Jack Carpenter's goal sends Mount Everett boys soccer team to Western Mass. D-IV semifinals
WESTFIELD — Jack Carpenter positioned himself at the far post as Nikos Casivant settled the ball for a free kick.
Casivant's on-target shot hit Hopkins Academy keeper Erik Berg in the hands, but he couldn't control the rebound. It fell right to Carpenter, who hammered it into the net in the 30th minute.
"I just tapped it in, was there at the right time," Carpenter said. "It was nice to score early. A lot of times this year we've been held behind some games."
The one goal proved enough in Wednesday's Western Massachusetts Division IV quarterfinal, despite both teams' best efforts to alter the score line. Mount Everett, the No. 4 seed, advanced to the semifinals with a 1-0 victory at Roots Athletic Complex. They'll face No. 1 seed Lenox, who beat them 2-0 and 5-1 during the regular season, at 5 p.m. Thursday at Wahconah.
"With how strong of a team (Hopkins is), I was worried," Mount Everett coach Josh King said. "Whoever we're playing tomorrow, we've got to find ways to score."
Armando Bautista-Cruz had a golden opportunity to double the Eagles' lead in the 78th minute. Hopkins was pressed all the way up to attack a corner, including keeper Jack Feltovic.
Mount Everett cleared the ball and released Bautista-Cruz on a long pass toward an open net. With the Golden Hawks' defense closing in on him, Bautista-Cruz fired, hoping for a long-range insurance goal. It skipped just left of the post.
"I don't really filter where they shoot from," King said. "I'll take those opportunities vs. them holding on too long and getting it stolen because they were definitely checking back quick."
Mount Everett (10-4-1) piled up corners in the second half. The Eagles earned four between the 57th and 60th minute. Their best chance came on a volley in the 57th.
"It sucks that we didn't put another one in later," Carpenter said. "But we held tough on D."
Hopkins made them sweat the final 15 minutes. The Golden Hawks earned three free kicks and a corner in the last 13 minutes but couldn't put a finishing touch on the ball.
Dougie Pierce executed an overhead bicycle kick in the 73rd minute after a free kick bounced to him in the box. His shot went right to Mount Everett keeper Patrick Silk.
Silk also denied Pierce on a near post shot following a through ball in the game's dying minutes. That lead to a corner that Hopkins couldn't put away.
"We had a bunch of chances. All of our execution was there except the finish," Hopkins Academy senior Gage Spanknebel said.
Hopkins 0 0 — 0
Everett 1 0 — 1
ME — Jack Carpenter (Nikos Casivant), 30:00.
Saves — H: Jack Frederick 4, Erik Berg 2. ME: Patrick Silk 2.
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