Monson Boots Short-Handed Spartans

By Stephen Sports
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GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. -- Monson ninth-grader Tennessee Murphy scored four times Thursday to hand the Monument Mountain girls soccer team its first loss of the season.
After Emmy Finnegan broke a scoreless tie midway through the first half, Murphy did the rest as the Mustangs improved to 6-0.
“They’re a good team,” Monument Mountain coach Miguel Silva said. “They’re a good technical team. You could tell that every single one of their players knows what to do with the ball. I didn’t see them miss a trap. Their passes were completely accurate. They knew where to move and how to move.
“You’ve got to take your hat off to a team like that.”
The Spartans (2-1-3) staved off Monson’s early scoring opportunities with keeper Emily Mead making five of her 12 saves in the first half.
But in the 18th minute, Ciara Monaghan fed Finnegan, who took the ball into the left side of the 18 and slipped a shot inside the near post just out of Mead’s reach.
Late in the first half, Kendall Bodak set up Murphy for her first goal, and it was a 2-0 Monson lead at the break.
The Spartans had one of their best chances to get back in the game in the 44th minute when Abby Dohoney took a try from about 25 yards out off a run on the right wing that went just high.
Nine minutes later, Murphy won a one-on-one battle with Mead to give the Mustangs an insurmountable three-goal lead.
Murphy brought the ball into the 18 from the right wing and took a shot on goal that Mead stopped. Murphy pounced on the rebound, but again Mead denied her. Finally, Murphy scored on the second rebound for her second goal of the match.
The Spartans went into the game short-handed after losing two senior starters to injury in their last game. Silva said his team had to move some people around to make up for the losses of captain Ava Gamberoni and middle back Emma Soule.
But Silva still thought Monument Mountain had the players to compete. He just was not sure his team had the confidence.
“The main thing that our girls can take away from this is: Just because a team is good, it doesn’t mean that they need to come into the game defeated already,” he said. “You’ve got to play the game.
“I didn’t think they were flat, but I think they had the mentality that [Monson] was better than them. It was like they lost the game before it started. But we’ve shown this season that we can play the game, and we can play well.
“We’re just looking forward to the next game with a different mentality.”
Monument Mountain hosts Granby on Monday.
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