Two players battle for the ball

Monument's David Flynn and Lenox's Mike Ward battle for possession during a soccer match in Great Barrington on Thursday. Ward gave Lenox an early lead, but Flynn sealed the deal for the Spartans with a late goal. 

GREAT BARRINGTON — It was Senior Night for the Monument Mountain boys soccer team. While it was fitting that a senior scored the game-winning goal, did David Flynn have to wait that long?

Flynn’s goal with 1:03 left in regulation broke a tie and gave the Spartans a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Lenox Thursday night. It might just have been Monument’s last home game for 2021.

“It’s definitely one to remember,” Flynn said.

The Spartans, now 7-3-6, wrap up the regular season with an eight-match unbeaten streak (4-0-4), and now await to see where they will be seeded in the upcoming Western Massachusetts Class B Tournament and the state tournament that lies farther ahead.

“I think actually our last three have” felt like tournament games, Monument coach Matt Naventi said. “We had 7 o’clock games at Wahconah last week, we had Westfield this week and then this one. The atmosphere is here. The weather is getting colder. It feels like it’s time for the tournament.”

The Millionaires came to Great Barrington riding a pretty hot streak of their own. They were 2-0-1 and 5-1-1 before Thursday’s loss.

Michael Ward scored early in the second half for Lenox, giving them a 1-0 lead. It was the only goal the Millionaires found.

“Our defense held up well,” Lenox interim coach Andy Schnopp said. “They were pushing hard. That’s what they were doing. They were a little more hungry than we were.”

From the time the Spartans scored the tying goal midway through the second half, they were the aggressor. Monument had several good scoring chances down the stretch, but Lenox goalkeeper Shaler Larmon came up big.

The first one came with 12 minutes to play in the match, Erving Henderson found Potoski just inside the box. Potoski took one dribble to his right and fired, but Larmon caught it. One minute later, Larmon made a terrific save on a shot by Henderson and then saved a rebound by Sean Scarbro. The ball caught Larmon in the head and the keeper lost one of his contact lenses, which forced him to the sideline until he could get a new one.

The tying goal came when Flynn sent a free kick from just inside the midfield stripe into the box, where Jackson Potoski finished.

The Spartans kept the pressure on until the final minute when Flynn, who moved from the back to an attacking midfielder, got the winner.

“It kind of went by in a flash. We were knocking at the door the entire 10 minutes. It was 1-1. Coach put me up to attacking mid. My legs were tired, but I was in the right position,” Flynn said. “I saw the gap. Jackson Potoski played a perfect ball into me and I tucked it in.”

The Spartans gave up the first goal when Ward’s shot from inside the box eluded keeper Luke Arienti. Luke Gamberoni got the assist for the Millionaires. After a first half where Monument had the better of the possession, the only good scoring chance came when Lenox’s Brady Mickle rang one off the post with just under 12 minutes to play in the opening 40 minutes.

The goal by Ward seemed to kickstart the Monument offense.

“We weren’t expecting [that goal]. It was a tough one. It was just a defensive error,” said Flynn. “We bounced back and scored two in the second half.”

Having been 2-0-1 in its last three games before Thursday, Lenox’s coaches and players were feeling optimistic that they had done enough to qualify for the eight-team Class C Western Mass. tournament.

Seeds are expected out sometime Saturday, with quarterfinal matches set for Monday.

“They really do,” said the Lenox coach, when asked if matches like this prepare his team for either the Class C or the upcoming MIAA state Division IV tournament. “It shows you what you have to work on. It shows you what our strengths and weaknesses are.”

———

Lenox 0 1 — 1

Monument 0 2 — 2

Second Half

L — Michael Ward (Luke Gamberoni), 44:50. MM — Jackson Potoski (David Flynn), 55:39. MM — Flynn (Potoski), 78:57.

Saves — L: Shaler Larmon 6. MM: Luke Arienti: 3.

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com or 413-496-6253.

Sportswriter-Columnist

Howard Herman is a sports columnist at The Berkshire Eagle. The dean of full-time sportswriters in Western Mass., he has been with the Eagle since 1988, and is a member of the New England Baseball and Basketball Hall of Fame.