Late goals lift Lenox boys soccer team to win over Taconic

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LENOX — When Andre Collins tucked away his second goal of the afternoon Saturday against Taconic, the game looked just about over. With 64 minutes played, Taconic's chances were few and far between.

But for both sets of fans that stayed to the end, the final 16 minutes was a chaotic rush that ended in a 4-2 win for Lenox.

"Taconic — well organized," Lenox coach Camilo Bermudez said. "They played some good defense. We were able to move forward, but they had us on our heels. We went up 2-0 and I think maybe we were dropping back a little bit."

The Millionaires (2-1-0) took the lead in the 11th minute through Collins, then weathered a pair of good Taconic chances to end the first half. In the second, Collins scored an unassisted deflection to put his team into a commanding lead.

Taconic (0-3-1) wasn't done yet, though.

In a two-minute span, Ben Vengalil scored on a penalty kick, and Deshaire Pinkston converted on a pass from Abraham Portillo-Gomez to tie things up.

Just as it started to look like the Braves might nick a draw, Lenox responded brilliantly with two goals in a minute to secure the win.

Two minutes after Pinkston's tally, JT Novitsky took a pass from Gabe Merino in the middle of the Taconic box and lined up a shot into the lower corner of the goal. Off the restart, Collins found Cam Abdalla, who tucked home the insurance tally Lenox thought it had already gotten.

"That's a test of character, and I think they passed the test," Bermudez said. "They went back to playing the way they should have. The last 10 minutes, they were put in a position where they had to finish. In the first 40 minutes, we had chances and we didn't [finish].

"Taconic was impressive. They played a great game, they played us real well."

On the Taconic sideline, coach Shaun Stannard said he was proud of how his team answered after going down 2-0.

"I was proud of them, finding ourselves down two and being able to come back and put two in," Stannard said. "Then, we just had some breakdowns at the back near the end. It was a good game."

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Also impressive in the loss was goalie Ian McGrath. McGrath was tested constantly throughout and produced 13 saves. His counterpart, Daniel Munch, stopped four shots for Lenox.

Collins also drew praise from his coach after the game. When asked about what Collins brings as the striker for the team, Bermudez said that "he can make things happen.

"If you are down and need someone to step up, he can do it. He's been able to finish — he's figured out that part of his game. It's not only finishing, he can also assist."

The Braves fall to 0-3-1 with the loss.

———

Taconic     0     2     —     2

Lenox     1     3     —     4

First Half

L — Andre Collins (Michael Ward), 11:00.

Second Half

L — Collins (unassisted), 64:00. T — Ben Vengalil (penalty kick), 71:00. T — Deshaire Pinkston (Abraham Portillo-Gomez), 72:00. L — JT Novitsky (Gabe Merino), 74:00. L — Cam Abdalla (Collins), 74:00.

Saves — T: Ian McGrath 13. L: Daniel Munch 4.

Geoff Smith can be reached at gsmith@berkshireeagle.com, @GSmith_Eagle on Twitter and 413-496-6254.

Lenox     1     3     —     4

First Half

L — Andre Collins (Michael Ward), 11:00.

Second Half

L — Collins (unassisted), 64:00. T — Ben Vengalil (penalty kick), 71:00. T — Deshaire Pinkston (Abraham Portillo-Gomez), 72:00. L — JT Novitsky (Gabe Merino), 74:00. L — Cam Abdalla (Collins), 74:00.

Saves — T: Ian McGrath 13. L: Daniel Munch 4.

Geoff Smith can be reached at gsmith@berkshireeagle.com, @GSmith_Eagle on Twitter and 413-496-6254.

First Half

L — Andre Collins (Michael Ward), 11:00.

Second Half

L — Collins (unassisted), 64:00. T — Ben Vengalil (penalty kick), 71:00. T — Deshaire Pinkston (Abraham Portillo-Gomez), 72:00. L — JT Novitsky (Gabe Merino), 74:00. L — Cam Abdalla (Collins), 74:00.

Saves — T: Ian McGrath 13. L: Daniel Munch 4.

Geoff Smith can be reached at gsmith@berkshireeagle.com, @GSmith_Eagle on Twitter and 413-496-6254.


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