Tuesday September 11, 2012

LENOX -- Much like they might with a younger sibling, the Pittsfield girls soccer team is a little bit protective of their freshman goalkeeper.

Four second-half goals by the Generals provided freshman keeper Allie Hunt plenty of breathing room as the visitors beat Lenox 4-0 on a frigid -- for Sept. 10 -- Monday night.

Hunt had only five saves, but a big one on a direct kick by Lenox’s Jen Delasco seven minutes after Pittsfield’s Kara Alfonsi broke a scoreless deadlock was huge.

"It gave me confidence. Every shot counts," said Hunt. "It’s great."

Kara and Nicole Alfonsi put Pittsfield up 2-0 and Sydney Deluce scored the Generals’ final two goals. That’s the kind of cushion any "older sister" would give to the kid.

"I think once we score, she gets more pressure off of her shoulders," said Deluce, who had a three-point night. "It’s good."

The five-save performance earned Hunt her second consecutive shutout. That has to help build confidence with games against Wahconah Regional and Longmeadow still to come this week.

"She came in, working really hard and everyone wanted her to succeed," said Deluce. "I’m really excited for her. She’s doing really well."

Pittsfield outshot Lenox 18-7.

"We like to limit the number of shots with any keeper we have in there, and we’ve always preached defense," said PHS coach Andy Waluszko.

Lenox didn’t have many chances to score, but Delasco generated most of them. Her best came early in the second half.

Kara Alfonsi converted Carly Robinson’s corner kick just 2:56 into the second half. Then, with 31 minutes to play in the game, Lenox was awarded a direct kick outside the box from about 23 yards out. Delasco ripped the shot, Hunt got in front of the shot and kept the ball out of the goal.

"It’s just like any other shot," Hunt said modestly. "I trust my girls to get in front of it and just helped me out.

"Being younger and having all the older girls coming at you, it’s definitely nerve-wracking."

Pittsfield came out strong in the second half and didn’t need the jolt Hunt’s save made, but they took it and got an insurance goal when Deluce set up Nicole Alfonsi for a shot that went under Prescott at 59:21. Deluce made it 3-0 three minutes later, with a shot that got over Prescott.

Good chances all, but what Lenox coach Matt Cote was most unhappy with was the 10-0 advantage Pittsfield had in corner kicks.

"I think we have to work really hard on not giving up so many darn corner kicks, developing some for ourselves," he said, "and just getting better at working the ball up the field slowly and getting the ball to the end line."

Pittsfield didn’t escape with anything Monday, and it was a good feeling for Pittsfield. After all, last year, the Generals were 0-1-1 here.

"We’ve had a hard time winning down here especially," Waluszko said. "They’ve had our number down here."

On this night, Pittsfield had Lenox’s number. The Lenox coach said that his team has started a little slowly, but anticipates that will change.

"We’ll be OK," said Cote. "It’s a long season."

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Pittsfield 0 4 -- 4

Lenox 0 0 -- 0

Second half

P--Kara Alfonsi (Carly Robinson), 42:56.

P--Nicole Alfonsi (Sydney Deluce), 59:21.

P--Deluce (Trinity Cookis), 63:26.

P--Deluce (UA) 77:08.

Saves--P: Allie Hunt 5. L: Kathy Prescott 8.