WILLIAMSTOWN -- Any time Nathan Majumder had the ball with his back to the goal there was a shot for another bicycle kick.
After Saturday’s highlight-reel goal, it begged the question what was Nathan Majumder going to do for an encore Monday evening?
Nothing fancy, just his sixth hat trick of the season. None of his three goals were a bicycle kick, but they did fuel a 4-1 win for the No. 4 Mount Greylock boys’ soccer team over No. 5 Monson in a Western Massachusetts quarterfinal game.
"[Monson] tried to move the ball well, so they didn’t just destroy the game like Athol did," coach Blair Dils said. "So that was actually better suited for us. The fact that they tried to bring their back line up high, that allowed us to play those penetrating balls in behind. Against that style of defending, that’s perfect for us because we like to try to play that diagonal ball in behind. We could have scored six tonight, but I’m happy we got four."
Majumder’s first two goals came off direct kicks, the same opportunities he hit two goal posts with Saturday. The only thing he hit with the two on Monday was the back of the net. His third was a breakaway in the 74th minute.
The first came just 6 minutes, 30 seconds into the game when he placed the ball just inside the right post. He duplicated the effort in the 62nd minute for a 3-1 lead.
Majumder’s kicks seemed to come off the inside of his
"I think that might have been part of it," he said, noting he didn’t change his approach. "Granted the goalie was a little farther to one side or the other. ... I know I can hit that shot."
Converting those chances was key for the Monuties, who were in a much different game than Saturday’s game against Athol. The Red Raiders were contempt playing a 5-4-1 and man-marking Majumder with their top scorer. Monson had no such plan.
The Mustangs were ready and willing to challenge the Mounties and controlled play and hemmed the Mounties in their own end for long periods of time. The Greylock defense was solid, though, keeping much of the play to the outside and quickly clearing centering balls back to the outside.
"It’s always nicer to play against a team that comes out a little more," central defender Jonah Majumder said. "The teams that just put everyone in [its own] box, it gets frustrating. ... You love to see a team that brings it out and takes it at you.
"We have to be a little more active [on defense] when a team comes at you. ... In some ways it keeps you on your toes a little more to have a team that takes it at you."
Goalkeeper Sean Houston was tested just once when a Monson attacker found space in the box to fire a shot. Houston couldn’t control it and was forced to make another save on the rebound attempt. With the temperature hovering around 30 degrees for the entirety, keeping warm isn’t too easy for a keeper.
"I probably have four layers on both top and bottom, so that helps a lot, he said. "They kept the ball in our half maybe 70 percent of that game, maybe more. So that helps."
Eighth-grader Felix Kershaw had the other tally for Mount Greylock, which proved to be the game-winner. Dan Flynn made two nice cutbacks down the right side line before crossing the ball to the top of the box where Ian Brink made a nice heel pass to an overlapping Kershaw, who took a touch before beating keeper Ben Murphy.
The win advances the Mounties into the semifinal round against No. 1 Belchertown. The date and time have yet to be determined.
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On Twitter: @NAT_DigitalJosh