Mount Greylock Knocks Off Lee in Tournament
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The middle of the field was a point of emphasis for the Lee boys lacrosse team going into Tuesday's playoff game at Mount Greylock.
Afterward, it was a point of frustration.
"We started off really strong in our transition game, and the second quarter it started to break down a little bit," Lee coach Mike Bakaletz said. "And that's where a lot of the issues came from."
The Wildcats left that first quarter with a last-minute goal and a 4-3 deficit on the scoreboard.
Mount Greylock scored the next 12 goals en route to a 16-4 win and a berth in the Central/Western Massachusetts Division 3 quarter-finals against East Longmeadow.
Mac Waynick scored four goals and set up three more, and Michael Wellspeak had a seven-point night with two goals and five assists as the Mounties (13-6) won their fourth straight.
David Falk made six saves too earn the win between the pipes.
It was the game between the restraining lines that tripped up Lee in its quest to avoid an 0-3 season against Mount Greylock, Bakaletz said.
"We just weren't being aggressive enough, and we weren't clearing the ball well, and that's what blew it wide open," he said. "Our offense was looking really good, our defense was looking really good. Goalie play was pretty good. It wsa just that transitional part of the field that killed us."
Lee battled back after a rough start in what ended up being a pretty even first quarter.
Taylor Cummings scored the first of his three goals, and Waynick scored twice in the first seven minutes to give Mount Greylock a 3-0 lead.
But Brock Baumann and Caleb Kollmer scored goals a minute apart to get the Wildcats within one.
Eamon Hetherington scored an unassisted goal for the Mounties with 32 seconds on the clock, but Tag Roosa (one goal, two assists) answered 19 seconds later to make it a one-goal game after one quarter.
It stayed that way the first few minutes of the second quarter, but Wellspeak scored with an assist from Tate Kuster with the man advantage to start a 4-1/2 minute stretch in which the Mounties scored five goals.
They added one more goal in the last 10 seconds of the half to go to intermission with a 10-3 lead.
"I think the first quarter was wrought on our side with a lot of miscues," Mount Greylock coach Jeff Stripp said. "Simple things like ground balls and catching and throwing. They did a nice job cleaning it up in the second quarter. They came out, and they responded, I think.
"The term is, 'Getting off the bus.' We didn't get off the bus, but we got 'off of prom.' Prom was last night. So I think we were experiencing some slowness in the first quarter. It's not an excuse, but I think guys put it together and got their heads in the game and took care of the small things."
The Mounties' offense came up big in the third quarter with six goals to put the game out of reach before Baumann got his second goal of the game for the only score of the fourth quarter.
Baumann, a junior, is one of the players who will be returning for Lee next spring.
Bakaletz said he will miss the seniors who played their final game for the Wildcats on Tuesday night.
"Homer Winston is going on to Williams, he's a valedictorian this year, he's won a bunch of scholarships," Bakaletz said. "He's a true leader. He's been a captain, I think, since sophomore year. He's going to be a huge loss. Robert [Carotenuto] is heading down to South Carolina. ... He is another big leader. Walter [Boyko] the other captain, he's going to Rhode Island to study, I think, marine biology.
"We're missing a bunch of really smart seniors who understand how to play the game, and we're going to have to rebuild next year. It's gonna be difficult."