Brunswick holds off New Canaan in boys lacrosse showdown
Published 10:06 pm, Thursday, April 16, 2015
NEW CANAAN -- Thursday night's lacrosse showdown between unfamiliar foes Brunswick School and New Canaan was indeed, a game of runs -- and the team with the biggest spurt came out on top.
The Rams made a quick opening statement, scoring the first three goals of the night, but the Bruins had the final say, thanks to an impressive eight-goal run New Canaan couldn't recover from in the private school vs. public school crossover.
Attackman Alex Buckanavage celebrated his 17th birthday in style, scoring a game-high four goals to help power Brunswick to a hard-fought 9-7 win over host New Canaan before a big early-season crowd.
"We never got to play New Canaan before, so it was nice to face them," said Buckanavage, whose team came in ranked No. 22 in the latest Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse National Rankings. "After we started off slow, we played great and it's a good win for our team."
Midfielder Reilly Walsh registered two goals for the Bruins, who outscored the Rams 5-0 in the second quarter to seize a 6-3 halftime lead.
"Coach told us to move the and get it to the faceoff X and get it to Marshall Dickson, who got a couple of key assists for us," Buckanavage said. "That helped us get the momentum."
Attack Michael Kraus recorded a hat trick, while Kyle Smith tallied twice for New Canaan, which closed to within 8-7 by the end of the third quarter after being down 8-3.
"Brunswick made some adjustments at the faceoff X and changed the way they locked on to our attackmen and their faceoff man got better as the game went on," Rams coach Chip Buzzeo said. "The second quarter, they went to a zone, which was tough for us to beat."
Goals from Kraus, Max Begoon and Ryan O'Connell gave the Rams a 3-0 first quarter edge. Walsh's goal in transition made it 3-1 with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
Buckanavage put a shot from close in past Rams goalie Drew Morris and Walsh charged hard to the net and scored, tying the score at 3-3 2:49 into the second quarter.
John Fox scooped up a ground ball and scored and Buckanavage tallied on a catch-and-shoot, putting the Bruins ahead 5-3. Buckanavage sealed the first half by converting a laser from the perimeter, making it 6-3.
"They did a good job of winning the faceoff in the first quarter and when that happens it's a little bit deflating," Bruins coach David Bruce said. "We know we have a defense that can shut down teams and we have an offense that can score when we have possession. It's a nice win for our team against a great opponent."
Goals from Charlie Cobb and attack Jack Knight extended the Bruins third-quarter advantage to 8-3. But the Rams made a run of their own, tallying four straight goals to close to within 8-7. Smith had two goals during the rally.
"You like to see guys fight back like we did," Buzzeo said. "A game like this is what lacrosse is supposed to be like."
Both goalies were impressive, as Jack Stephenson made nine saves for the 5-2 Bruins and Morris had 10 for the Rams.
"It was a lot of fun to play against these guys," Knight said. "A lot of us played against them growing up in youth lacrosse."
Brunswick 9, New Canaan 7
BRUNSWICK 1 5 2 1--9
NEW CANAAN 3 0 4 0--7
Scoring: B--Alex Buckanavage 4 g, Reilly Walsh 2 g, John Fox 1 g, Jack Knight 1 g, Charlie Cobb 1 g, Marshall Dickson 3 a; NC--Justin Meichner 1 g, 1 a, Michael Kraus 3 g, Kyle Smith 2 g, Ryan O'Connell 1 g, Max Begoon 1 g; Goalies: B--Jack Stephenson 9 saves; NC Drew Morris 10 saves.