If there is one team in Berkshire County that is happy the Mount Greylock girls' soccer team will have a new goalkeeper next season it's South Division rival Hoosac Valley.
Margot Besnard turned out three of her finest performances of the season against the Hurricanes on her way to the All-Transcript MVP this season.
In three games against the Hurricanes, Besnard made 42 saves to pick up wins in all three games. She made 16 saves in the Western Massachusetts Division II quarterfinal, not including a stop in penalty kicks to advance the Mounties to the semifinal.
"Of the 100 minutes we played [in the quarterfinal], we controlled 90 percent of that game," Hoosac Valley coach Blair Mahar said. "Margot kept them in it. They have a strong defense, but we just couldn't get it past Margot.
"I'm happy for Greylock and for Margot, she's a great keeper. But, from a competitive stand point I am happy to see her go."
The 16 saves weren't even the most saves she made in a game. She recorded 28 saves against Belchertown in the semifinal game, but the Mounties still lost 6-0.
In two postseason games, she recorded 44 saves to help push the Mounties into the semifinals for the first time since Tom Ostheimer took over as head coach.
"She obviously has great ability and she just gets in a zone," Ostheimer said. "She has great focus and concentration. It's the same with everything she does. She's that type of student
On game days, that focus begins early. She starts every warm-up with the same drill as she prepares. A simple volley drill where a coach or teammate just kicks the ball up in the air toward her.
It allows her to get her hands and eyes focused on finding the ball.
"It all just starts with that volley," Besnard said. "There is very little movement involved in it, but it's all about hand-eye coordination and moving your feet to the volley."
For Besnard, being a goalkeeper is about having a good technique. That's why she begins each warm-up with the volley drill -- it demands focus on the technique.
The Hurricanes weren't the only team stymied by Besnard's diving stops and willingness to find a way to get to every ball.
The Mounties struggled to score goals this season, but with a solid defense and Besnard in the net, the team didn't need a ton of goals. Besnard recorded six shutouts and allowed just 13 goals in 16 regular season games.
"Having almost perfect technique is your foundation," Besnard said. "If your technique is perfect then you will continue to get better from there."
It's not just technique that has allowed her to have success. The keeper earned the starting role in eighth grade and played every game for the rest of her career.
Even though her high school career is over, the learning will continue. She is looking to play Division III soccer, but doesn't know where yet.
"I think just having the experience of playing four varsity seasons before this one was my biggest advantage," Besnard said. "And knowing it was my senior season. I wanted to have the best year I could this year."
To reach Sam Monroe, email email@example.com.
On Twitter: @NAT_DigitalSam