Arace Scores Two Late Goals to Lift Lenox
LENOX, Mass. -- For the first 30 minutes of the second half on Saturday night, the Lenox girls soccer team dominated play and had nothing to show for it.
Then, Sandra Arace put on a show.
The Lenox senior scored two goals in the last eight minutes as Lenox overcame a 1-0 half-time deficit to beat Smith Academy, 2-1, and advance to the semifinals of the Western Massachsuetts Divison 4 tournament.
"It's such a great feeling, especially as a senior," Arace said. "That wasn't going to be our last game as a team. We knew we were going to pull through."
Instead, second-seeded Lenox's next game will be this week at a site to be determined against No. 3 Gateway (13-1-3) which ended Mount Everett's title hopes with a 3-1 win over the Eagles on Saturday.
Seventh-seeded Smith (10-7-3) had to think an upset was in the making after it scored with just more than three minutes left in the first half.
Moira Pitrat made a move on a Lenox defennder inside the 18 and sent a cross from the right wing for Mia Ellis, who finished to put the Falcons on top.
Lenox (12-4-3) had a 7-4 advantage in shots on goal in the first half but could not find a way to solve Smith keeper Brooke Pashek.
"The first half, I don't think was our best half," Lenox coach Kyle Zinchuk said. "I was trying to get across to the girls, and they knew, that we've been in this situation before. We've fought back from behind multiple times this season.
"I think that really helps them have the confidence to know, 'Hey, we've been here before. We can do this."
Lenox did face the prospect of playing the second half without junior starter Tova Brown, who was carried off the field at half-time by Zinchuk and an EMT after she went down with an apparent ankle injury.
Fortunately for Brown and the Millionaires, she was able to get back on her feet and into the game as a sub during the second half.
"She rolled her ankle pretty bad, but she's a tough kid," Zinchuk said. "If I didn't feel confident about her being on it, I wouldn't have put her back out there. But we talked about it, and showed me she could stand on it, walk on it. She was doing her sprints up and down the sideline.
"That's a huge piece to have her be able to come back and pick the team up again."
Brown was involved in the play at about the 65th minute that had the Millionaires thinking for a moment that they had tied the game.
A collision inside the 6-yard box left the Smith keeper and a defender on the ground, and Lenox knocked the ball into the net, touching off a brief celebration. But the official already was waving his arms to call off the goal because of a foul on the play.
Lenox kept the pressure on, though, firing nine shots on goal and taking eight corner kicks in the second half.
It all finally paid off with 7:14 on the clock, when Arace beat a defender on the left side of the 18 and laced a shot inside the far post to tie the game.
The game-winner came on Lenox's 11th corner of the game with less than a minute left. Jackie Hathaway's restart from the left wing went right to Arace in the box. She settled the ball and drilled home her 19th goal of the season.
Video of Arace's tying and winning goals on the iBerkshires Sports Facebook page.