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Belchertown tops Mount Greylock, reaches Division 2 boys soccer final

  • Belchertown's James Izatt runs through a gauntlet of his teammates before their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    Belchertown's James Izatt runs through a gauntlet of his teammates before their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Belchertown's Nathaniel Fournier (C) leads his team in a cheer before their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    Belchertown's Nathaniel Fournier (C) leads his team in a cheer before their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Belchertown's William Aldrich Jr. rises above opponent Keath Machado ofMount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    Belchertown's William Aldrich Jr. rises above opponent Keath Machado ofMount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Belchertown's William Aldrich Jr. jumps into teammate Nathaniel Fournier's arms after scoring the first goal in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    Belchertown's William Aldrich Jr. jumps into teammate Nathaniel Fournier's arms after scoring the first goal in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Belchertown's Alexander Desantis celebrates his team's second goal in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    Belchertown's Alexander Desantis celebrates his team's second goal in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Belchertown's Alexander Desantis celebrates with teammate Nathaniel Fournier for his team's second goal in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    Belchertown's Alexander Desantis celebrates with teammate Nathaniel Fournier for his team's second goal in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Belchertown's Nathaniel Fournier rises above the crowd in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    Belchertown's Nathaniel Fournier rises above the crowd in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Belchertown's Christopher Riel rises above opponent Keath Machado ofMount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

    Belchertown's Christopher Riel rises above opponent Keath Machado ofMount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.
    JOSH KUCKENS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Belchertown's James Izatt runs through a gauntlet of his teammates before their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • Belchertown's Nathaniel Fournier (C) leads his team in a cheer before their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • Belchertown's William Aldrich Jr. rises above opponent Keath Machado ofMount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • Belchertown's William Aldrich Jr. jumps into teammate Nathaniel Fournier's arms after scoring the first goal in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • Belchertown's Alexander Desantis celebrates his team's second goal in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • Belchertown's Alexander Desantis celebrates with teammate Nathaniel Fournier for his team's second goal in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • Belchertown's Nathaniel Fournier rises above the crowd in their semi final matchup against Mount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS
  • Belchertown's Christopher Riel rises above opponent Keath Machado ofMount Greylock Friday at Northampton High School.<br/>JOSH KUCKENS

NORTHAMPTON — Four years ago, Nate Fournier watched from the bench as his Belchertown boys soccer team defeated Mount Greylock in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament semifinals.

On Friday, Fournier’s rocketed header iced the Orioles’ fourth straight postseason win over the Mounties to push his squad into its fourth straight WMass title game.

“Ever since my freshman year, we’ve played them,” Fournier said. “They’ve always had wonderful teams and they’ve always been very talented and it’s always been a huge matchup.”

Fournier converted an Alex DeSantis corner kick in the 69th minute to help Belchertown to a 3-1 win at David Wright Field.

Making it back to the title game “is a wonderful feeling, especially this fourth year when this is all you have left as seniors,” said Fournier, whose team beat Greylock in the semis in 2009 and 2010 before falling in the title game. They knocked the Mounties off 1-0 in the finals last year. “Our whole team worked very hard to make it to this point, so this is huge for us.”

No. 1 Belchertown (20-0) will play No. 3 Monument Mountain (17-3-1) in the championship game Sunday at 2:15 p.m. at Westfield State.

The Orioles defeated the Spartans 2-1 in Great Barrington on Oct. 20.

“We all know they are a very talented team,” Fournier said. “They are definitely the best matchup we’ve had all year. It will be a good game. As long as our hearts are in it, that’s what does it for Belchertown soccer.”

Greylock (No. 4, 16-4-1) has been the top seed in each of the last three seasons and was undefeated in the last two before running into the Orioles.

“We’ve always matched up well against these guys,” Belchertown coach Tony Almeida said. “I was afraid this year that it would be reversed because they’ve always been the No. 1 seed. I’m sure they would have liked to reverse it on us. Thankfully, we pulled it off.”

Belchertown took control early in Friday’s game with two goals over a 35-second span.

First, Jack Stinson lobbed a pass to Billy Aldrich, who beat the defender and then hammered a shot into the net.

The Orioles then quickly forced a Mountie turnover and Wes Martins set up DeSantis, who doubled the lead in the eighth minute.

“We’ve done that a lot this year,” Stinson said. “Scoring two that quickly really lifts us up.”

Greylock picked up the intensity for the final 32 minutes of the second half, but managed just one shot on Belchertown goalie Zach Parsons (two saves).

The Mounties finally got one goal back in the 68th minute when a forward was pulled down in the Belchertown box and Nathan Majumder converted the penalty kick.

“The game got a lot more intense after that,” said Stinson, a key part of the defense that has allowed eight goals this season. “We knew we had to step it up because we really want to go farther than we did last year. We had to step up the intensity.”

Greylock had much of the momentum from there, but DeSantis’ corner from the left side ended the contest. Fournier smacked his header on the play so hard that Greylock keeper Sean Houston (seven saves) got two hands on it, but couldn’t keep it out of the goal.

“I hit it hard,” Fournier said. “It wasn’t perfect placement, but if you hit it that hard from 3 yards out, it is hard to see.”

Jim Pignatiello can be reached at jpignatiello@gazettenet.com.

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