The last time the Mount Greylock and Hoosac Valley girls’ soccer teams clashed it was for the South Division crown. When the two teams get together tonight it will mean even more.
The No. 4 Mounties host the No. 5 Hurricanes tonight in the quarterfinals of the Western Massachusetts Division II tournament. The winner will advance to the semifinals to face the winner of No. 1 Belchertown and No. 8 Easthampton.
"It’s tournament time, so the intensity is going to be even higher than the last time we played them," Greylock goalkeeper Margot Besnard said before practice on Monday. "Which is really hard to believe."
The Mounties snatched the South crown with a 2-1 victory and won the other contest earlier in the season, also by a score of 2-1.
"I think this hole thing about it’s hard to beat a team three times, I mean yeah it’s hard, but that’s a myth," Besnard said. "We’re not going to use that as an excuse."
In September, the Mounties won 2-1 on a penalty kick in the final second of the game played in a downpour. On Oct. 27, Hoosac controlled the flow of play but failed to capitalize. The Hurricanes forced turnovers and created chances, but either missed the net or were stopped by Besnard.
"Hopefully we can pick it up a notch and play them more evenly so we don’t put as much pressure on our defense and on Margot," Greylock coach Tom Ostheimer said. "She made a lot of saves in that last game and really came up huge for us."
Both losses are serving as motivation for the Hurricanes, who finished the year with only two losses in divisional play, both to the Mounties. Greylock didn’t lose a game in the division.
"We have the fire, we definitely have the fire," Hoosac senior Danielle Beauchemin said after Monday’s practice. "The first game when it should have been a tie ... That is still smoldering for us. Even last time, when we out-played them. It’s coming, we have a win coming against these girls coming."
Beauchemin has scored both of Hoosac’s goals in the series. Herself and Megan Rodowicz each had several chances in the second game, but could not convert.
"It’s hard for us to finish sometimes," Rodowicz said. "But, we just have to keep our heads in the game and keep playing hard."
The two contests were so closely played that Hoosac coach Blair Mahar had his team practicing penalty kicks at the end of practice Monday. If it’s tied at the end of 80 minutes, the teams will play two 10 minute overtimes followed by penalty kicks if it is still tied.
While the Hurricanes struggle to finish their chances, the Mounties have a different problem. Often the Mounties have a difficult time generating chances. But, when they do get chances, they often finish them.
"We never get a lot of chances, so when we finally do get some passes together, they turn out pretty well," Greylock’s Kelsey Orpin who scored a goal in each game against Hoosac said. "We just need to take advantage when we do get chances."
Alex Majetich will miss the game with a concussion. She finished the year tied for the teams lead in scoring. She, Orpin and Leamon all scored seven goals this year. Lucy Barrett will also miss the game with an injury.
The biggest challenge of a Western Mass. game is usually that teams are unfamiliar with each other. That won’t be the case for this one. Including the preseason, the Hurricanes and Mounties have played each other four times this season.
"The nice thing is both teams know each other so well," Ostheimer said. "There is no mystery at this point. They know what we do on defense and what systems we run and we’re not going to see anything different."
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On Twitter: @NAT_DigitalSam.