WILLIAMSTOWN -- It didn't take long for the Mount Greylock boys' lacrosse team to feel completely confident in its young goaltending tandem.
Freshman Cal Filson and eighth-grader Pat Storie have earned the team's complete trust six games into the season. Filson has worked his way into the starting role.
"He's got a lot of confidence in himself," defender Daivon Clement said before practice Tuesday. "He's a good all-around goalie. I have a lot of confidence in him, too. I feel sometimes if I don't play a spot well and the guy gets a shot off it's OK. I know Cal is going to save it. I think we all have that confidence in him."
Coach Jeff Stripp has that same confidence in his young keeper.
"He's a general out there," Stripp said. "He's a freshman and he's leading sophomores, juniors and even seniors on defense. He has really stepped it up big time early on this season.
"I think everyone trusts him completely and relies on him out there. So far, he's earned it."
In the team's first two games of the season, the duo split time. They allowed just one goal combined to Monument Mountain and Wahconah in big wins. They didn't allow a goal against Wahconah.
Those two games were a good chance for them to help each other and learn from each other.
"It's been great, we really learn a lot from watching each other in goal," Filson said. "We get the same amount of reps at each practice. It's been a lot of fun."
Storie has soaked up all the playing time he can get. He has been playing in the junior varsity games, as well.
"It's really helpful to have someone around your age, I know [Cal] is a year older, but he is still really helping me," Storie said. "He knows the game a little better than I do, he's been playing longer. It's helpful to have him out there."
Having two capable varsity goalies is a bonus for any team. It's something Stripp is enjoying having on his roster.
While the starting job belongs to Filson, there is no question that Storie is challenging for the spot. Last season, Filson went down early in the year with a broken wrist, so both are aware anything can happen.
"We want them both to be ready, you never know what can happen," Stripp said. "Cal could get a penalty, Cal could get hurt. They both need to be ready. They are both competing against each other. Cal's got the starting spot, but at the same time Pat can step in and I think everyone has extreme confidence in him, as well."
It hasn't all been pretty for the Mounties thus far. Greylock suffered their first loss of the season on April 13 to Fairfield Ludlowe of Connecticut. The Mounties fell behind fast and lost the game 10-4.
Filson may have given up 10 goals -- three more than the team allowed in it's previous three games -- but he made 14 saves against a strong team.
"Talking to their coaches afterwards, [Cal] was really frustrating their shooters," Stripp said. "He's a lefty and he is just so quick to both sides of the net."
Filson and Storie then split time in a 17-1 win over Lee on Monday. The Mounties have allowed just seven goals in four games against Berkshire County opponents.
Not only do the Mounties have two solid goalies, but they also own a strong defense and offense. In six games, Greylock has piled up 101 goals. That total is 65 more than any other team in the county.
"It's great to have some of the best shooters in the county and in Western Mass. shooting on you in practice everyday," Filson said. "It really gets you better with all of those reps. All it can do is help."
Like most athletes, the combo didn't become good by just stepping onto a lacrosse field in late March for the first day of practice. Both goaltenders have honed their craft throughout the year. Filson is also a keeper in soccer.
"One major thing about Cal, he is extremely hard working," Stripp said. "He put in a lot of time in the offseason playing lacrosse, going to tournaments and getting coached up. Pat did the same thing, as well. They are both very dedicated to the sport and interested in improving on their skills and play. It's a good sign for our program."
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