Mount Greylock Girls Fight Frustration in Shutout Win
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – The Mount Greylock girls soccer team is 5-0-2 and is outscoring opponents by a combined margin of 23-4.
On Thursday afternoon, it outshot visiting Mahar 20-3 in a 2-0 win for its second straight victory.
And its coach spent the postgame trying to convince his players that things are not going badly.
“We are hard on ourselves,” junior captain Molly Sullivan said. “Sometimes the younger girls feel a lot of pressure. But we’re trying our best not to put the pressure on them.
“I think sometimes it appears as that, but the older kids want it so badly because we’ve been here so long that the younger kids feel it with us. I think as the season moves along, we’re going to come together.”
Maggie Brody and Lucy Igoe each scored a goal in the first half Thursday to lead the Mounties to a sweep of the Senators.
Back on Sept. 8, Mount Greylock scored five goals in Orange against Mahar, the first of a three-game stretch in which the Mounties scored 18 goals.
Finishes have been a little harder to come by in the last three games, with just five goals in a 2-0-1 stretch. The last time out against Hoosac Valley, Sullivan’s power play goal was the only offense in a 1-0 win.
Tom Ostheimer has been around long enough to see teams struggle to find the back of the net, and on Thursday afternoon he sounded like a coach who knows that this team has the potential to break out in a big way.
“What we talked about at the end is that some individuals are being really hard on themselves, and I think collectively as a team as well,” Ostheimer said. “I think part of it is we know we’re a good team. We’ve been outplaying our opponents recently – really all year.
“We scored a lot early, but we’re really struggling to put the ball in the back of the net, even though we’re controlling play, getting great opportunities. We’re just not finishing. I think that will come.”
Thursday’s first goal came early when Brody drilled a shot from just outside the 18 that eluded Mahar keeper Astha Bernard (18 saves) in the third minute.
The Mounties put eight more shots on Bernard in the first half, but the only one to clear the line came from Igoe in the 25th minute.
Sullivan started the play by beating a defender to a through ball deep down the right side, and she crossed into the middle where Igoe one-timed it to make it a two-goal game.
And, despite plenty of shots on goal and a few very near misses just off frame, that is where the score stood 55 minutes later.
Despite carrying the play most of the afternoon, the Mounties benefited from a couple of big second-half saves by keeper Mai O’Connor on free kicks to preserve her fifth shutout this fall.
“That’s part of the frustration,” Ostheimer said. “A two-goal game is not in the bag. I was experimenting with different people up front and then realized they’re a goal away from really putting a lot of pressure on us. That’s when I moved Emma [Newberry] back to sure up the defense to ride out the game.
“It’s unfortunate we got into that situation when you control play so much.”
It was also unfortunate for the Mounties to be missing six of their regulars on Thursday, including three of their starters. But players up from the JV stepped up and played well, getting valuable varsity experience.
“You know, the bottom line is I’m impressed with how we’re playing, but we’ve just got to finish,” Ostheimer said.
Mount Greylock hosts McCann Tech on Friday before getting four days off before an independent game at Mount Anthony in Bennington, Vt.
Video: Mount Greylock co-captain Molly Sullivan talks about the state of the team after Thursday’s win over Mahar.
Video: Mount Greylock’s Lucy Igoe scores with an assist from Molly Sullivan in Thursday’s 2-0 win.
Video: Mount Greylock’s Nora Lopez gets a shot on goal in Thursday’s win over Mahar.