Falk Backstops Mount Greylock Boys to Comeback Win
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- After winning its first four games by an average of 10 goals, the Mount Greylock boys lacrosse team found itself in a dogfight on Wednesday afternoon.
After falling behind, 9-4, midway through the third quarter, the Mounties rallied back to tie the game, fell behind again by two goals in the fourth quarter and scored the last four goals of the game to beat Westfield, 13-11, on John T. Allen Field.
Shortly after the Bombers (3-3) scored its third straight goal to open the second half and take the 9-4 lead, Mounties coach Jeff Stripp called timeout to let his players regroup.
“He just told us there are four quarters in a game, and we have to come out and play the rest of the game,” Mount Greylock senior Patrick Storie said. “He just said we had to leave it all on the field, and that’s what we did tonight.”
Storie and Michael Wellspeak each had a hat trick for the Mounties (5-0), who were led by Reilly Parker with four goals and an assist.
But the No. 1 star of the game was David Falk, who made 13 saves, including two in the final two minutes of the game with Mount Greylock clinging to its first lead since it led 2-1 midway through the first.
“Tremendous job,” Storie said. “Losing Cal [Filson] after last year was huge. This is David’s first year playing goalie, and today really showed what an athlete he is. He just stepped up huge in big moments and made big saves.
“He dropped, he was letting the ball hit his body, he didn’t care if he got hurt. And that’s what we need.”
Stripp, who returned to the Mounties varsity program this spring after a couple of years away, agreed.
“It was a phenomenal game for [Falk],” Stripp said. “We believe in him stepping in after having like a Cal Filson graduate from our program, he’s filling some big shoes really nicely. That’s a nice game for him.”
The tone for the game was set in the opening seconds as Westfield won the opening faceoff and Falk made a save right off the bat.
Westfield went on winning faceoffs most of the game. In the first half, they collected nine of 12 en route to a 6-4 half-time lead.
The Mounties used three different faceoff men in the game. Storie was at midfield for most of the game, including down the stretch. Over the final 15 minutes, the Mounties were able to get their share of the faceoffs.
“I was just able to see what he was doing,” Storie said. “He was quick with his hands. And I was able to jam him, and we just had to make it a 50/50. He was going to win the faceoffs, so we just had to make it a 50/50 ground ball, and that’s what we did. Our wings got in and scooped the ball, and that’s how we were able to win those faceoffs.”
Coming out of the third quarter timeout, Kyle Bazonski scored to make it a 9-5 game. Storie and Owen Politis added two more before the end of the quarter to get Mount Greylock within two.
Wellspeak scored off a faceoff win to start the fourth quarter and scored again on an assist from Parker in transition to tie the game, 9-9.
But Westfield’s Matthew Bonsall responded with a pair of goals to give his team an 11-9 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Less than a minute later, Wellspeak set up Parker to make it a one-goal game. And 50 seconds after that, Westfield drew a penalty. Parker converted the man-up chance to tie the game with 6:50 on the clock.
Parker scored another man-up goal at the 5:48 mark to give the Mounties the lead for good, and Kyle Alvarez added an insurance goal with just more than two minutes left to play.
Mount Greylock returns to Berkshire County play on Friday when it hosts Wahconah. Wednesday’s independent game against the Westfield was an important test for Stripp’s squad.
“We always look to schedule teams out of league, teams we might see in the playoffs and teams that will push us to different levels, and that’s exactly why they’re on the schedule,” Stripp said. “We respect the Westfield program. They’ve got a good team. They’re going to do some neat things in the playoffs.
“It tests us in different ways and allows us to work on things that we need to develop. That’s our plan all year long, to keep getting better and develop the kids that need to be developed.”