GREAT BARRINGTON -- For the first 38 minutes of the match, the Monument Mountain and Hoosac Valley girls' soccer teams were locked in a defensive battle.
But heading into halftime both teams found the net, with Hoosac Valley stealing the momentum from the Spartans and earning a 3-1 victory to open the season.
The scoring started with two minutes left in the first half when Spartan forward Errica Broderick found Bailey Tonini streaking down the left side of the field. Tonini fired a shot, the ball bounced off a Hoosac defender rolling past the goalkeeper on the right side.
The Spartans seemed poised to enter the locker room with the lead and momentum on their side, but the Hurricanes regrouped and answered quickly.
With eight seconds left on the half, Madi Ryan sent a pass to Meg Rodowicz breaking into the penalty area. Rodowicz fired right side, beating the goalkeeper and swinging the momentum in her team's favor heading into halftime.
Hoosac coach Blair Mahar said Rodowicz's goal was key heading into the second half.
"We came out slow. We came out kind of flat. It took us a while to warm-up on the field today," Mahar said. "Our girls do a good job of answering those type of goals and they did."
Mahar added that Rodowicz did a good job of destroying the goalkeeper's angle with her right-footed shot. She said it was important to keep playing, even with the last seconds ticking off the clock.
"I knew we were down, but I knew there was plenty of time left on the clock," Rodowicz said. "Even though there was about 30 seconds left, I just wanted it."
At halftime, Mahar said he told his team to increase its tempo. And the Hurricanes came out firing in the second half.
The Hurricanes had several chances to score early in the second half, but Monument Mountain goalkeeper Emily Shaw did a good job of stopping Hoosac early. About 13 minutes into the second half, Shaw stopped a shot and quickly stopped another that came after a rebound. A third shot looked destined to find the net as a Spartan defender raced in at the last second to clear the ball.
Hoosac continued its barrage in the second half, and the Spartan defense finally broke.
With 10 minutes left in the game, Lily Kronik gathered a tipped cross from the left side and tapped it into the net.
The final goal came as a Monument defender tried to clear the ball deep inside the penalty box. The ball bounced off Hoosac's Alicia Johnson and into the net for the final goal of the game.
After the game, Monument Mountain coach Jess Platt said her team seemed a little gassed in the second half.
"Our fitness was challenged. I think that was our biggest challenge today," Platt said. "I think we had some really good minutes of soccer mostly in the first ... We had great ball movement up top and through the middle, we just need to stay strong on our defense."
Other than fitness, defender Molly Amstead said her team needed to communicate better on defense.
"They were getting good long balls and passing well ... We need to communicate more, not to stay flat-footed and spread out more," Amstead said.
For Hoosac, Megan Richardson made several key stops throughout the game as well.
After the game, Mahar said it's always good to start the season with a win, especially against a cross-division opponent.
"It feels great to come out here and beat a team in the North," he said. "It's a great way to start our season."