By Kevin J. Stone @kstone06

(Photos by Mike Flanagan @flano0)

WEYMOUTH – The game of lacrosse has long been called “the medicine game” and on Thursday night, its healing powers were on full display.

Some of the best players in the state of Massachusetts converged on the Union Point Sports Complex for the 8th Annual BostonLax All American game, but the night was about far more than just the game.


After the stunning passing of Ryan Kilian last week – the man who truly made BostonLax run like a well-oiled machine – Kilian’s wife Rebekah and two young sons Kainen and Bryson, were on hand for what turned into quite an emotional night. Bryson and Kainen each got to play on Team Stallion and Team Surgeon and shared several special moments with their teams. Kainen also added two goals in the game while Bryson had one of his own and was a perfect 1-for-1 at the face-off X. The Kilian boys were named co-MVP’s and spoke with media following their big performances.

Nick Marrocco, goalie of the PLL’s Cannons LC, was also on hand and was helping the boys warm-up pregame before he and Sean Morris – the owner of BostonLax – presented Rebekah and Kainen with a $10,000 check from The Greg Hill Foundation at halftime. In addition, the GoFundMe set up for Ryan’s family is now up to nearly $160,000.

Patrick Crogan (2022, Georgetown) of Lexington and Luke Davis (2023) of Franklin each had hat tricks for their respective squads and Team Stallion won the game 19-12, but it was the genuine love both teams and everyone in attendance showed the Kilian family that will be remembered forever.

“Ryan was an incredible person and I’ve learned more about him in the last week than I knew in 17 years,” Rebekah Kilian said. “Sean Morris, the players, this entire lacrosse community has been so good to our family. I’m a seven-year cancer survivor, I beat breast cancer and I think it taught me a lot about just reaching out to people and they’ll be there for you. Lacrosse is everything to my kids.

“It , it’s horrible and it’s something that you obviously never want to go through, but now I’ve got to be a mom and a dad. Luckily, I have a village behind me that is absolutely incredible.”

Ryan literally made BostonLax go. Whether it was sending us to certain games, making sure everyone was paid or just listening to ideas, there is no BostonLax without him. When it came to Thursday’s game, Ryan had done everything to set things up. From making the rosters to booking the venue and referees.

Morris and BostonLax video guru Mike Flanagan were suddenly thrown into the fire and still made sure the night went perfectly. The two of them spoke to both teams prior to warming up on Thursday and reiterated what the event was truly about.

“Ryan was the pulse of this, he did everything,” Morris told the teams. “Not only are you playing for your team, your family, and for pride, but you’re playing for Ryan….when we roll the out tonight, you’re here to compete and you’re here to put on a show for Ryan.”

“Ryan was a tremendous leader to me,” Flanagan added. “I’m going to miss him but right now that family is in . Let’s give them something to remember, let’s raise some money and let’s put on a show.”

Once warmups concluded, both teams were introduced. Following the final rostered player introduction, Kainen and Bryson were each introduced and went to their respective teams and they were greeted with open arms and fist pumps before breaking each team huddle down.

The Stallions took a 5-2 lead into halftime as goalies Steve Cohen (Concord-Carlisle, 2021) and Tim McNamara (Tabor, 2022) stole most of the show early on. Following the presentation from the Greg Hill Foundation, things opened up a bit in the third quarter as the Stallions took a 9-6 lead into to the fourth.

The Kilian brothers opened up the fourth quarter with a face-off as the crowd on hand stood and cheered. Little brother Bryson was quick on the clamp and beat older brother Kainen downfield. Bryson pushed to goal and unleashed a rocket of a shot off the post. Kainen then grabbed the rebound and sprinted back the other way but was stunningly (accidentally) stopped by the great wall of Jamie Horton (BC High, 2021). Following the restart, Kainen dodged out from X and buried a shot down low to cut the deficit for Team Surgeon down to 9-7. Kainen’s Surgeon teammates quickly rushed the field and mobbed him as the Stallion bench also cleared to join in the celebration.

“All my goals were from X today,” Kainen explained in his first-ever postgame interview alongside his brother. “I was just trying to go anywhere,” he added when asked if that was his game plan for the day.

When asked who really won the face off, Bryson immediately raised his stick and Kainen acknowledged the same.

“You just sat there and played the waiting game, so I checked you and got it,” Bryson lovingly pointed out.

The offense really opened up in the final frame as the guys put on an offensive show. Bryson added a goal of his own late in the fourth quarter, breaking the ankles of St. Sebastian’s defender PJ McKeigue (Penn, 2022) before letting a righty rocket go on the run. Bryson was mobbed by the Stallion squad following the tally. The game ended in fitting fashion moments later as Kainen added one more goal before both teams came out to once again celebrate with the boys.

There was a no-brainer co-MVP announcement soon after the game before both teams and head coaches Brian McLaughlin (Dover-Sherborn), Mark Puzzanga (Scituate) and Grant Heller (Marshfield) posed for a group picture with the MVP’s front and center.

“It felt so great to be a part of, we just wanted to help Bryson and Kainen in any way we could,” said Natick’s Christian Lederman (RPI – football). “The Kilian family is suffering a horrible tragedy right now and we just wanted to help out in any way we could.”

For one night, the medicine game certainly worked some of its magic. Most importantly, the Massachusetts lacrosse community let the Kilian family know we will always have their back. Rest in Peace, Ryan.