By Loyd McIntosh, For The Tribune
BIRMINGHAM — A pair of former Hewitt-Trussville Lady Husky lacrosse players faced off against each other for the first time last week.
Lily McCormick, a senior attacker for the University of Montevallo, lined up against her old Lady Husky teammate, Ada Weems, a freshman midfielder at Birmingham-Southern, as the Lady Falcons visited the Panthers on Birmingham’s west side in an early-season non-conference matchup.
While the result of the game was lopsided, the NCAA Division II Montevallo Lady Falcons defeated the Division III Birmingham-Southern handily, 16-4, the game was a poignant reunion among old teammates who, together, raised the profile of girls lacrosse throughout Alabama.
“It was just great to see And and seeing her playing so well,” said Lily McCormick. “I actually think she played well against us tonight. She cleared the ball and put a lot of pressure on us.”
Lily McCormick, the daughter of Hewitt-Trussville Girls Lacrosse Head Coach Tom McCormick, transferred to Montevallo after her freshman season at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCADD) – where she was the team’s leading scorer – was cut short due to COVID-19.
Now in her second season at Montevallo, McCormick is a major contributor with 29 goals and 13 assists – two in the game against Birmingham-Southern – in 21 games with the Lady Falcons. Tom McCormick said his daughter’s performance in college is just a natural progression following her dominance on the high school level.
“She’s an offensive powerhouse,” said Coach McCormick. “She got an assist the first time she stepped on the field in her first college game. She’s a left-hander which is kind of like in boxing how a left-hander throws everybody off.
“She made the All-Star and All-State team every year she was on the high school team and even made the All-State team as an eighth grader,” added Coach McCormick. “She was the leading scorer on the team all five years she played on the high school team.”
After the disappointment at SCAD, Lily McCormick relished the opportunity to come back to Alabama to play in her home state where lacrosse is still growing. Even at Montevallo, Lily is one of only three players from Alabama on the Lady Falcons roster and understands she is something of a trailblazer for young girls just picking up a lacrosse stick.
“When I decided to transfer and come home to Alabama, I took it very seriously,” said Lily McCormick. “I’m so glad they accepted me last year and gave me some opportunities to contribute to the team.”
On the other side of Birmingham-Southern’s General Krulak Stadium, Ada Weems, is also contributing to the Lady Panthers as a scrappy and aggressive midfielder. A home-schooler who played for the Lady Huskies, Weems skipped her senior year to enroll at Birmingham-Southern and is already making an impact despite being a year younger than most incoming freshmen.
Tom McCormick, who coached Weems throughout her youth and high school lacrosse career, said he could always count on Weems to make things difficult on her opponent and was a born leader even at a young age.
“She was never one to yell and scream a lot but she is packed with very quiet intensity and she led by example which is very important,” said McCormick regarding her work ethic in high school.“
He went on to say that Weems’s true talent as a midfielder is putting pressure on the other team’s offensive players and distributing the ball to the offense for scoring opportunities.
“She will produce offense even if it’s not her putting the ball in the net because he understands how to work the ball around and get it to the right person,” said McCormick. “You know, she will probably cause my daughter a lot of problems tonight.”
Along with her friend McCormick, Weems also sees herself as something of a trailblazer hoping to pave the way for a younger generation of girls playing lacrosse.
“Lacrosse has been growing a lot in Alabama but it’s really big up north,” said Weems. “The choices are limited here in the south because only a few schools have teams.”
Weems credits Tom McCormick for developing her into the player she is today and for giving her a passion for lacrosse, a passion she hopes to pass along to other girls in the area.
“I went to a Trussville girls game recently and they all yelled ‘Ada’s here.’ To see them all run up and hug me was just amazing,” Weems said. “I just really enjoy getting to promote the sport and to share the love of the game.”
Birmingham-Southern is currently 0-4 on the 2023 season and will next face Suwanee at home on Thursday, March 9. Montevallo is now 5-3 and will host St. Leo on Saturday, March 12.