Spartans, Mounties Scoreless in Opener
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. – The first girls soccer game in Berkshire County this year was good enough to deserve a sequel.
Unfortunately, it will not have one.
“In the past, I would have said, ‘We’ll get them up at our place,’ “ Mount Greylock coach Tom Ostheimer said after his squad played to a 0-0 tie at Monument Mountain. “Now, we can’t say that.”
The former Berkshire County North Division rivals won’t have a rematch, but they each have some positives to take away from the early season test.
The Mounties had possession most of the afternoon but were frustrated in the final third.
Emily Mead and the Spartans’ defense played a big part in causing that frustration and a late push in the last 10 minutes generated two strong chances that nearly gave Monument Mountain its first goal and first win of the season.
“I think the best thing we did today from beginning to end was keeping our defensive organization,” Monument Mountain coach Miguel Silva said. “You’re right. The defense was the defense. We’re working our way back from the back to the front.
“Unfortunately, our goal scorer got hurt, so she wasn’t there, and we’ve got to figure that part out. But as long as we’ve got the defense organization, I think we’ll be OK.”
Mount Greylock finished with a 13-4 advantage in shots on goal, but Mead had good looks at most of those chances, many from outside the 18.
The Mounties’ best chance of the first half came midway through, when Lily McDermott battled in the middle of the 18 to create an opportunity for herself that caromed off the crossbar.
Early in the second half, McDermott again came within inches of breaking the seal, but this time she hit a post in the 46th minute.
Perhaps Mount Greylock’s best scoring chance came in the 59th minute off a corner kick on the right wing.
Lucy Igoe took the kick and served it into the top of the 18, where Nora Lopez played it for the Mounties toward the right wing. Rowan Apotsos touched the ball wide to Igoe, who fired a shot that Mead was perfectly positioned to secure.
“They’re a good team,” Ostheimer said of the Spartans. “Defensively, they were really strong. They matched us – they matched our speed up front.”
He tried to give the Mounties an injection of speed with the mid-game call-up of seventh-grader Apotsos, who finished the game at forward after she was retrieved from the junior varsity field.
“She’s got speed and skill and she was right there a couple of times,” Ostheimer said. “She had some opportunities, and she played well. It must have been a lot being out there as a seventh-grader and getting pulled [from the JV game] halfway through.”
None of Mount Greylock’s opportunities got past the Spartans, though.
“Marcella Tenuta is our captain, Emily [Mead] is a senior and then we’ve got two great defensive midfielders, including Kayleigh [Davis] who also is a senior,” Silva said. “So I feel pretty good back there. The rest are just young kids, sophomores.”
In the 72nd minute, with Mount Greylock pushing more players forward in an effort to finally crack through, the Spartans were able to break through midfield and draw a direct free kick about 25 yards from the goal on the left wing.
Tenuta’s try went just wide of the far post.
Then, as time was winding down in the final minute, the Spartans earned a corner kick in the closing seconds. The ball was served from the right wing to an open Davis on the left side of the 18, but her header went high and the final seconds ticked away.
After the now non-league opener against the Mounties, Monument Mountain faces another Berkshire County foe on Thursday in its Central League lid-lifter against Lenox.
Mount Greylock Thursday faces its first Grieve League opponent when it goes back on the road to face Mahar.
“I think, in general, we thought we were a little more ready for today,” Ostheimer said. “But we’ve got to work on finishing and work on conditioning, and we’ll try to get it back Thursday.
“But we can’t hang our heads. Monument is a good team, and I thought we played hard.”
Video: A Monument Mountain try on a corner kick is just off the mark and the Spartans and Mount Greylock settle for a 0-0 tie in Monday’s season opener.
Video: Monument Mountain’s Emily Mead makes one of her 12 saves in Monday’s 0-0 season-opening tie against Mount Greylock.