The Noble & Greenough boys’ lacrosse community lost a friend last September when former goalie McCrae Williams, of Weston, passed away as an incoming freshman at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.
On Friday night, Nobles honored their alumnus while facing Independent School League rival St. Sebastian’s at Harvard’s Jordan Field in the first McCrae Williams Memorial Game.
Prior to the game, every Nobles player shared an emotional embrace with McCrae’s parents, Diane and Chris, and St. Sebastian’s gifted them with a framed photo of Williams in net during Nobles’s win over Sebs in 2016.
“The lacrosse community is very tight-knit and while we’re all competitive, in the end, we’re very close,” said Diane. “It’s a wonderful display of sportsmanship. We’ve received incredible support and it’s made this road a little easier to travel.”
St. Sebastian’s, the reigning ISL co-champion, used a 4-1 run in the second half to pull away for a 10-8 victory. Duke-bound senior Michael Swirbalus (four goals) and Connecticut College commit Peter Pickard (three goals, assist) led the way for St. Sebastian’s (5-0, 1-0 ).
After falling behind, 9-5, early in the fourth quarter, Nobles (2-4, 0-1) rallied for three consecutive goals to make it a one-score game. But Swirbalus netted his fourth goal to stay the momentum.
Sophomore goalie Dan Donahue, who is also from Weston and trained with Williams, made 12 saves to keep Nobles in the game. Harvard-bound seniors Nick Loring (three goals) and Hayden Cheek (goal, two assists) paced Nobles.
Proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales will go to the McCrae Williams Foundation, which aims to bring awareness to the issue of alcohol abuse on college campuses and promote amnesty for students in need of medical attention. Authorities said that Williams died from blunt-force head injuries and had been drinking alcohol the night of his death.
Nobles players Sam Montgomery and Jett Dziama came up with the idea for an annual game to honor Williams and are working for the foundation as part of their senior project.
“We both knew how much McCrae loved to play and he had an impact that reached far beyond our team and our school,” said Dziama. “We thought this game would be a great way to bring the New England lacrosse community together and make a positive impact to his foundation and his name.”
Donations to the foundation can be sent to McCrae James Williams Foundation, PO Box 291, Weston, Mass., 02493. Information can be found at http://mccraewilliams.com/foundation.
Framingham 3, Weymouth 0 — Tyler Chan (8 kills, 6 aces) and Jordan Sarnie (15 digs) powered the Flyers to the 25-14, 25-10, 25-15 Bay State Conference sweep.
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