The Tigers were coming back. But Ainsley Abel continued to respond.
Abel scored seven goals and ensured the Mounties never fully gave up that lead in a 15-14 victory.
South Hadley (0-1) closed the first half on a four-goal run to go within two at 9-7. But Abel opened the second half by scoring on an assist from Zoe Armet.
Abel then scored again after Sarah Polumbo won the ensuing draw to cut the margin to four goals, but the Tigers scored the next three to make it a one-score game with 10 minutes and 16 seconds left. .
Again Polumbo controlled the draw, and again Abel found the back of the net, this time with 10:06 on the clock, sparking a three-goal streak for the Mounties.
She scored Mount Greylock’s last goal, on a pass from Lexi Politis, to make it 15-11 with 6:07 on the clock. But South Hadley responded with three more goals, the last from a free position penalty that ended up giving the Tigers a two-man advantage for two minutes with 2:16 remaining.
But after a timeout, the RCMP defense forced a turnover in their defensive zone with 1:45 left, and the visitors were able to get the ball upfield and cut time to seal the win.
“Huge ball on the ground,” Mount Greylock coach Jeff Stripp said of Mount Greylock’s final defensive position. “That’s what we talked about during the timeout. And that obviously worked well for us.
At first it looked like the gendarmes could get away with it.
After Gabrielle Moroney (three goals) scored to give South Hadley a 3-1 lead, Mount Greylock scored the next eight.
Adison Abel kicked things off with a free position goal. Phoebe Hughes scored from Zoe Armet (three assists) to equalise, and Ainsley Abel scored to give Mount Greylock the lead for good at 4-3 midway through the half.
After scoring just one goal in the first nine minutes, the 2021 Central and Western Massachusetts runners-up scored 14 in the next 35 minutes.
“We struggled at times,” Stripp said. “We were trying to make some sets that we were working on work. But this is the first game. At the end of the day, we got a few shots.
“Thanks to South Hadley. Their midfielders [Meghan Carey and Olivia Marion] did a really good job for them moving the ball around and just taking control of the ball. We have to clean up the little things: the pitch balls, catching them and throwing them. »
In the back, Christy Rech made eight saves to earn the victory in the goal of Mount Greylock, who is playing her second game under Stripp, a longtime coach of the RCMP boys who takes over the women’s team this spring.
“It’s the first time I’ve really spent time with them,” Stripp said. “It took a lot of researching who is who, getting to know them and forming a team. We don’t have the luxury of a grass pitch to work on our spacing and stuff, and I think that showed today.
“But I’m really proud of them. They fought hard. Their attitude was excellent and their efforts remarkable. I’m really excited for them.
Mount Greylock (1-0) will host Westfield on Monday.
Pictures of this match to come.