Thirty-one goals. It hasn’t been done in the last 14 years at Mount Greylock. Before that? Maybe, maybe not.
But one thing is for certain. Nathan Majumder’s tremendous offensive season will be the benchmark for all scorers to come. It’s also earned him All-Tanscript MVP honors.
"It’s a phenomenal season given the level of competition we played in those 18 games," said coach Blair Dils, who just completed his 14th season at the helm. "We don’t have the statistics that go all the way back to the beginning of Greylock soccer, but I can’t imagine there’s a scorer who had more than he did in one season."
Had Majumder played in every one of the team’s games this season, it’s a strong possibility he would have finished closer to 40. He -- along with all the other starters -- sat out both games against upstart Hampden Charter, who Greylock beat easily both times (5-2 and 4-0) with reserves and junior varsity players.
Majumder’s excellent season may seem to have come out of left field, but there are two reasons for that, and they are intertwined.
This was the senior’s first year as the go-to scorer. He had been the team’s offensive midfielder the past two seasons. In that role, he was charged with setting up the goal scorers. He also had a pair of senior midfielders around him.
"For the first two years, he had the benefit of having Tommy [Dils] and
It didn’t take long, either. In the season opener against Lenox, he had the first goal -- a nice header -- and three assists, in a 4-0 win. He then went on to score in the next seven games he played. The two Hampden Charter games were during that span.
He finished the season with goals in 16 of the 18 games he played. He had four of the Mounties’ five playoff goals, including the lone tally in the Western Massachusetts semifinal against Belchertown. The games he didn’t score were a 1-0 loss to Worcester North and a 1-1 tie with Lenox.
"I’ve always had a mindset for scoring, even as a midfielder. Even last year with Tommy and Luke, they would play more defensive and I would always go up," Majumder said. "I think once I realized that the younger guys in the midfield could handle themselves and could stop attacks and I didn’t always have to be back there, I could really focus on staying up and being there when someone tried to target it up.
"I think that allowed me to get forward and score all those goals."
Majumder showed his ability to score in all facets throughout the season. He converted on headers, shots, penalty kicks and set pieces from all over. Perhaps the biggest reason was his increased strength.
"Just being that much more physically strong, he could shield the ball, he could hold two defenders, three defenders off if he needed to," Dils said. "He’s always been very quick laterally, so once he got that ball, he could create space for himself, as well."
That allowed his goal-scoring instincts to kick in. Many strikers and offensive midfielders like to get in as tight to the keeper as possible. Majumder knew he didn’t need to do that. His skill set allowed him to be just as lethal from 20-25 yards out.
Anytime he had a clean look at the goal, he took it.
"He looks up and sees where the goalie is and he’s got a solid-enough shot, it’s got power and it’s got finesse on it that he can place one by on the ground or bend it around the goalie from farther out," said Houston, who’s used to seeing his myriad of shots during practice.