Greylock Girls Upset By Athol In Penalty Kick Showdown

By Chris PiscioneriPrint Story | Email Story

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass — The number two ranked Mount Greylock girls' soccer team was upset Tuesday night by the number 10 ranked Athol Red Raiders, 2-1, in penalty kicks after the teams finished two 10-minute periods of overtime knotted at 1-1.

The Red Raiders advance to the Division 3 Western Mass semi-final and will face number six seed Easthampton who upset number three ranked Hoosac Valley earlier Tuesday afternoon.

The start of the game was a back-and-forth affair as both teams could not keep possession but were able to take some solid shots on goal. Greylock senior Sophie Leamon ripped a shot off the cross bar in the 31st minute and Athol's junior striker Tanner Favreau blasted a ball from the top of the 18 in the 23rd minute that was sure to find the back of the net but Mountie keeper Charlotte Rand was able to push it over the top of the goal.

Then in the 17th minute Greylock started to settle in as they kept the ball on Athol's side of the field the rest of the half and it paid off with 3:23 to go before half when eighth grader Caroline Flynn scored to put the Mounties ahead 1-0.

"I thought that was going to open it up," said Mount Greylock head coach Tom Ostheimer said. "You know when we got that first goal. That's what you want to do in a playoff game is get the first goal."

But a minute later, Athol struck back after Greylock keeper Rand was called for taking her goal kick outside of the 18 box which gave the Red Raiders a free kick in perfect position. Athol junior Molly Cleveland capitalized and smashed the free kick in to tie the score at 1-1. 

The score would stay that way for the whole second half and through two ten-minute overtime periods. Greylock controlled the whole second half and made multiple runs into the box but were not able to take the lead.

"I thought we played very well in the second half," added Ostheimer. "We had a lot of opportunties. But we never quite tested the goalie as much as we needed to and [Athol] played very physical. They beat us to a lot of balls in the beginning of the game and they seem to be a team on a mission."

Even though the Mounties were not able to test Athol's goalkeeper Maddison Truehart as much as they would have liked during the game, she showed that she would have been up for the challenge. Truehart blocked three of Greylock's first four penalty shots before their last one slid wide right to end the game. 

Despite the loss, the Mounties played an exceptional game. Junior forward Kelsey Orpin and sophomore midfielder Melissa Swann were stellar for Greylock as they manufactured multiple opportunities throughout the second half.

"The two of them were really having nice combinations,nice exchanges and we got it into the box but just couldn't settle it and convert or one time it and convert, " said Ostheimer.

Along with Swann and Orpin, freshman defender Sarah Stripp and junior Miranda Voller played shut down defense on the Red Raiders' forwards. "Miranda [Voller] she marked number four and she shut her down. That was her job to deny her the ball and get her out of her rhythm. She didn't get a goal so she did her job."

The Mounties graduate eight seniors from this year's squad that include Sophie Leamon, Maddy Gaskill, Alexandra Delano, Mackenzie Flynn, Miranda Bucky, Rachel Clement, Emily Ruud, and Melina Sfakianaki.

"We have eight seniors including our four senior captains [Delano, Flynn, Bucky, and Leamon] who showed incredible leadership," Ostheimer said. "They played with a lot of heart this season. Finishing second in the North Division in our first year in the division in four years."

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