PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Pittsfield High girls soccer team has played just two games this year, and Emery Sime has five goals to show for it.
On Tuesday, she put the ball in the net twice to lead the Generals to a 3-1 win over Lenox at Berkshire Community College.
Her coach had no trouble putting his finger on the secret of Sime’s success.
“She has made a quantum improvement from last year, and it comes mentally by being composed when she has her chances,” Juan Romos said. “The first goal, you saw it. She came in, she looked up, the goalkeeper was out, and she hit it.
“She just has that composure to make the right decision. And then, of course, she has the technique to do it too.”
Sime’s first goal of the day on Tuesday came on a rocket from about 30 yards out to put the Generals up, 1-0.
The goal came on a counter just after Pittsfield keeper Lexi Swanson denied Solia Herndon-Scmid at the other end for one of Swanson’s four saves.
Sime’s goal with 2:21 left in the first half sent Pittsfield to the break with the lead, and the Generals came out of the break strong, earning a couple of sterling chances in the first 10 minutes.
First, Sime had a brief opening with the ball at the top of the 18, but Lenox’s Aidan Burns was able to deny Sime a shot. Then, in the 45th minute, Lenox freshman keeper Gabriella Hall came off her line to stop a through ball just before Sime was able to get a touch.
“Our keeper, Ella, did an awesome job,” first-year Lenox head coach Brian Seminara said. “First time in a varsity net for her.”
Pittsfield’s early second-half pressure paid off in the 48th minute.
On a restart from deep on the left-wing touch line, Allie Schnopp found Sadie Tierney, who took a couple of touches before launching a shot from 20 yards that curled inside the upper 90 on the far side, over Hall’s outstretched hand.
From there, Lenox was able to get a little more possession time in Pittsfield’s end, and the Millionaires cashed in for their first goal of the year in the 59th minute when Mary Elliot drilled a shot from the right wing past a diving Swanson to make it 2-1.
“I think we had five-minute spurts here and there that showed awesome,” said Seminara, who took over the program this year after serving as an assistant for Kyle Zinchuk. “We definitely were a little challenged to string it all together for a solid 20 minutes, 30 minutes, something like that.
“It definitely showed as our first game, and it definitely showed as our second day on a full field. Because of COVID, we were practicing on a baseball outfield and a U-12 scrimmage field. It definitely showed that we’re not used to playing on the big field.”
Sime closed the scoring with 3 minutes, 41 seconds left when she converted Schnopp’s second assist of the day.
While the senior forward has been lighting up the scoreboard in the early going this “Fall 2” season, the Generals’ defense has allowed just one goal in their two wins.
“We work, we work and we work on it,” Ramos said. “And the girls are fantastic. They have the right attitude. I have a couple, three key players who have a lot of soccer intelligence and can guide everybody else and put them in the right place.
“What we tell them is: To play defense, you don’t have to be the fastest or the strongest. You just have to be in the right place at the right time with the right attitude. We work on it all the time.
“We go from the philosophy of, ‘First don’t lose, and then you win.’ That’s everything in practice. We go defense first.”