Friday October 26, 2012
DALTON -- It was simple: The tournament started early for Wahconah and Pittsfield.
Both teams needed wins in their last two games to qualify for their respective Western Massachusetts boys soccer tournaments, including Thursday night's senior night clash in Dalton.
"The big thing was, gain the momentum and who is going to score first," said Warriors coach John Kovacs.
It was Wahconah that scored first, getting a goal and an assist from Kevin Boino and Nick Montferret in the first half of a 2-1 victory. That puts the Warriors (6-7-4, 3-4-2 North) a win away from the postseason. Pittsfield (6-8-2, 2-6-2) is out after being held off the board for the game's first 79 minutes.
"I think [we were] a little hesitant," said Generals coach Andrew Antil. "We're the type of team that likes to play the ball on the ground short. So maybe we do that a little too much. We just didn't pull the trigger enough."
Pittsfield controlled the play early, keeping Warriors keeper Nick Tutela busy. Montferret, working on a counter, found Boino on a diagonal run behind the defense in the 17th minute that broke the deadlock.
Boino returned the favor 13 minutes later, finding his teammate in the box on a free kick that Montferret headed into the back of the net.
"It was a great ball, you know?" Montferret said. "One of the things we've been really good at all year long is the set pieces. I knew we'd have a chance. He just put a great ball in, got over the defense and hit it in the back, I guess."
Montferret almost had another goal on a ball played right to his head from Curran Doyle shortly after halftime, but he nudged that one over the bar. A late, frantic goal from Pittsfield's Caesar Miranda made things interesting, but time ran out on the Generals. The damage had been done early when those first two goals left the visitors chasing.
"We started hitting Kevin up top and I think putting the pressure on their defense kind of put them back on their heels," Montferret said. "We were able to take over momentum into the second half."
Wahconah applied pressure for long stretches after halftime, keeping Pittsfield pinned. It was enough to keep the Warriors alive.
Now, Wahconah heads to North rival Lenox on Monday needing two more points. Kovacs told his team the tournament started Thursday, and the Warriors responded with two of the better halves the coach has seen all year.
"That kind of intensity you need, it started tonight," Kovacs said. "We need to carry that into Monday."
Wahconah 2, Pittsfield 1
Wahconah 2 0 -- 2
Pittsfield 0 1 -- 1
W -- Kevin Boino (Nick Montferret), 16:04.
W -- Montferret (Boino), 29:36.
P -- Caesar Miranda (Darien Chambers), 79:00.
Keepers -- W: Nick Tutela 11; P: Harrison Rapant 5.