Pittsfield, Wahconah Girls Battle to a Draw
DALTON, Mass. – Mere moments after Wahconah girls soccer coach Maggie Rivers called a second half timeout to challenge her squad, it rose to the challenge.
Olivia Gamberoni scored in the 71st minute to erase a one-goal deficit and salvage a 2-2 tie against Kurty/Fielding League foe Pittsfield on Saturday afternoon.
“I think I’ve just been echoing to them that they need to pull themselves up and work hard, and that’s what we did,” Rivers said. “We made a couple of changes up front. And they did it.
“I wish we’d gotten another one. But it’s all good.”
It was all better than either team has been seeing of late.
Pittsfield (1-7-1) came in having lost its last two games, including Friday against South Hadley.
Wahconah (3-6-1) also was on a two-game slide, including a loss on Friday night at Mount Greylock.
Neither bench was turning cartwheels after settling for a tie, but Generals coach Hal Asher knew there were some positives to take away from the weekend matinee.
“We earned the draw, and that’s a pretty good result,” Asher said. “I’m happy with it.
“Just being able to know how they play is a good thing. We play them again on Monday. I don’t know what their schedule was, but we played yesterday, and I don’t think we were at full strength, full capacity, full energy. But they gave it their all. We get to play them again on Monday, and I’m excited for that to see how they then figure out what we did today and with what I have to add tomorrow in our day of practice.”
Three of Saturday’s four goals came on restarts.
Wahconah struck first in the 15th minute of play. Gamberoni took a corner kick from the right wing and dropped it inside the 6 on the near post. Dani Barry redirected the ball into the back of the net to give their team a 1-0 lead.
That lasted for 21 minutes before Pittsfield’s Allison Schnopp took a free kick from just over the midfield stripe that found Jamie Duquette just outside the 18. Duquette settled the ball to her feet and took a left-footed strike past Wahconah keeper Edriana Collins (nine saves).
Early in the second half, Pittsfield went back on top.
A Wahconah defender was whistled for obstruction inside the 18, and Pittsfield was awarded an indirect free kick inside the penalty area from the left side.
Randi Duquette touched the ball back to Tessie Tierney, who put a shot on frame. Collins was able to make the initial save but could not control the rebound. Cece Supranowicz was able to cash in the rebound from the doorstep to give the Generals a 2-1 advantage.
Collins made a diving save with about 11 minutes left to play to keep it a one-goal margin.
Moments later, Rivers called her timeout.
“It came down to like 10 minutes, and we just had to push through,” Gamberoni said. “We had a timeout with nine minutes, and we were just saying, ‘Give it all we’ve got.’
“We gave it all we’ve got.”
Gamberoni and Elena Iovenio worked a give-and-go about 25 yards from the goal, with Gamberoni splitting two defenders on her way into the 18 and slipping a shot past Pittsfield’s Madison Powell (12 saves).
As Asher mentioned, the two teams play again on Monday evening at Berkshire Community College. Wahconah, which has played Friday-Saturday back-to-backs each of the last three weeks will once again put its stamina to the test.
“I’m not gonna lie,” Rivers said. “It’s been a push. … It’s really hard getting in the flow and being able to have a practice in between tough matches and a recovery day. It’s been a push for them. But I think, if I know my girls, I know this is going to make them better in the long run for states.”
Video: Wahconah’s Olivia Gamberoni talks about the challenge of the schedule this fall for her girls soccer team.
Video: Pittsfield keeper Madison Powell makes a tough save in Saturday’s tie.
Video: Pittsfield’s Cecelia Supranowicz scores in traffic on Saturday’s tie at Wahconah.
Video: Wahconah’s Dani Barry scores off a corner kick in Saturday’s tie against Pittsfield.