Lenox Girls Shut Out Pittsfield in Opener

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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LENOX, Mass. -- Lenox senior Nicole Gamberoni got the Millionaires’ soccer season going with a booming left-footer from well outside the 18-yard box Tuesday night.
And she and her Lenox just got stronger from there, earning a convincing 5-0 win over Pittsfield as the Millionaires began the long road back to what they hope will be a return trip to the Western Mass title game.
“We’ve got some experience,” Lenox coach Kyle Zinchuk said. “We’ve got some older girls this year. In the past, we’ve been pretty young, relying on youth coming up in. But we’ve got seven seniors and five juniors, so we’ve got some more experience.
“A little bit older and a little bit bigger this year. That’s really sort of helped us hit the ground running to start the season -- to get some good practices in and not start from square one.”
Senior Abby Schilling scored a pair of second-half goals, and Gamberoni posted an assist to go along with her goal in the victory.
But it wasn’t all the “old-timers” for Lenox on Tuesday night.
Freshman Solia Schmid scored the game’s second goal from deep on the right wing midway through the first half, and classmate Sophie Patella, who played the bulk of the minutes in goal last year as an eighth-grader, made four saves, including a diving stop on Emery Sime’s try from 30 yards out midway through the second half.
“Solia had some really good runs, Mary [Elliot], another freshman, made some good runs,” Zinchuk said. “In addition to the experience, we’ve got a good, ‘together’ group this year. We’ve got some depth on the bench to the point where we feel good putting people in and moving people in and out, which is only going to help us to keep our legs fresh and play at the pace we want to play.”
Senior Shelby Lynch scored with an assist from Schilling in the 49th minute to make it a three-goal game.
But by then, Pittsfield (0-1) already was playing short-handed after the departure of senior Julia Eline-Wright.
After she departed, the Generals had significantly more trouble finding ways to put pressure on Patella or take some pressure off Lexi Swanson, who finished with 10 saves.
“She’s a key,” Pittsfield coach Juan Ramos said. “We don’t know what the extent of the injury is, but she makes a difference out there. … We actually set up our formation to give her the freedom to do whatever she wanted out there.
“There’s nobody who can do, physically, the things she can do out there.”
Pittsfield has a quick turnaround to try to make some adjustments as it hosts Mount Greylock on Thursday.
Lenox hosts Mount Everett on Friday.
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