By Mariah Prescott for
iBerkshires Sports – Article published here
10:44PM / Monday, November 03, 2014
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Athol Red Raiders (8-7-3) didn’t go without a fight, but the Mount Greylock girls soccer team on Monday came out on top, 3-2, thanks to Kelsey Orpin’s goal midway through the first overtime, to advance in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament.
Last week, the Mounties honored their seniors at the close of the regular season, but goodbyes are never easy. Today those same seniors fought for another chance to be on the field just another time, and maybe another… and another.
The beginning of the game brought many attempts on goal by Mount Greylock, the ball changing possession like New England weather. But with 14:05 on the clock, Kelsey Orpin dribbled from midfield past the Athol defense, right up to the penalty box and sent a clean pass to assist Lucy Barrett with the Mounties’ first goal. With less than five minutes left in the first half, Athol’s Julia Carey snuck a ball past keeper Charlotte Rand, ending the first half tied at 1-1.
There’s always that fan you don’t want to be, the parent that every kid hopes isn’t theirs, but tonight one Athol parent’s loud voice came in handy when refs were too preoccupied to notice the Red Raider’s request for a timeout. Mount Greylock definitely put their heads together because they roared out of the timeout, Melissa Swann scoring off a penalty kick and giving them a 2-1 lead. Athol took a while to get warm, but with just more than 10 minutes left in the game, senior Tanner Favreau scored to tie the game 2-2.
Now the heat was on and both teams ran a bit harder and kicked a bit further (even when not intended). The last minutes of regular time were nail-biters with all the fans standing and cheering. Just when it looked like Greylock had the goal in the last two minutes, the Red Raider keeper managed to snatch it away.
Both teams returned to the field for the first 10-minute sudden death OT with an extra spring in their step, fighting for that next opportunity to play together as a cohesive unit.
Athol won the coin toss but Mount Greylock quickly gained control of the ball; all fans were on edge, mothers could be heard cheering for their children, and you could feel the grip of everyone’s jaws.
Possession went back and forth with the Mounties having the first shot, only to be met with the arms of the goaltender. It only took a suspense-packed five minutes for Orpin to score the winning goal. After many attempts and multiple fans just willing her to “go for it,” she scored like a pro, coming at the keeper and tucking the ball away in the corner. Orpin, and all the seniors, fought for that win – on the field and off, physically and emotionally. Now their high school careers aren’t quite over, yet.
The No. 4 seeded Mount Greylock Mounties face the No. 5 seeded Sabis Bulldogs (9-3-3) next at a date and time to be announced.