By Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7)
BYFIELD, Mass. – There are no easy boys’ lacrosse matchups in the Independent School League and every rivalry game comes with a little extra intensity.
Noble & Greenough’s thrilling 11-10 victory over host Governor’s Academy on a hot Wednesday afternoon was no different, as the Bulldogs hung on in the face of a furious comeback for a win to take control of third place in the ISL standings.
The visitors jumped out to an early 4-1 advantage and led 7-3 after a burst of goals early in the third quarter, but Governor’s fought back multiple times, eventually tying the contest, 8-8, on a highlight goal from junior midfielder Brendan Jordan (2 goals, 2 assists).
Govs would tie it again, 9-9, but every time they made a push, Nobles had a response.
Eventually, after Govs junior attack Zach Ludd (2 goals, 2 assists) scored with 42 seconds remaining, Nobles sophomore Will Zink (4 goals) had the final word in the form of a game-winning goal off a feed from junior Hayden Cheek (goal, 2 assists) with just 17 seconds left in regulation.
“Anything can happen in this league,” said Nobles head coach Matt Rowley. “You have to approach every game like it’s a championship game and that’s what we do. This keeps us in the conversation and we’re in a good spot to stay in the mix and hope some things happen in our favor.”
With the win, Nobles (13-3, 10-2 ISL) moves into third place in the ISL behind Belmont Hill and St. Sebastian’s, while Governor’s Academy (10-5, 9-3) drops to fourth.
Although they fought back to make the game very competitive down the stretch, Govenor’s Academy head coach Tim Winslow was not pleased with the overall effort of his team.
“We tend to put ourselves in a hole and we were down three starters today,” Winslow began. “Some of our leaders made some bad decisions out there and didn’t play to their character. Defensively, for the most part, a lot of our guys played well but some guys didn’t show up today.”
For Nobles, the win required a total team effort from their freshman face-off man John Dixon, who won 14 of 23 face-offs and helped them control possession, to the sophomore who played the role of hero in Zink.
“Will is a kid who was our fourth attackmen last year,” said Rowley. “He’s been asked to take on a bigger role and he’s ready to go whenever his number is called. He called it himself the last three times and I’m very happy that he did.”
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Zach Ludd to Brendan Jordan opens the scoring. 1-0 Govs mid Q1 @HerewegoJoe @bostonlaxnet @masspreps pic.twitter.com/5c8DghICGY— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) May 17, 2017
Halftime: Nobles 4, Govs 3. Ben Murtagh scores off feed from Jordan w/:17 left in Q2 @GlobeSchools @bostonlaxnet @HerewegoJoe @masspreps pic.twitter.com/u8c2jjGRR3— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) May 17, 2017
Second half underway Govs captain Nick Colstad crushing attackmen @bostonlaxnet @HerewegoJoe pic.twitter.com/6ucyZi86eV— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) May 17, 2017
Thomas Bono with another one off a feed from Chase McKee. It's 7-3 Nobles mid Q3 after a flurry @bostonlaxnet @HerewegoJoe @masspreps pic.twitter.com/8QxxYrWvaQ— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) May 17, 2017
Nice work from Nobles McRae Williams in net. Nobles 7, Govs 3 late Q3 @bostonlaxnet @HerewegoJoe @masspreps pic.twitter.com/Q9oWtZWoBs— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) May 17, 2017
Ben Murtagh to Harrison Gray and hear comes @GovernorsLax, now trail Nobles 7-5 late Q3 @bostonlaxnet @HerewegoJoe pic.twitter.com/RIpl6f1tIF— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) May 17, 2017
Absolutely snipe by Jeff Dziama to put Nobles up 8-6 early Q4 @GlobeSchools @bostonlaxnet @HerewegoJoe @masspreps pic.twitter.com/XBcyzoXD95— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) May 17, 2017
Ludd scores a man-up goal to bring @GovernorsLax all the way back. It's 8-8 with 7:49 remaining @bostonlaxnet @HerewegoJoe @masspreps pic.twitter.com/9tOGIGx06V— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) May 17, 2017
Wow, Brendan Jordan with the go-ahead goal in style. It's 9-8 @GovernorsLax 5:15 remaining @GlobeSchools @HerewegoJoe @bostonlaxnet pic.twitter.com/vtjUCBiZdH— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) May 17, 2017
Ludd from an improbable angle to make it 10-10 with :42 left. What a game @GlobeSchools @bostonlaxnet @HerewegoJoe @masspreps pic.twitter.com/1fsZp4AVmf— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) May 17, 2017
Final: Nobles 11, Governors Academy 10. Thriller up in Byfield @GlobeSchools @bostonlaxnet @HerewegoJoe @masspreps @ISLSPORTS pic.twitter.com/afcfkO64Wv— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) May 17, 2017