardest divisions in Western Mass for Division 3. Monument and Mount Greylock are always in the tournament. You’re playing [Division 1] Pittsfield, and Lenox is always a powerhouse, even though they’re D4.
“We did well in that way in turning the tide.”
Tuesday’s win came in a crossover game against Berkshire South foe Drury, which a year ago was in the D4 sectional title game against Lenox.
Wahconah jumped on top early when Santos scored by heading in a cross from Wesley to make it 1-0. Six minutes later, Connor Filippi made a run up the left wing and passed to Huban, who took the ball into the 18, found some space and beat Drury keeper Corbin Rumbolt (eight saves) to make it a two-goal game.
Huban set up Santos midway through the half, and Chad Howes put one in the back of the net in the 32nd minute to put the game out of reach.
Seniors Santos, Wesley, Howes and Filippi showed no sign of being distracted by the pregame Senior Day festivities.
“It was great,” Kovacs said. “The first 10 minutes, you get the two goals, so you can relax. It’s 4-0 by half-time.
“The thing I was worried about was it started to come too easily after a while, so I wanted to stay sharp and use the second half like a practice. And the first three minutes, they were bang-bang. After that, I wanted to put the brakes on scoring.”
Huban scored in the first minute of the second half and completed his hat trick two minutes later. Santos scored his third goal of the game in the 46th minute, making it 7-0.
It was 9-0 before Drury (6-10-2) got on the board. Hunter Sarkis converted an assist from Michael Boudreau to avoid the shutout.