WILLIAMSTOWN — There was no place like home for the Mounties.
After a week toiling in the Pioneer Valley with a pair of physical losses, Mount Greylock girls soccer coach Tom Ostheimer was glad to see his team back on familiar ground and playing their first Berkshire County foe of the season on Tuesday afternoon.
The Mounties responded to the home turf of John T. Allen Field by shutting out Hoosac Valley 5-0 to get back in the win column.
Photos: Mount Greylock vs. Hoosac Valley girls soccer
On Tuesday, Sept. 21, the Mount Greylock girls soccer team beat Hoosac Valley 5-0 in Williamstown.
To purchase photos from this gallery, click here.
“The big thing today was recovering from last week. We had a tough week,” said Ostheimer. “We had a week where we gave up nine goals, so good to have a clean slate today.
“Bottom line is, it was an important game for us to put last week behind us.”
Greylock made things easy on freshman goalie Mai O’Connor, who made just one save in the outing and watched much of the first half as the Mounties kept possession locked in on the Hoosac half.
Save an opening possession that saw a Hurricanes shot sail high over the crossbar, it was all Greylock for the opening 40 minutes. Livia Morales had three corner kicks and two shots on goal before breaking through in the 25th minute. It was a lengthy possession that forced Hoosac’s Talia Rehill and Tia Kareh to move laterally until exhaustion. The ball eventually found Morales, who took a controlling touch before uncorking a shot that got by goalkeeper Emma Meczywor’s left.
Morales finished the day with two goals and two assists, and was in control of the Mounties offense throughout.
“Being the older player on the team it’s taking on a leadership role, which I may have shied away from in the past,” said Morales. “I think it’s fun to play with everyone. I’m doing my best out there to lead the team.”
Another corner kick by Morales couldn’t be cleared by Hoosac Valley. Lily McDermott kept after it and eventually won an opportunity out in front of the net, which the sophomore forward capitalized on. Within a span of six minutes, Greylock set Hoosac in a 2-0 hole.
Morales tacked on her second goal in the 35th minute. After Meczywor had to come out to make a play stopping Lucy Igoe at the edge of the box, the ricochet bounced to Morales who put it by a defender with ease.
Morales picked up both of her assists in the second half, finding McDermott — a former cross-country standout — early on after a couple nice leads went unanswered. She also assisted on the first varsity goal for freshman Karlie Dowling.
“We have a lot of younger players, but I’m excited. They’re bringing a good energy to the team,” said Morales. “We weren’t sure [McDermott] was going to play with us until the fall, but we’re super excited. She’s super fast and has great awareness of the field. I know when I play to her, she’s going to fight to get there.”
Hoosac Valley (0-5), still in search of its first goal of the season, took a gut-check into halftime and came out the other end with a lot more fire.
Hannah Shea opened the second half by forcing a turnover and driving the ball upfield into Greylock territory. Ashlyn Lesure went with her and it was the Hurricanes’ first legitimate scoring chance since the game’s first minute. Greylock’s defense was up to the task though, and soon the Mounties midfielders had relocked possession on the other end of the field. Greylock’s back line is anchored by senior captains Zoe Armet and Mackenzie Sheehy. Morales is the third captain.
Meczywor was a commanding presence on the back line and made 13 saves to give her team a chance at a comeback. She was often stuck between a rock and a hard place, charging out to plug one hole only to have a loose Mountie slip into scoring position elsewhere.
Greylock, which fell in the Berkshire North championship game during Fall II, graduated the bulk of the 2020-21 team, including veteran goalie Delaney Babcock, top scorers Jackie Wells and Elizabeth Dupras and multi-time MVP Clara McWeeny. “After last year, losing close to a dozen seniors, we’re a different team. Although, it’s far from a classic rebuild. We had six or seven starters return,” said Ostheimer. “We’re moving people around, getting used to playing together.”
The Mounties are 3-2 after the win and travel to Mahar on Thursday. Hoosac travels to Ware on Thursday, as both teams continue their first season as part of the Grieve League in the PVIAC.
Hoosac 0 0 — 0
Greylock 3 2 — 5
First Half — MG: Livia Morales (unassisted), 25:00; MG: Lily McDermott (UA), 31:00; MG: Morales (UA) 35:00.
Second Half — MG: McDermott (Morales), 49:10; MG: Karlie Dowling (Morales), 78:40.
Saves — HV: Emma Meczywor 13; MG: Mai O’Connor 1.