The 2009 Ephs got off to a slow start, even slower than they did
the year before in the historic 2008 season. Williams opened 1-4 in
its first five games and despite winning five of last seven games
the Ephs finished at 7-7, ending their season in the first round of
the NESCAC Tournament.
The lacrosse team at Williams has seen steady growth since George McCormack took over the program in 2004, culminating with a breakout year in 2007.
Starting the 2007 season ranked in the top 20 nationally the Eph lacrosse program took some very large steps towards establishing a reputation as one of the best teams in both the NESCAC and the country.
The 2008 Ephs accomplished some program firsts and earned even more recognition than the 2007 team by going 10-6 and winning the NESCAC title:
• Beat six consecutive nationally ranked opponents to win program's first NESCAC title
• Secured program's first NCAA Tournament bid and earned a first round bye
• Beat regional power Middlebury at Middlebury in NESCAC semifinals
• Beat Bowdoin twice in eight days to get into and win NESCAC title
• First year David Hawley was NESCAC & NEILA Rookie of the Year and ECAC All-Star
• Michael Vrla, Michael Gerbush & Brian Morrissey named All-NESCAC & All-NEILA
also named ECAC All-Star
• Head coach George McCormack named NESCAC Coach of the Year
|Matt Cranshaw '11|
A past survey by Lacrosse Magazine, cross-referencing Division
III national lacrosse rankings with a ranking of the top 25
national liberal arts colleges, named Williams the top choice for
those seeking the best combination of academic excellence and
The tradition that is Williams’s men's lacrosse began in 1928, when as a sport it first achieved intercollegiate status. During the late 40's and early 50's, the Williams lacrosse team became a national power. The 1958 team was undefeated and New England champion. New England championships ensued in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1965. In 1965 and 1966, the team captured USILA Taylor Division honors.
In 1972, men's lacrosse became an NCAA sport, and Williams entered Division III and the Snively Division, named after former Williams lacrosse coach A. Barr "Whoops" Snively, Jr.
Since then, Williams has won the Snively title six times. In 1973, the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) started a post-season tournament for Division III New England colleges. In the past 26 years, Williams has appeared in the ECAC-New England tournament 23 times, winning the championship in 1973, 1979, 1994, 1999, and 2000.
|Corey Jacobs '11|
Since 1961, Williams, Wesleyan, and Amherst have competed for a Little Three championship in lacrosse, and Williams won an impressive 9 consecutive Little Three titles from 1989-1997.
The men's lacrosse program at Williams has produced many
All-American, All-New England and All-Snively Division players. Top
Williams players have played in the North/South Lacrosse game as
well as the New England All-Division All-Star game. Many continue
to play on various club teams after graduation and return to
Williamstown to renew friendships and revive lacrosse memories in
the spirited bi-annual alumni game.
As former captain Ian A.S. Smith '91 observes:
"The recent success of Williams lacrosse cannot be measured by winning percentage, though it has been high. The success of the program is found in its timeless nature. Tales pass from one generation of Williams players to the next, and each player is well aware of the heritage. When a player joins the Williams lacrosse team, he enters a continuum, which has modeled itself on strong athletic and personal achievement. Four years of lacrosse on a tight-knit Williams team are great, but greater still is the lasting influence of the lacrosse experience, which extends beyond the all-too-finite undergraduate years.