PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- As a harvest moon shone down on Gene Dellea Field, the Mount Greylock boys soccer team reaped its first win of the fall.
Jack Catlelotti headed home a cross from John Manuel Morales in the 63rd minute to break a 1-1 tie and send the Mounties on to a 2-1 win over Pittsfield in a battle of Churchill Division nee Berkshire North rivals.
“This means so much to us as a team,” Catelotti said. “We tied Monument, and that was great, and now with a win against Pittsfield, it’s big for us.”
Quinn McDermott scored an unassisted goal in the first half, and Eamon Hetherington stopped seven shots.
The victory marked not only the Mounties’ first win of the season but also the second time they scored more than once in a game.
Mount Greylock coach Blair Dils said it was nice to get one in the win column in the Mounties’ fifth try.
“It took a little while, but I told the guys we have traditionally performed well on this field,” said Dils’ whose team’s last appearance at Berkshire Community College was a win over Pittsfield in Fall 2’s Berkshire North Championship Game in May. “We also knew this was their third game in four days and they were banged up a little bit, and we knew if we brought the energy for 80 minutes we would be in a good position.
“We weren’t scoring goals, and we got our heads handed to us by Frontier. We just had to dig in a little bit and understand who we are as a team and what we’re trying to do. I think the boys are starting to embrace our team’s identity, and we just capitalized on a great opportunity.”
Three days after scoring its first goal of the year in a 1-1 tie in Great Barrington, it looked like Mount Greylock (1-3-1) was headed for another stalemate after Pittsfield’s Kyle Cardoso scored in the 42nd minute to erase the Generals’ half-time deficit.
But 21 minutes later, Morales sent a ball from the right wing into the 18, where Catelotti flicked it into the net to put the Mounties on top for good.
“I saw Quinn [McDermott] coming down the right side of the field, and I wanted to get it to him so I could cut to the middle,” Catelotti said, describing the build-up to the game-winner. Once Johnny sent that ball, it was coming at my head, and it was the only thing I could do. It just came naturally. I flicked it. That’s all.”
Catelotti made the most of a move to the front line for Mount Greylock.
“I’m new to being a striker,” he said. “I’m usually a right wingback. So this is my first year dabbling in the striking position. It’s kind of new for me. So it’s a big step.”
Mount Greylock’s first goal started with a steal in the back by Christian Sullivan. He immediately found McDermott making a run up the middle of the field. McDermott tried to advance the ball to Catelotti, but a Pittsfield defender broke up the play. McDermott, however, was able to play the ball in the air with his chest and settle it to his feet before rifling a shot past keeper Will Kinne to give the Mounties their first lead of the season.
That goal midway through the first half held up until just after half-time.
In the 42nd minute, Pittsfield’s Angel Sandoval took a shot from deep on the right wing that Hetherington blocked. But the keeper gave up a rebound, and Cardoso alertly put it home to tie the game.
That was one example of the kind of pressure the Generals (1-4-1) were able to generate throughout the contest.
“We feel good about the way we’re playing,” Pittsfield coach Neill Brandon said. “Tonight was probably the best we’ve moved the ball in two weeks. We used the slick pitch well. We moved it side to side.
“Greylock clearly had a plan to keep numbers back and make things difficult for us, and they caught us on two mistakes, basically. That’s a credit to them, but disappointing for us, for sure.”
After Catelotti put Mount Greylock ahead with about 17 minutes to play, the Generals had the game’s best chance in the 70th minute off the toe of Sandoval. But Hetherington was able to leap and punch the ball out of the goal mouth for a Pittsfield corner kick.
“Huge save,” Dils said. “He made amends. He gave one up, but he took one away. We’re proud of the work he’s been putting in.”
Mount Greylock goes to Agawam on Thursday, as Pittsfield hosts Pope Francis.