McCormack Wins Game in OT, Sets State Points Record
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Michael McCormack has done it all for the Mount Greylock Regional School boys lacrosse team this spring.
But before Wednesday, he never had a chance to do anything quite like this.
McCormack scored with two minutes left in the first overtime to give the Mounties a 9-8 win over Cathedral and send Mount Greylock to the Central/Western Massachusetts Division 3 championship game on Friday night.
Considering how most games for Mount Greylock (19-3) have featured double-digit margins of victory this year, the drama of overtime was something completely different.
And after being buried under a pile of teammates and shaking hands with their opponents, McCormack was still getting used to what just happened.
"I'm still trying to comprehend everything right now," he said. "I just drove left, got a step, split right and the middle was open, and I shot it."
McCormack scored three goals and had three assists on Wednesday to break the commonwealth's single-season scoring record. According to the website massprepstars.com, the old record was held by Billerica's Grant Whiteway, who had 182 points in 2011.
With six points on Wednesday, McCormack has 186 points (129 goals, 57 assists).
Not that it was on his mind.
"I'm just looking for the win right now," the junior attack said. "That's all that matters."
Leave it to others to put into context McCormack's contribution to the Mounties' sectional final run.
"I can't say enough about how impressed I am with him," Mount Greylock coach Brandon Asplundh said. "He deserves it. It's a great record, and he earned it in the weight room in the off-season, working on his stick skills year-round, and it couldn't happen to a nicer kid."
The Mounties needed every one of his points to get by a very game Panthers team.
Mount Greylock jumped out to a 7-2 lead on Cathedral. In the regular season, that usually has been the precursor to a 15-2 Mounties lead.
Not so against fourth-seeded Cathedral (12-8).
The Panthers stormed back to tie the game at 7-7 in the fourth quarter and McCormack set up Cole Jackson to give the Mounties an 8-7 lead, Cathedral scored again.
Asplundh said he did not think his team got complacent with the five-goal cushion.
"I don't think so," he said. "I just think our opponent did a great job clawing its way back into it. We were sloppy at times, but all the credit goes to Cathedral for playing a great game."
Jackson scored three goals, and Liam Chenail scored a pair for the Mounties, who used a 4-0 second quarter to take a 7-2 lead into intermission.
But Cathedral came back with a 3-0 third quarter and the first two goals of the fourth.
The Panthers could have won it in regulation if not for the 18 saves recorded by Cal Filson, who made a stop in a man-down situation late in the fourth quarter and a save on a transition chance in overtime.
"Cal did a fantastic job," McCormack said. "He played so well the whole game. He made some crazy saves. You can't ask more from Cal."
And Asplundh could not ask more from his team than to lose a second-half lead and still find a way to reach Friday evening's sectional title game at West Springfield High School against No. 2 Grafton (15-7).
But the first year coach knew his team could answer the call.
"It shows a lot of character, and we did it with discipline," Asplundh said. "That's what makes it so great. We stepped up, and we played like men at the right moment.
"I knew that they did have that character. It's really hard to reveal it when we're not playing a very tough schedule. It just makes it that much more thrilling that we were able to pull it off today."