Pittsfield Girls Rally to Earn Tie at Hoosac Valley

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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CHESHIRE, Mass. -- After watching his team play in its defensive end the entire first half on Thursday, Pittsfield girls soccer coach Juan Ramos did not make any major adjustments at half-time.
He did not have to.
“We just explained what they needed to do better, and they did it,” Ramos said. “Great kids.” 
Two of those great kids -- Emery Sime and Liz Swanson -- combined for the tying goal in the 49th minute, and Pittsfield held on for a 1-1 tie at Hoosac Valley.
Both Pittsfield and Hoosac Valley came into the game with one win and desperately needing a victory to restart each team’s postseason hopes.
The Hurricanes (1-4-1) dominated the opening stages with pressure but could not solve PHS keeper Lexi Swanson until the 13th minute, when Riley Robinson put back her own rebound to make it 1-0.
Lexi Swanson ended up with 11 saves, including a stellar leaping diving stop in the 50th minute.
“She’s been that way all season long,” Ramos said of the sophomore keeper. “She has a goal. She wants to be a college goalkeeper. She works very hard, and she she has all kinds of ability.
“She does a tremendous job.”
Lexi Swanson actually came out of the game briefly in the opening stages after a collision in the penalty area. After Dakota Grosz spelled her for about a minute, Swanson returned to the fray.
The game turned in the blink of an eye early in the second half, when Sime fed Liz Swanson a through ball on the right wing, and she went into the 18 and rang a shot off the far post and into the net.
“One of the things we told them at half-time, was we’re not making our first touch very well,” Ramos said. “Once we start making that good first touch, we’re going to be able to get on the attack.
“That’s what happened on that play. [Sime] made the first touch, turned, found her and sent the ball to Liz, who finished it off. Credit to Liz because she came from behind to outrun [the defender], but it was all the touches and the passing.”
Pittsfield (1-5-1) goes to Wahconah on Monday.
Hoosac Valley hosts Mount Greylock on Monday.
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