Massachusetts: Nobles Wins ISL Showdown With Rivers 14-11

(Photo: Casey Vock, 3d Rising)
(Photo: Casey Vock, 3d Rising)

3d Rising closed out its short trip up to the Boston area with a great ISL matchup, taking a swing out to Weston to catch the Rivers School host Noble & Greenough in one of the last games of the year, featuring two teams competing for spots in our Rising State-by-State New England rankings this season.

Danny Jacobs, a senior bound for Middlebury, had a game-high eight points in leading an impressive showing by the Nobles offense. Linemate and sophomore standout Hayden Cheek had a huge day as well, totaling four goals and three assists. Jacobs and Cheek, who showed an outstanding ability to work the two-man game, connected four times for goals as the Bulldogs were able to turn a 5-3 halftime lead into a lead as large as 12-3 by early in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, junior netminder McCrae Williams was outstanding in cage, making saves in flurries and impressing with his quick hands and feet to get all over the crease to meet the Rivers shooters.

But things certainly got interesting down the stretch, as the talented Red Wings offense rattled off five goals in a row to close out the game. Nobles held on however, improving to 15-2 on the year.

See some of the action above in the photo gallery. Below, we highlight a few of the players who stood out in this one we were glad to catch.

Hayden Cheek, Attack, Noble & Greenough, Soph. - Harvard

Cheek looks like one of the most promising sophomore attackman in the country from where we stand. A strong, tall, skilled righty, Cheek turned it on against Rivers and shined with his nose and sense for the cage and excellent work alongside his teammates in the two-man game. His size and athleticism make him a tough matchup when he’s trying to lean in and turn the corner. And he’s much more deceptive than you’d think. What might also get overlooked about Cheek is his set of soft, fast hands. He can catch and finish the ball in a hurry and is slick about how he does it, doing so in tight space. One of his best goals came as he broke free off a slip behind X, took a feed from Danny Jacobs and three two pump fakes that carried his momentum out into a dive in front of the cage, improving his angle for an easy dump into the cage. He showed excellent passing, whipping the ball on a rope more than once for great looks to teammates for layup goals. He’s got a bright future.

Danny Jacobs, Attack, Noble & Greenough, Sr. - Middlebury

Jacobs, now a senior, is showing himself to be a solid overall lacrosse players. A heady attackman who can shoot the ball with accuracy and a quick release,
gritty, extremely tough shoot the shit, good lacrosse player, it's a function of where we are with recruiting potetial division 1, been either first or second in league in goals , and pretty damn good league pretty fancey places, 

McCrae Williams, Goalie, Noble & Greenough, Jr. - Lafayette

Williams really shined in the cage against Rivers, coming up with a bunch of big-time saves, including some on the doorstep. His biggest moment came when he stopped a low shot on an attackman who got topside from X, and then, after the same attackman smaller goalie quick twitch, plays with a lot of emotion, plays with guess make saves supposed, plenty that not supposed to acgive on tide 10 man ride, his athleticism smart, there a lot of great goalies in oour league, Varney, Churchill as good 

George Loring, Midfield, Noble & Greenough, Sr. - Harvard

Loring is a big, strong throwback style midfielder who can do a lot of different things all over the field. He scaps in the middle of the field for the ball and shows the ability to get it out and leg it through checks up the field. He initiates offense as an effective downhill dodger who forces a defense to be ready for a slide given his ability overpower shorsticks. He buried a big goal against Rivers, coming up with the ball, then driving through a strong hold/check down the right lane and pulling back to score on an overhand snap. Loring’s also more than capable of running short-stick defense and using his big body and reach to present challenges for dodging midfielders.

Nick Loring, Midfield, Noble & Greenough, Soph.

Loring, like his brother, is a big, athletic kid who can dodge and be a presence in the middle of the field. He’s perhaps a little sharper with his stick at this early stage and he uses that to his advantage when carrying. He can keep his head up and make plays and uses his big body and strong legs to be a physical, aggressive dodger who fights to the middle of the field. 

Josh White, Defense, Noble & Greenough, Sr. - Bowdoin

White is a dependable, but gritty and technically skilled defender whose experience makes him one of the more well rounded players holding it down for the Bulldogs. He’s good off the ground and physically tough. He’s also an important leader for the team having been on the roster since his sophomore season.

Ben Churchill, Goalie, Rivers School, Jr. - Princeton

Churchill is an athletic, good-sized netminder who stands tall in the cage and sees the ball and can be agile in his approach. He made several highlight reel saves against Nobles as the Bulldogs generates quality look after quality look for stretches of the game.

Caleb Mahoney, Defense, Rivers School, Sr. - Ohio State

Mahoney can be a terror with his range and size and ability to move. Watching him play close D, he can sit low with his hips and is careful and stays home, and his long arms and span allow him to rake check all over the man. He can get even bigger attackman hung up. He’s also a real threat to score, as he can snipe the ball from way outside and is aggressive about wanting to do so. He’s got range to snip it from way outside, and though we didn’t see it against the Bulldogs, he did that a bunch of times this season. He fished with an assist and several ground balls against Nobles.

Matt Paul, Attack, Rivers School, Jr. - Dartmouth

Paul showed himself to be a gritty, skilled attackman who has excellent hands and can quickly take advantage of scoring opportunities. It seemed he moved all the time, with or without the ball and he got himself to space or got himself to shooting opportunities on his own. Near the end of the game against Nobles, Rivers put together a pretty impressive run and it was in large part because of Paul’s ability to quickly attack the cage and get to shooting spots.

Trevor Ballantyne, Midfield, Rivers School, Jr. - Dartmouth

Another of Rivers’ talented scoring threats, Balantine showed himself to be a bit of a dynamic midfielder, but is also good off the ball. He’s got a good connection with some of the attackman on the roster and knows where to float to get free to take feeds for step-downs. He is slick with his stick in groundball scenarios and can make a bunch of plays despite not being overly physical or large. One of Rivers’ goals saw Ballantyne drive from X and draw a slide before pushing the ball up for a an easy step-down shot for a teammate. He got himself freed up off the ball about 10 yards out, taking a feed with time and room to step into a low-to-high shot that found the top left corner. One area he really shined was in the middle of the field — a pesky rider, he showed his quickness and helped put pressure on the Bulldogs as they cleared throughout the game and helping turn it over more than once.

Hailing from Upstate New York, Casey Vock is the manager of 3d Rising. Before joining 3d Rising, he spent three years at Inside Lacrosse, where he was a full-time writer for Inside Lacrosse Magazine,, and covering all facets of the game. He was named the editor of in November 2012 after helping launch the site a year earlier. Prior to joining Inside Lacrosse in Baltimore, Casey was a freelance writer in Upstate New York covering professional, college and high school lacrosse for Inside Lacrosse, as well as writing for the Press-Republican newspaper in Plattsburgh and other media outlets. Casey played lacrosse in high school at Indian River and went on to play at Jefferson Community College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and business from SUNY Plattsburgh, an MBA from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management and an MS in media management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse. Reach him by email at and follow him on Twitter @cvock.