Thursday October 18, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- In a team meeting following a 1-0 loss to unbeaten East Longmeadow, Pittsfield girls soccer coach Andy Waluszko could be overheard delivering a message to his Generals: "We'll see them again."

His players certainly want another shot.

"Yeah, we do," fullback Morgan Matthews said.

Almost immediately, she and teammate Meghan Driscoll said the same thing: "We will beat them.


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If Pittsfield (11-1-2) ever gets the chance to avenge its only loss of the season to date, to the defending Division I state runner-up, it will have to create more offensive opportunities than it did Wednesday at Kirvin Park. East Longmeadow goalie Anne Stack only had to make two saves, though she saw much more pressure in the last 20 minutes.

Waluszko said he adjusted his offensive formation from a 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3 after Danielle White's goal in the 50th minute gave the Spartans (13-0-1) the lead.

"We were pressing the offense," the coach said. "We were going for the tying goal, so we were getting our numbers forward ... and we got some good pressure.

"Those opportunities, we have to convert and do a better job."

White put a header past PHS keeper Allie Hunt 9:06 into the second half, but only had a few solid scoring chances despite controlling play for much of the match.

In the 16th minute, East Longmeadow's Mary Edwards had a deflection set her up in perfect position inside the box, but her point-blank shot was punched over the goal by Hunt. It was one of seven saves for the Pittsfield freshman.

"Defensively, I thought we played really well," Waluszko said. "Allie played really well. That one she stopped in the first half ... that's a great save. She punched it out really nicely."

As the game got more physical in the second half -- even chippy at times, as evidenced by yellow cards issued to East Longmeadow's Alyssa Hyland and Pittsfield's Allie Supranowicz -- Pittsfield gained more offensive control. Still, the Generals couldn't get the equalizer.

"Obviously, they pushed numbers forward once they were down. I think we recognized that," Spartans coach Jenny Maurer said. "Luckily, we kept our composure enough to keep the ball and not rush it."

The tests aren't over for PHS, though. North Division foe Wahconah awaits on Friday, followed by a trip to Great Barrington to play Monument Mountain next Tuesday.

"It's only one loss," Matthews said, "and we only have a couple of games left. We definitely will play our best, and hopefully we'll only have one loss this season."

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E. Longmeadow 0 1 -- 1

Pittsfield 0 0 -- 0

Second half

EL--Danielle White (Ashley Horrigan), 49:06.

Saves -- EL: Anne Stack 2. P--Allie Hunt 7.

To reach Matthew Sprague:
msprague@berkshireeagle.com,
(413) 496-6254.
On Twitter: @EagleSportsZone.