|Teddy's Pizza Claims Berkshire Summer Lacrosse League Crown|
|By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports|
09:16PM / Monday, August 12, 2019
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. -- Next spring, Williamstown resident Michael McCormack will be looking to repeat as an all-America selection as a senior for the Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team.
On Monday night, he was looking to win some bragging rights a little closer to home.
McCormack and his Teddy’s Pizza teammates did just that, winning the Berkshire County Summer Lacrosse League championship with an 8-5 win over a team of students and alumni from Hoosac Valley and McCann Tech.
“It’s just to have fun, honestly,” the Mount Greylock graduate said after scoring a goal and setting up a few more for Teddy’s. “I’m doing other tournaments this summer to get better. But this is just to have fun and connect with some guys and some friends.”
McCormack made a couple of connections with 2016 Western New England University graduate Jimmy Chase on back-to-back transition opportunities in the first half. Chase scored on both opportunities to break a 2-2 tie.
“I moved over here about three years ago … and started playing with these guys two winters ago,” Chase said. “I met [Teddy’s teammate Zach Sondrini] through the [WNEU] alumni association.
“I think even from last year to this year, the talent in the league has grown from the amount of kids coming back and wanting to play. And then having the winter league on top of this at the Infield in Pittsfield is an added bonus as well.”
After Chase made it a 4-2 game, the Hoosac/McCann squad rallied with a pair of goals by Colby Ghidotti to tie it.
But Teddy’s turned up the pressure, notching four straight shots on goal in the closing minutes of the half. McCann Tech’s Rylie Fortini turned aside the first three, but one snuck past him to give Teddy’s a 5-4 lead at half-time.
Fortini stopped nine first-half shots before turning the net over to Hoosac Valley’s Brady Larkin, who collected six saves in the second half.
“Rylie had an awesome first half,” said McCann Tech varsity coach Paul Lange, who plays for Teddy’s. “As good as Keegan [Dellaghelfa] was for us, Rylie was always pushing him to be better. Rylie was right at his heels all season.
“One of the other guys out there asked me, ‘Is that usual that your backup goalie plays that well?’ I said, ‘Yeah, for the most part.’ He’s a good goalie. He has good fundamentals.”
Lange was happy with what he saw from several of his high school players -- as opponents -- on Monday. In addition to rising sophomore Fortini and junior Ghidotti, senior Jason Delisle and 2019 grads Zavier Martin-Levesque and Evan Knapp contributed in their team’s narrow loss.
For Teddy’s, Taconic graduate Tyler Gaudette made seven saves to earn the win between the pipes.
Mount Greylock graduate Michael Wellspeak started the second half with a man-up goal to give Teddy’s a 6-4 lead. McCormack and Chase followed with goals to push the lead to 8-4 before Delisle finished the scoring to make it a three-goal margin in the end.
Monday’s game marked the end of an eight-week summer season. For the older players, it’s a chance to stay active in the sport. For the high school kids, it’s a time to pick up some tips from their elders.
“It’s just good to get sticks in hands,” Lange said. “The more you play, the better you’re going to get. It’s good that that these guys get out here. They get better lacrosse IQ. They start playing with the older guys and see how we play -- not that we’re perfect.
“Our guys are playing with the Hoosac team, so they get a different viewpoint. It’s good to learn from other players and other teams and other people.”
McCormack, for one, can see the impact that things like the summer league have had on lacrosse in the county.
“From what I’ve seen from when I was in high school, it’s grown so much in Berkshire County,” he said. “The competition has definitely stepped up because a lot of kids care a lot more about the game.
“It’s nice to see how the game has grown.”