WILLIAMSTOWN — The Mount Greylock boys soccer team isn’t quite where it wants to be. The Mounties do realize, however, that they are getting closer.
The Mounties held the fort against Churchill Division rival Pope Francis on Monday. But even with the Cardinals playing a man down for the final 15 minutes, Greylock could not get a goal in a match that ended 0-0.
“We were really looking for the win, but they beat us in the first game this season. We played pretty well today,” Greylock’s Jack Catelotti said. “I’m proud of all of us. We put in the work. I think we had opportunities. We missed them. That’s how the game goes.”
Photos: Mount Greylock Soccer plays Pope Francis to a draw
Mount Greylock Boys Soccer plays Pope Francis to a draw
To purchase photos click here
What might have been the most frustrating for the Mounties was with about 16 minutes left to play in the second half, Pope Francis goalkeeper Alberto Truoiolo played the ball with his hands outside of the 18-yard box. It was determined that the handball interfered with a legitimate scoring chance, so Truoiolo was given a red card. The Cardinals played down a man the rest of the game and Jason Riser came off the field to play goal for those final minutes.
“Testing that keeper would mean a lot. I think definitely, not having shots on him was frustrating,” said Catelotti.
The Mounties did force Riser to make a couple of late stops, but he was alert when the Mounties’ John Morales sent a through ball for Catelotti. Riser beat Catelotti to it and covered the play.
“We changed our system at the end. We wanted to put a couple of guys forward and sometimes, maybe we got out of our rhythm,” Greylock coach Blair Dils said. “With a field player in goal, you want to get more than [two shots] on goal, and that’s basically all we had. We’d like to do better with that opportunity.”
With the draw, the Mounties improve to 1-4-2, but they are unbeaten in their last four contests. Greylock beat Pittsfield, lost to Agawam and tied Monument Mountain and Pope Francis, all Churchill rivals. That puts the Mounties at 1-3-2 in league play. The Cardinals fall to 2-5-2 overall and 2-2-2 in the Churchill. Pope Francis took a 1-0 decision from Greylock in the season opener.
“I think it was just the first-game jitters, a young team and going out on the road after an hour and a half bus ride. So just to come out here more solid defensively,” said Dils. “We gave some good looks from distance up, but I thought in general, we did a pretty good job of clearing the ball out of the back third pretty well.”
Greylock goalkeeper Eamon Hetherington kept the Cardinals off the scoreboard in the game. Hetherington recorded his first shutout with a 10-save performance. A couple of times, Hetherington got a little bit of help from his friend the crossbar. In the first half Pope Francis’ Wade Wergrzyn hit the crossbar after a nice job of carrying the ball into the Greylock defensive third by Ryan Rhodes. Then, in the 51st minute, Declan Sears’ shot from 30-yards out was deflected by Hetherington and then the ball caromed off the crossbar.
“He made some good saves,” Dils said of his junior keeper. “He’s an athletic kid. His reaction saves are very good. He did a nice job to tip it off the crossbar or corral a rebound. He’s improving, for sure.”
The free kick when Truoiolo was red-carded was possibly Greylock’s best scoring opportunity. The ball was just outside the 18, and the Mounties ran a play with Diego Galvez eventually taking the kick. His rocket just missed sneaking under the crossbar.
Up next for Greylock is a Friday night date with traditional Berkshire County rival Lenox. The Millionaires are a member of the Moriarty Division.
“We’re improving, and that’s all we’re asking each week,” Dils said. “We’re not so focused on results as we are trying to just play well for long stretches of time. I think we played well for stretches. I don’t know about long stretches tonight. But we did play well enough to get the one point.”