PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Jack Carpenter’s second goal of the day capped a spirited rally for the Mount Everett boys soccer team, as the Eagles battled back for a 3-2 comeback victory over Taconic on Friday afternoon at Berkshire Community College.
Carpenter received a perfect set-up pass and snuck one past the keeper with 5:41 remaining in the contest, as Mount Everett rebounded from a 1-0 deficit in the first half to open the season with a victory.
“It was a good ball from Alex Zdiarski right to my feet and the defender was on my left side, so I just spun around and went to the bottom corner,” Carpenter said. “We came alive in the second half. We were playing our game and moving the ball like we have been doing in practice. The first half we were playing sloppy and playing down, but we really pulled it together.”
Carpenter found himself in the right place often in the second half, as he was also in perfect position on a corner kick from Zdiarski that he converted for a goal that made it a 2-2 contest with 12:33 left in the second. Zdiarski’s kick deposited in front of Carpenter at the far corner of the goal, and the junior applied the right touch to slip it past the keeper for the equalizer.
“It was perfect placement,” Carpenter said of the corner kick. “We’ve been working on our corner kicks in practice and where we’re positioning and where we should be. That goal is on our cross and our work in practice.”
Seeing his players regroup and rally to victory was a welcome sight for Eagles head coach Joe McSprit. With both sides seeing its first action of the season, some nerves and rustiness were expected. So it was that much more rewarding for McSpirit in seeing his guys execute on the things they have worked on in practice, while also communicating and working together like they are capable of.
“The first half we really weren’t playing our game, and we were resorting to kick-and-run soccer. I tried to tell the boys at halftime to bear down and play our style of soccer, and it worked,” McSpirit said. “The first half was first-game jitters, and then they started talking and they did everything that I asked of them. It was a great second half.”
Taconic matched that intensity all the way. It controlled play in the first half, and carried a 1-0 lead into the midway break. The first score of the afternoon came with 9:53 left in the first, as Sam Akuffo’s free kick was fed from Desharie Pinkston to Sam Sherman, who then sailed the ball through the back of the net.
Mount Everett got on the board with 29:47 left in the second. Jacob TenBroeck broke free ahead of the defense to draw the goalkeeper up, and he then bounced a shot off the bar and into the net to even things up at 1-1.
Taconic answered back to retake the lead with 15:44 remaining, as junior captain Ben Vengalil converted on a penalty kick after Pinkston was fouled in front of the goal.
But after that Carpenter got going to lead the comeback that got the Eagles started off with the hard-earned victory.
“It’s never good to start with a loss, and just starting the year with a come-from-behind win like that where we win 3-1 in the second half is a huge confidence-booster for the team,” Carpenter said. “It gives us some security in knowing that if we just play our game of soccer we can compete with anyone.”