Mount Greylock boys lacrosse makes county history, wins Central-Western Mass. title
WEST SPRINGFIELD -- The contrast in style between the teams was evident from the start. Grafton was content to take its time on offense and offer a slow, deliberate attack, while Mount Greylock wanted to play its usual up-tempo game.
No. 1 Mount Greylock finally broke open a tight game during the fourth quarter with a pair of goals 65 seconds apart as the Mounties claimed their first Central/Western Massachusetts Division III boys lacrosse championship -- and the first for any Berkshire County lacrosse team -- following a 7-4 triumph over Grafton Friday at Clark Field.
Mount Greylock (20-3) will play for state supremacy next week at a date and time to be determined. It will meet the winner of today's game between Dover-Sherborn and Groton-Dunstable.
Cole Hughes and Michael McCormack scored 1:05 apart to give Greylock a 6-3 advantage. Cole Fontana and Hughes traded goals late in the game.
"Our defense did an incredible job," coach Brandon Asplundh said. "Holding a team like Grafton to four goals is a huge accomplishment."
Goalie Cal Filson finished with 12 saves, including a couple of beauties.
"Cal played out of his mind," McCormack said. "We would not have been in the game without Cal."
Grafton did a good job marking Mounties scoring machine McCormack. A player who sets the state single season scoring record tends to get a team's attention.
"The whole season led up to this point and Grafton played very well," McCormack said. "My teammates played very well today."
The Indians appeared determined not to let McCormack beat them. They had someone in McCormack's face throughout the game.
With a Grafton player draped all over McCormack, Cole Jackson found an open lane and darted to the net. He snapped a quick shot past Cadrin Msumba with 3:10 left in the third quarter to break a 3-3 tie.
"They shut Michael down effectively, which no one has done all season," Asplundh said. "We had kids step up in big moments and I couldn't be prouder of them."
After the Indians won the opening faceoff, they kept the ball in the Mounties zone for nearly three minutes. Grafton failed to produce a shot during that span, but it set the tone for its game plan. That was to keep the ball away from Mount Greylock.
Hunter Fraser's third goal of the game enabled Grafton to move into a 3-3 tie with 5:15 remaining in the third quarter.
"They made it difficult," Asplundh said. "We knew they were going to focus on Michael, but we knew we could play."
Mount Greylock regained the lead, 3-2 nearly three minutes after Grafton tied the score. Jonah Kelley put on a charge, rushed to the net and whipped a shot through the legs of Msumba.
Grafton pulled even, 2-2 only 32 seconds into the third quarter. Fraser then answered.
It was quite different from the Indians previous possessions. Instead of trying to slow down the game -- much like basketball before the shot clock -- the Indians went on the attack full force and Fraser connected.
But Jackson scored on the Mounties' first shot during their first possession to give the team a spark.
Grafton pulled even on Fraser's first goal, but Sean McCormack got the lead back for the Mounties late in the first quarter.
Grafton 1 0 2 1 -- 4
Greylock 1 1 2 3 -- 7
Grafton goals: Fraser 3, Fontana 1. Greylock goals: Hughes 2, Jackson 2, S. McCormack, M. McCormack, Kelley. Assists: Jackson.
Saves: G -- Msumba 9. MG -- Filson 12.
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