GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. -- Monument Mountain senior Lucien Firth scored in the 75th minute to break a 1-1 tie and send the Spartans on to a 2-1 win over Mount Everett in Saturday's "Fall 2" season opener for both schools.
Firth scored two goals about 20 minutes apart in the second half of a game where offense was hard to come by for most of the afternoon.
"Even through the fall, he was amazing with his ability to finish," Monument Mountain coach Matt Naventi said, referring to the fall practice and club season that the Spartans had instead of a varsity season delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"He was converting, I think, about half of the chances that he had on goal. And I think he scored nine or 10 goals in the fall season. He's definitely been a bright spot for us offensively, and some of the other guys get to see his movement on and and around the ball and off the ball. It's paying off for him, so hopefully some of the other guys will pick up on what he's doing and finish in the same way."
Firth's first marker came about 13 minutes into the second half on a corner kick. David Flynn entered the ball from the right wing corner, and Firth volleyed the ball into the far side of the net to break a scoreless tie.
After a two-minute water break at about the 20-minute mark, the Eagles stormed back and generated some of their best chances of the game.
First, Jack Carpenter boomed a ball from high on the right side on a restart that sailed just over the crossbar. Moments later, Monument Mountain keeper Eddie Boyko had to come off his line to make a save on the left wing.
In the 69th minute, Stivan DePaz ran on a Nathaniel VonRuden through ball in the box to force Boyko to make another of his five saves.
Finally, all that pressure paid off when Michael Ullrich scored out of a scramble to tie the game with less than 10 minutes to play.
"We just talked about moving as a team and creating chances as a team," Mount Everett coach Joe McSpiritt said. "For that last 20 minutes after the mask break, I thought we were able to do it.
"I thought we played hard, we played well. We don't have a huge team, so we were tired. We managed to squeak out an equalizing goal for a little while. Then they came back and got one, which was a little disappointing. But I thought we played well."
Michael Devoti was a bright spot for the Eagles all day, making 14 saves and helping to keep his defense organized.
But Firth got the better of him twice, the second time, taking a pass on the right wing from Avery Manzolini and one-timing a lasar into the side panel on the far side past a leaping Devoti to put Monument Mountain back on top for good.
After carrying the play most of the first 50 minutes with nothing to show for it on the scoreboard, the Spartans will hope the productive last 30 minutes are a sign of things to come over the next month.
"For creating opportunities, [the first half] was great, but if we're not putting them away, it's not something that we want," Naventi said. "Hopefully, it's just a matter of getting some of the rust out. This is the first time we've trained on full-sized goals. We were kind of limited to our practice space. I'm happy with it. I like the fact that they gave one up and had the resilience to come back and answer within five minutes or so, which was great."
Monument Mountain takes on Mount Greylock on Monday night at Berkshire Community College. Mount Everett goes to BCC to play Wahconah on Tuesday.