WILLIAMSTOWN -- Up a goal and nearing the midway point of the second half, Mount Greylock boys' soccer coach Blair Dils called a time-out.
The Mounties weren't playing as aggressively as they had been, and Hoosac Valley was creating more scoring chances.
"We needed someone to take charge out there," Dils said. "Everyone was looking around at everyone else, expecting them to do something instead of taking ownership of the game and putting their stamp on it. It was more just a challenge to them just playing better."
The message was received loud and clear. The Mounties started manufacturing opportunities again, and about seven minutes later, Eric Hirsch tallied the final goal in a 2-0 Greylock win.
The goal was a product of patience.
"It's really frustrating to play against that type of team," Hirsch said. "Teams that do that, they just kick the ball out when they can. They clear when they can. They just do anything to mess up your style. So you really have to be very patient."
Dils called the time out immediately after Hoosac's Shaun Knapp made a great individual effort to keep possession on the attack before dishing to Sean Ryan-Kut behind the defense. Ryan-Kut's shot missed wide right, and it gave Dils the opportunity to refocus his team.
Greylock's Dan Flynn headed a service over the cross bar three minutes after the time out; Kershaw squared up a solid shot from about 25 yards out; and Hirsch had a shot carom off the cross bar from the same distance.
Less than two minutes later, Hirsch converted from 25 yards out. Grant Raphael fed him in the middle of the field, and Hirsch buried it inside the left post.
"I think we just need to finish. That's the main thing," Kershaw said. "We had 30 shots on goal against Lenox, and we only scored five. It just goes to show, even today, that we need to finish more chances."
It was no coincidence the chances came back when Greylock started attacking the middle of the field. Sam Dils scored Greylock's first goal 10:21 into the game when Felix Kershaw sent a through ball behind the Hoosac defense that Dils placed inside the right post.
Then the Mounties were content to cross the ball in from the outside. The Hurricanes were perfectly happy to let them. They brought nine guys back on defense and challenged the Mounties to attack down the middle, where the Hurricanes had numbers.
"We were trying to get them to play outside, so that we could kind of rest our guys in the middle," Hoosac coach Camilo Bermudez said in reference to having just two reserves. "But then he started playing us down the middle, and we were always going to lose that way because that's where you work the hardest."
For the most part, the defensive system worked. Greylock had its chances and Hoosac goalkeeper Colby Ells had to make a few key saves to keep his team in the game. His best came on a Raphael header in the first 30 seconds of the second half.
At the other end, Cal Filson made the saves he needed to make to keep his team in front.
His toughest came late in the second half with Greylock up 2-0. Ryan-Kut had already sent two chances beckoning, but then found himself face-to-face with Filson. The keeper challenged, and Ryan-Kut tried to chip the ball over. Filson never went down and was able to get both hands on the ball to deny the chance.
"He's athletic and we want him to use his athleticism, so we're OK that he comes out aggressively like that. He's got quick hands, so it was nice to see him make that little slap save and corral that ball. That's good work by him."
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On Twitter: @NAT_DigitalJosh