PITTSFIELD — Pittsfield maintained its undefeated start to the year with a 2-2 draw against Lenox at Kirvin Park on Thursday.
The Generals (3-0-2, 3-0-1 Berkshire North) leveled the game at 2-all in the 76th minute, as Jackson Rich rose to meet a cross from Luke Dallenbach. Rich was joined in the air by Lenox goalkeeper Matt Tibbetts, but Tibbetts was unable to control the ball in the air and when the ball came down to the ground, Rich was able to poke in from close range.
"I say you have to create your own luck," Pittsfield coach Andrew Antil said, referencing how both of his team's goals took some fortunate bounces in the box. "The second one just shows, Jackson going up with that head ball right there, just showed the guts that the players have.
"Get the job done at any cost. You have to put yourself in a position to score. Sometimes, you'll get lucky. Sometimes, you'll get unlucky."
The goal kept Lenox (3-1-1, 2-0-1) from a three-game winning streak to start league play. The Millionaires also had to battle an unseen opponent on the day — a bug that was going through multiple members of the team.
"I thought we possessed the ball well until late in the game," Lenox coach David Pugh said. "Coach Antil made some adjustments, I ended up moving a forward into the midfield to get us an extra midfielder and that helped us.
"My midfield is basically sick or hurt right now. To come out of this field with a tie today, I'm very happy."
PHS took the lead first in the game, scoring 1:30 into the contest when Dallenbach scored on a pass from Cristian Mendez. Lenox got the goal back in the 15th minute when Nic Baruch fed Mike Abdalla. The score remained 1-1 through halftime.
In the second half, Lenox came out on the front foot and nearly retook the lead on a shot from Luke Murphy, but Jon Bile was able to make the save.
Lenox got its lead back with 12:26 to go. Nick Monteleone had an initial long-range effort saved by Bile, but the ball bounced back out into the six-yard box and Abdalla was in the right place at the right time to stab home.
Bile made six saves, while Tibbetts finished with four.
Through its first five games, the Generals now have wins over North rivals Monument Mountain and Mount Greylock, and the draw against Lenox.
"It's a good way to start the season because we see a lot of tough teams off the bat," Antil said. "It kind of gets us ready for the Valley. It shows we can hang, but we still have a lot of work to do. We are contenders, but we still have a lot of work to do."
P — Luke Dallenbach (Cristian Mendez), 1:30. L — Mike Abdalla (Nic Baruch), 15:00.
L — Abdalla (unassisted), 68:00. P — Jackson Rich (Dallenbach), 76:00.
Saves — P: Jon Bile 6. L: Matt Tibbetts 4.