NORTHAMPTON -- Two goals in 24 seconds sounds like something a Mount Greylock boys' soccer team would do. Give up two goals in 24 seconds does not, but that's what happened.
Top-seeded Belchertown scored twice in that span in the first 10 minutes to beat the No. 4 Mounties, 3-1, in their Western Massachusetts Division II semifinal at Northampton High School on Friday night.
"It's not how it ended, it's just that it ended," an emotional senior goalkeeper Sean Houston said. "I absolutely love these guys. I can't get over the fact that I'm not going to be here next year with them."
Belchertown had knocked Greylock out of the tournament the last three years, shutting it out the previous two. Nathan Majumder had said a goal against the Orioles would give the Mounties confidence. That actually happened in reverse.
Already down a pair, the Mounties finally began stringing passes together through the final 10 minutes of the first half. That helped close the gap from their backs to Majumder up top, generating more opportunities.
"I don't know if they were backing off not trying to give up any goals, packing it in a little more,"Majumder said. "It seemed like we were passing really well and we mentioned that at halftime. If we can just do that then we can control the game, and that's what we were trying to do. It just didn't work out [Friday]."
That carried into the second half and Majumder was able to take advantage with 32 minutes, 25 seconds remaining in the game. He was taken down from behind in the box, virtually guaranteeing the Mounties a goal. He didn't disappoint, tucking the ball inside the left post for Greylock's first goal against Belchertown since Nov. 11, 2009.
"Obviously giving up those two goals in the first 10 minutes was pretty bad, but I think if we had come out in the second half from the beginning, then we would have been in it the whole way," Majumder said. "I think playing from behind didn't help us, but you could see once we got it down to 2-1 that we came out, we really wanted that second goal."
The goal quickly quieted the Belchertown faithful and doubled the momentum the Mounties had built through the previous 20 minutes. They used it to create another chance 10 minutes later. Belchertown was whistled for a foul about 25 yards out, well within Majumder's range.
He wanted to play it over the wall and bend it just inside the same left post he aimed for on the penalty kick. The ball never made it over the wall, but did get through. It was on track for the post, but Belchertown keeper Zach Parsons dove low to haul it in.
The Mounties had one more good chance to tie the game in the 66th minute. Eric Hirsch made a long cross to the right post. Alex White slid to get on the end of it but the ball rolled wide. Belchertown then put the game away with an insurance marker in the 69th minute off a corner.
"Once they got the two, they figured if they could just hold [Majumder] to the one, which they did, then they had the game," Dils said.
The three goals against don't tell the story for the Greylock defense, though. Playing against the great team speed of the Orioles, the defense was spread out from sideline to sideline, but gave up only a few other Grade A scoring chances.
Houston made eight saves, several diving stops on shots from inside the 18-yard box.
"We had two sophomores and two senior backs I can't thank them enough for that game and this season," Houston said.
With the dedication to the defense, so as not to get burned by the speed again, the midfielder were forced to sag back more than usual, which created an unusual gap between them and the forwards. IT made attacking as a team difficult.
"We adjusted things a little bit more defensively, so maybe Felix [Kershaw] didn't get quite involved as much as we would have liked to see him," coach Blair Dils said. "We were hoping he would be the link between our backs and Nathan."
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