Indians survive in double-OT
Turners Falls High School boys’ soccer coach Gregg Bergstrom was beginning to mentally put together the lineup he would use when the Indians’ WMass Division III first-round game went to penalty kicks.
Wyatt Bourbeau made all that figuring unnecessary.
The Turners Falls scoring leader managed to crack seemingly impenetrable Holyoke Catholic High School goalkeeper Tom Heavren with three minutes left in double-overtime to send the Indians on to the quarterfinals with a 2-1 victory at the Bourdeau Fields Complex Saturday night in Turners Falls.
Heavren was the difference-maker throughout, with multiple highlight-reel saves in the Holyoke Catholic net through nearly 100 minutes of play. After stymieing the Indians as they tried to score late in regulation, Heavren stayed up to the challenge through the first overtime, which was controlled by Turners Falls. The fifth-seeded Indians were finally able to wrap up the win over 12th-seeded Holyoke Catholic with three minutes left in the second overtime, when Summer Forest-Bulley fed Bourbeau near the top of the 18-yard box and Bourbeau turned and fired a shot that beat Heavren.
“I could literally feel the hairs on my head turning gray,” Bergstrom joked.
This marked the second time the two teams met this season, the first coming on Sept. 28 when the Indians took a 5-1 victory. In that game, Turners Falls struck for two goals in the opening 15 minutes of play, establishing an early lead and never looking back. The same thing nearly happened again Saturday, but Heavren stood in the way.
Emmett Turn blasted a shot off the crossbar in the second minute of play and Bourbeau followed with a chance in the box two minutes later that was broken up on a questionable tackle by a Gaels defender. Turn got another chance in the 10th minute that Heavren (15 saves) stopped and the game remained scoreless.
“If we scored three goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, we probably could have gone on to win by six or seven goals,” Bergstrom said. “It was a testament to them as a team, and especially their goalie. In my 10 years of coaching, that was probably the best display of goalkeeping I’ve ever seen.”
The Gaels (7-7-4) struck first midway through the first half when John O’Hara carried the ball down the right side of the field and fed the ball across to Trevor Lewicki, who pushed it past Indian goalie Tenzen Khenrab (six saves). The Indians (14-3-1) nearly answered 10 minutes later when Bourbeau was again cleaned out in the box, but this time he drew the penalty kick. Dennis Gheorghita took the kick but Heavren stopped the opportunity, and then denied a second chance off the rebound.
The Indians continued to carry play through halftime and finally got the equalizer 18 minutes into the second half when awarded a free kick from 20 yards out. Gheorghita again took the kick and this time he finished it, wrapping a left-footed shot around the wall and into the net.
The Indians move on to play fourth-seeded Smith Academy today at 2 p.m. in Hatfield.
Mt. Greylock 3, Athol 0 — Athol High School managed to hold Nathan Mujumder in check for much of the game, but the all-star forward did enough damage to propel third-seeded Mt. Greylock Regional High School into the WMass Division II quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory over the 13th-seeded Red Raiders Saturday evening in Williamstown.
Mujumder entered the game with 28 goals and 15 assists on the season, prompting Athol coach Dave King to place top player Bradley Bousquet on him in a marking fashion. Bousquet did a solid job of stopping the sniper throughout the game, but Mujumder got one chance in the first half and made good on it. The opportunity came with 13 minutes left in the first half, after a free kick from 25 yards out was played on goal but headed off the goal line by an Athol defender. The ball wound up landing 10 yards out from goal, and Mujumder bicycle-kicked it into the net past Athol goalie Garrett Hall (five saves).
“There was really nothing Bradley could do on that goal,” King said. “He did a really great job on Mujumder all game. That was just a world-class goal.”
Athol actually got numerous opportunities to tie the game as both Joe Doyle and Randy Favreau had chances. The Red Raiders carried the momentum into the second half and Jose Sierra helped set up multiple chances, including a near-header from Tyler Guerin and a shot from Tanner Pavelonis that was stopped by Greylock goalie Sean Hudson (seven saves).
The Mounties finally got some breathing room with 19 minutes left in the game when Mujumder received a pass at midfield and sprint-dribbled toward the Athol defense. Three Red Raider defenders converged on the ball, which left Ian Brisk open and Mujumder hit him with a pass, which Brisk finished past Hall for the second goal of the game.
Athol continued to apply pressure and moved even more players forward in the final 10 minutes of play, producing numerous opportunities. The game was wrapped up, however, with three minutes left, when Mujumder received the ball in his own end and carried it all the way up field, burying it himself for his third goal of the game.
The Mounties (15-3-1) held only a slight 12-9 edge in shots over the Red Raiders (8-9-2), and King said he was pleased with the effort his team put forth in their final game of the season.
“I’m tremendously proud of the way our guys performed against a top-tier team,” he began. “I thought we frustrated them for much of the game, and made it very stressful for them and for their crowd, which is what you kind of want to do as a 13th seed going against a fourth seed.”