Mount Greylock, Pittsfield boys soccer teams play to 1-1 draw
PITTSFIELD -- After two Berkshire County North Division tests in as many days, and a 1-0-1 record in those tests, Pittsfield High School goalkeeper Harrison Rapant was ready to get away from the soccer field for a while.
"As a team, I'm guessing we're all pretty beat," Rapant said from his car after Friday's 1-1 tie with Mount Greylock at Kirvin Park. "We're looking forward to a day off."
Rapant and the PHS defense held off a number of Mountie shots in the second half Friday to preserve the tie and stay unbeaten (4-0-3) this season. Rapant made 11 saves, but he wasn't alone in keeping North-leading Greylock (7-3-2) off the scoreboard in the final 40 minutes.
When Rapant wasn't corralling loose balls or punching away shots, the defense was solid around him. Mike Holmes headed away one Greylock header near the goal off a free kick with about 7 1/2 minutes left.
Pittsfield's midfielders were also fighting for possession, even if the Generals didn't get too many shots on Greylock's goal in the second half.
"They had some good positioning," Greylock coach Blair Dils said. "They had the one head ball that was cleared off the line. They had a guy in the right place at the right time. They're very organized defensively."
Both goals were scored in the first 24 minutes. Mount Greylock midfielder Benni McComish opened the scoring in the third minute, scoring off a feed from Eric Hirsch.
"Eric just made a great wing run," McComish said. "He came goal line, and I knew he would slot it into a space. I just went from the post and was lucky to get it in."
Pittsfield answered almost 21 minutes later, as Claudio Velez had a shot trickle in past Greylock keeper Cal Filson. A number of Generals set it up, but Louis Higuera was credited with the assist.
From there, Filson snuffed out the Generals' next best chance, making a charging, sliding save on a Velez shot in the 34th minute.
In the second half, it was Greylock who had the better opportunities. Rapant and the Generals' back line, though, were equal to every task -- leading to a few exasperated groans from Dils and the Greylock bench.
Still, he said his Mounties kept pushing, hoping to put one more ball in net.
"You're just going for it the whole time," he said. "Their goalie's very good, so that's a big difference. Against a lot of goalies, we probably score two or three on a day like today."
Rapant saw more of a counter-attacking style from the Mounties in the second half.
"Luckily, our guys held in and blocked a lot of shots," he said. "Mike Holmes cleared a ball off the goal line. Jackson Rich dove in front of a ball."
And though they couldn't earn four points in two days -- Pittsfield won 2-1 at Wahconah on Thursday night -- PHS coach Andrew Antil's squad will take a win and a draw in consecutive North games.
"We're all pretty tired; nobody's 100 percent, really," Antil said. "I was really pleased with the effort. ... The effort is what is going to make things happen in the league."
Greylock 1 0--1
PIttsfield 1 0--1
MG -- Benni McComish (Eric Hirsch), 2:17.
P -- Claudio Velez (Louis Higuera), 23:10.
Saves: MG -- Cal Filson 5. P -- Harrison Rapant 11.
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