DALTON, Mass. – When Mount Greylock’s George Munemo put back the rebound of his own shot in the 8th minute on Saturday at Wahconah, he gave the Mounties a 1-0 lead.
Or, he tied the match, depending on how you’re keeping score.
“Before the game, we said, we have to play like we’re down one-nil,” Munemo said after a 3-1 Mount Greylock win. “Because against Pittsfield we were down one-nil and we finally turned it up.
“So we played that way from the get-go, and that’s how we got started.”
Mount Greylock got going with two goals in the first 14 minutes to take control of the game.
The first goal came after Henrik Bingmann sent a cross from deep on the left wing into Munemo on the doorstep.
Munemo’s initial touch put the ball on frame, but Zach Flaherty (five saves) made the save for Wahconah. Munemo stayed with the play and followed his shot for the finish to make it, in reality, a 1-0 game.
The Mounties kept up the pressure like a team that needed to come from behind throughout the first half, putting six shots on goal in the period.
Bingmann cashed in another opportunity in the 14th minute, one-timing a cross from Caleb Low into the back of the net for a two-goal lead.
“It was great to see us come out, and those are actual things we’ve been working on in training, getting those crosses in and working on that finishing,” Mount Greylock coach Blair Dils said. “It was great to see that pay off so the boys know that they’re working towards something that actually has an impact in the game.”
After the second goal, Wahconah coach Kyle Lyman called timeout to light a fire under his squad, and the hosts played with a little more energy in the latter stages of the half.
But at half-time, Wahconah really threw the switch, carrying the play for much of the second half and getting within a goal early on.
Ryan Marauszwski headed home a Sean Kays cross from the left wing to beat Mount Greylock keeper Dan Warren (six saves) and cut the Mounties’ lead in half.
“They responded well,” Lyman said. “I think we could have given up in the first half and let them score a few more. We fought back. We got a goal back. I think we created more chances in the second half, which was good for us. We kept the ball down their end.
“Our midfield was working incredibly hard, Ryan Adams especially, winning every 50/50 ball for us. But we just couldn’t put it home, unfortunately. Then they squeaked one home.”
In the 74th minute, Mount Greylock’s Simon Shin sent a through ball up the middle for Munemo, who ran it down and scored his second of the season and second of the afternoon to put the game out of reach.
“At half-time, I said, ‘George is probably not going to ourtun their two center backs, so we have to play to his feet,’ “ Dils said. “Maybe that lit a fire under his rear end because he broke through there and had a nice, composed finish.”
At the other end, Warren, who saw limited action in the first half, made a couple of diving stops to deny Wahconah the equalizer after Marauszwski’s goal.
“[Warren] comes up with the big save,” Dils said. “There was nothing he could do on the goal. That was pretty bad marking on our part and a clean header for them. But he makes the plays, and he’s really matured as a goalkeeper since we first got him.
“He works hard, and it’s too bad he didn’t get the shutout today because he deserved it.”
With the win, Mount Greylock moved closer to .500 for the season with a record of 2-3-2 heading into Wednesday’s rematch with Pope Francis, a 4-0 winner in the Mounties’ toughest game of the season to date back on Sept. 8.
Wahconah (5-1) will look to get back on the right side of the ledger on Tuesday when it travels to Palmer.