SHEFFIELD, Mass. -- Midway through the first half of Tuesday's game against Drury, Mount Everett's Jack Carpenter took a pass from Graham Collopy, turned and threaded a pass in traffic for Nick Tomich, who fired a shot into the corner of the goal to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
The play impressive enough, the fact Carpenter is a seventh-grader and a contributor for Mount Everett tells you a lot about the Eagle team that improved to 7-0-1 with a 3-0 win over the Blue Devils.
"Our first goal of the year was scored by an eighth-grader," Mount Everett coach Joshua King said. "A lot of the younger kids are stepping up.
"I'd be lying if I said we're not surprised with what our record is. With us losing all the kids we lost last year -- we lost six solid seniors. I didn't really think we'd be as successful as we are. But all these kids have stepped up."
Seniors Tomich and Matt Morehouse and junior Dan Litchfield accounted for the three Mount Everett goals, but the Eagles have four freshmen and four junior high players helping lead them to the top of the South Division standings.
Carpenter showed on Tuesday that size need not be a limiting factor on the soccer pitch.
"He's been playing really well," King said. "The thing is, he recognizes how to play with the lack of speed he has. What he does is use his skill set of making the extra pass and recognizing what is going on rather than him trying to outrun people. Because he knows he's not going to do that."
Mount Everett scored its first goal on Tuesday not with speed but with persistence in the 18-yard area.
After an initial shot from outside the area was saved by Drury's Brian Christian, Collopy had a try on the rebound that also was saved. But Litchfield was there to fire the third chance into an open net and give the home team a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute.
Tomich's goal made it 2-0 at half-time. The Eagles added a goal early in the second when Gavin Ziegler's corner kick from the left wing richocheted off a Drury player and to Morehouse who finished for his fourth goal of the season.
Ryan Meyer went the distance in the Eagles' goal to earn the shutout.
Christian and Corbin Rumbolt combined for 12 Drury saves.
The Blue Devils (0-7-2) suffered just their second loss by three or more goals to a Berkshire County team this fall (the other was a 7-1 loss to Mount Greylock).
Drury coach John Jacobbe said that his Blue Devils took a step backward on Tuesday, but sometimes a step backward means that a step ahead is just around the corner.
"We're a better team than our record, but right now our record is what it is because of losing the ball in the midfield and not winning the ball in the air," Jacobbe said. "It's pretty simple. I don't know how to rectify that. You can work on it in practice, but Mount Everett had more aggressive players and had more pressure on our guys than we did.
"We have nine one-game seasons left. ... Right now, we've got to get a win. Next game, we have Lenox, who is a powerhouse, and we've got to play to win."
Drury entertains the Millionaires on Thursday, when the Eagles will host Taconic.