WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- For a team that has had trouble putting the ball in the net this fall, the Mount Greylock boys soccer team generated a lot of offensive chances on Saturday.
George Munemo converted the only one the Mounties needed.
Munemo scored in the 16th minute, and eighth-seeded Mount Greylock went on to a 1-0 win over Mount Everett in the Division 5 State Championship on Saturday afternoon.
The win sends Mount Greylock into the tournament’s octofinals, where on Tuesday it will host No. 24 Saint Joseph Prep of Boston, an upset winner over Lenox, 1-0, in overtime, on Saturday.
Munemo’s first goal of the season could not have come at a better time for the sophomore.
“John Manuel [Morales] had the ball right around right half space, and I called for it through,” Munemo said. “I thought it was a little heavy. I don’t know if the center back thought the goalie was going to come out, but neither of them went for it, so I just had a free run on goal.
“It was my first goal of the year. I’ve been waiting for it. I’ve been hoping. It was great to get it, especially since it’s a playoff game.”
That was all the Mounties could put past Mount Everett keeper Michael Devoti, who made 20 saves, including 12 in the second half which he played mostly staring directly into a setting sun.
“He’s obviously kept us in a bunch of games this year,” Mount Everett coach Joe McSpiritt said of Devoti. “He made some key saves to keep us in it, keep it a 1-0 game. That’s great. He works hard all the time and always tries to get better, and it shows in these games.”
At the other end, Eamon Hetherington did not see as much traffic around his goal, but he stopped all six shots he saw, including a diving stop inside the final two minutes of regulation to preserve the shutout.
Mount Greylock (4-10-4) knows all about shutouts. It has been on the wrong end of eight of them this year, including last week’s 1-0 loss in the Western Massachusetts tournament final.
But for the performance of Devoti, this game easily could have marked the fourth time Mount Greylock has had multiple goals in a game this season.
“We had a ton of pressure,” Mount Greylock coach Blair Dils said. “We were moving the ball in front half and getting chances and trying to get guys in the right place.
“We’re happy, obviously, to get the win and move on. But it definitely is frustrating to only get the one goal. Because we felt that a second goal might put that game away. We were scrapping for it, but we just couldn’t get it done.”
The Mounties now have half of their wins in the “post-season.” They hammered Franklin Tech in the Western Mass tourney and made their state tournament debut yesterday with the shutout.
Mount Everett (3-15-2) got all of its wins after its regular season, winning a pair to reach the regional final before winning an MIAA State Tournament play-in game on Thursday.
Dils said that the Eagles, a former Berkshire County League foe, resemble Mount Greylock in that neither team can be fairly judged by its win-loss record.
McSpiritt likely would agree.
“We struggled throughout the regular season, played some really good teams,” he said. “But we showed how good a team we are in the post-season. I’m happy with where we ended up.
“There are probably other leagues where we’d be more competitive. But we played tougher teams, and it showed. I think it made us better for this part of the season.”