Monument boys move on in W. Mass. soccer tournament
GREAT BARRINGTON -- Keep on knocking, and sooner or later, the door has to open.
For nearly one hour of game time in a Western Massachusetts Division II quarterfinal, Monument Mountain was putting the pressure on Hampshire Regional, but had nothing to show for it.
A goal by Daniel Huertas at 57:11 broke the scoreless deadlock. Nick Masiero, who assisted on the first goal, got an insurance tally eight minutes later and third-seeded Monument was on its way to the semifinals with a 2-0 win over the No. 6 Red Raiders on a frosty Monday night.
"It’s awesome," Masiero said. "We really came together. We’re a family and that’s what I love about it. It’s just great to move on."
The Spartans will face No. 7 seed South Hadley in a semifinal, after the Tigers upset second-seeded Cathedral 2-1 on Monday. The date and time for the semifinal has yet to be determined.
Monument had 20 shots at net in the game compared to three for Hampshire. The Red Raiders didn’t get their third and final shot on net until the clock read 5:03 to play in the second half.
"We didn’t have enough on the ball tonight," Hampshire coach Dan Moynahan said. "That’s the strength of our team, keeping the ball and passing it. They took away the space very quickly."
Hampshire goalie Ben Preston was tested all night as he made eight saves. None was as good as the save he made late in the first half. On a Monument free kick, Jason Laramee faked the kick but Lucas Wartella boomed a shot that Preston just got a fist on and punched the ball over the crossbar.
Monument had a couple of good chances early in the second half, but finally struck midway through the stanza.
Masiero got the ball some 20 yards from the end line by the right sideline. He carried the ball deep, cut toward the middle and sent the ball to Huertas in the box. Huertas directed the ball into the net and the Spartans were up 1-0 at 57:11.
"The whole first half, I was taking them into the corner. I talked to [Coach Matt Naventi] at halftime and asked if I should attack the front post and draw defenders," Masiero said. "I told [Huertas] to be at that exact spot, the PK line, and I was just going to dish it out."
Eight minutes later, Masiero made it 2-0 with an unassisted goal. His left-footed blast eluded Preston -- and the countdown to the semifinal was on.
"We’re 14-0 now when we score two goals or more," Naventi said. "We don’t give up many and we know we’re going to get a couple in most cases. As long as they keep their composure, keep at it offensively and don’t start to get frantic, we definitely have plenty of opportunities and they’re going to get one."
Hampshire 0 0 -- 0
Monument 0 2 -- 2
MM -- Daniel Huertas (Nick Masiero), 57:19.
MM -- Masiero (UA), 65:29.
Saves -- H: Ben Preston 8; MM: Aaron House 2.