DEDHAM — In the third quarter of Wednesday’s critical Independent School League matchup against first-place Governor’s Academy, the Noble & Greenough boys’ lacrosse team proved to be a cut above the competition.
Governor’s had come back for several huge wins to remain undefeated in league play, so Nobles’ 6-4 halftime lead was from secure.
Behind a physically dominant midfield and a young ace at the Faceoff X, Nobles pulled away for an impressive 12-5 home victory to potentially earn a share of the league title.
Nobles (14-4, 11-1 ISL) and Govs (12-3, 11-1) are now tied atop the ISL with three games remaining on their respective schedules.
Nobles has won 11 straight since losing to St. Sebastian’s April 6 in a memorial game for former goalie McCrae Williams, who passed away while attending Lafayette College this past fall.
“We say we have to win all three phases of the game: offense, defense and the middle of the field,” said Nobles coach Matt Rowley. “These guys are playing for something more than just the end score. I think the thought of how McCrae played the game and what it means to play in his image, means a lot to them.
“So when they have an opportunity to make effort plays, they want to make them. It’s something they feel in their hearts.”
Nick Loring, of Dedham, scored three of his game-high four goals in the first six minutes to help Nobles open an early 4-1 lead.
Loring found Hayden Cheek (3 goals, 3 assists), a fellow Harvard commit, in transition for a score to expand Nobles’ lead to 6-2 midway through the second quarter.
Govs responded with goals from Jack Wood and Ben Murtagh shortly before halftime.
But Nobles answered with a 4-0 run in the third quarter, capped by a goal from Loring with 0.4 seconds left on the clock.
Sophomore John Dixon won 10 of 18 draws at the Faceoff X and Dan Donahue made 12 saves in net to help Nobles pull away.
“We had to come out with a certain attitude and effort,” said Loring. “We knew [Govs] was going to try to make a run. That’s what they do.”
“We learned a lot from that loss to Sebs,” Loring continued. “People say that if you lose one game, because the ISL is so competitive, it’s over, but we just kept our heads down and kept working.”Nate Weitzer can be reached at email@example.com.