WILLIAMSTOWN -- Division titles, undefeated seasons, Western Massachusetts berths. All are synonymous with Mount Greylock boys' soccer in recent years.
And for good reason.
Greylock's won the North outright the last four years and shared in 2008, when it also won a state title. The Mounties were unbeaten in the county in 2009 and had undefeated regular seasons in ‘10 and ‘11. They've also been in the postseason each of the last six seasons.
They've certainly been the class of the county during that stretch. Other teams have come close to supplanting themselves at the top, but the Mounties have always prevailed.
That's in jeopardy this year.
Pittsfield is atop the North standings with 11 points (4-0-3), while Greylock (4-1-2) and Wahconah (4-2-2) are tied for second with 10 points (2 points are awarded for a win, 1 for a tie).
The Mounties are set to host Pittsfield this evening at 6.
"Obviously the North is one of our most important goals, and we've won it like the last four years," Eric Hirsch said. "So [today's] a huge game, basically decides the North. If we get a win, puts us in great shape, so we have to win, basically. It's a must-win. It's a playoff atmosphere for us."
Greylock and Pittsfield played to a 1-1 draw Oct. 4 at Pittsfield with Benni McComish's goal in the third minute standing as the Mounties' only tally.
That result and what lies on the horizon is exactly why the Mounties were in a business mentality at practice on Wednesday. Even prior to practice, there wasn't much fooling around.
"We're looking at [today] as though it's our only game the rest of the season. [Today] is going to decide who we are this season, what team do we want to be," Jake Foehl said. "We want to win the North and we want to win [today]. I think if we win [today], then we have a really good chance of winning the North."
A win will leap-frog Greylock above Pittsfield in the standings by one point, but won't guarantee it anything. Each team will have two games against North teams left. Greylock has Wahconah on Oct. 21 and last-place Taconic on Oct. 24.
As cliché as it might be, the Mounties aren't looking ahead.
"Honestly, I didn't even know we were playing Wahconah next," coach Blair Dils said. "It's all about Pittsfield right now."
With Greylock's margin of victory against North teams much smaller than it has been in recent seasons, it can't afford to assume a victory. A 5-1 win over Lenox to open the season stands as Greylock's biggest win in the division. Their other three wins have come by margins of one, two and three goals, for an average margin of victory of 2.5 goals.
Their ties were both 1-1 scores and the loss was 2-1, which is to say there isn't much room for error.
"Maybe that was a difference over the past years that we've been able to put teams away or we're dominating in a way that we didn't have too, too many close games," Dils said. "So I think they're used to it. They know it comes down to one mistake or one really great play at the end of the game. I think they value those two ideas more than past teams have."
It's not just Dils who recognizes the increased parity in the division.
"The county, for one, is much stronger this year than it was last year," Foehl said. "There's plenty of good, even teams that are going to be tough games for anybody. I think that's the main thing."
That reason alone is forcing teams to have multiple weapons and not just one threat. If an opponent is good enough, it can shut down a team's top player. (See Greylock's loss to Belchertown in the playoffs last year).
And that is where Greylock has changed. In 2010, Olof Bodstrom was a one-man wrecking crew. He could score or set up defenses so some one else has a tap-in. In 2011, Tom Dils, Majumder and Jesse Foehl all showed the ability to score, but not nearly at the pace Majumder established in 2012.
No one is close to Majumder's pace this season, but they don't need to be. Greylock has five legitimate threats in Grant Raphael, Hirsch, Sammy Dils, Felix Kershaw and Dan Flynn, which, the Mounties think, gives them an advantage and makes them more dangerous.
"Absolutely it does," Hirsch said. "It's much more dangerous because a team can't just key in on one guy."
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On Twitter: @NAT_DigitalJosh.