Brunswick boys lacrosse rides second-half surge past New Canaan
NEW CANAAN — Down two to start the third quarter, Brunswick’s Ben Shapiro won the faceoff, sprinted down the field and scored.
From there the Bruins offense took off, tallying six second-half goals to beat New Canaan 7-5 Saturday.
After scoring just one goal in the first half, Shapiro’s goal was enough to get Brunswick clicking.
“It was just sharing the ball,” Brunswick coach David Bruce said. “We didn’t have the ball much in the first half, so we were anxious, we wanted to catch up all at once. In the second half, we realized we could get it done with a little more ball movement and being ourselves, we executed better in the second half.”
After Alex Buckanavage staked Brunswick (5-1) to a 1-0 lead after one, New Canaan went on a 3-0 run in the second with goals from Matt Bisceglia, Mac Deane and Jackson Appelt.
Appelt’s goal came with 52 seconds left in the half, aided by an 80-yard pass from goalie Drew Morris to set up Appelt with a wide-open cage.
In addition to the assist, Morris was stellar in net for New Canaan all day, tallying 13 saves, many from point-blank range.
Even playing his best, Morris didn’t have a chance against Brunswick’s Buckanavage and Xander Dickson.
The two combined for four second-half goals with each tallying in the third. With the score tied at 5 in the fourth, Buckanavage found Dickson at the doorstep twice at the 5:32 and 3:07 marks for the winning goals.
The rapport between the two was a long time coming.
“We were struggling a little bit to get the chemistry down,” Buckanavage said. “This game was huge for us because we talked before the game about getting together, once the first one clicked it started happening. I was able to find him in the crease and it was great.”
New Canaan’s Jack Hoelzer scored with 2:31 left in the third to end the period tied at 4, and, after a goal from Brunswick’s Jimmy Heidt, sophomore Quintin O’Connell found his brother, Ryan, a senior, to tie it again at 5 with 6:19 remaining in the contest.
As has been the case in a choppy early going, New Canaan (2-3) shined at times, but was too uneven for the full 60 minutes.
“We have to be more consistent,” Rams captain James Crovatto said. “There’s times where we play like we should, where we’re a top-5 team in the country, and then there’s spans where we have a mental slip and we’ll turnover the ball, not pick up ground balls or whatever it may be. We have to be more consistent with our high level of play.”
The one silver-lining is that New Canaan’s early schedule has featured a slew of nationally ranked teams. The Rams entered the contest at No. 18 in the Under Armous/Inside Lacrosse National Rankings, while Brunswick came in ranked 13th.
“It always looks better if you lose to someone that’s really good according to the rankings,” Crovattio said. “But, at the end of the day, for all of us a loss is a loss, and it’s not good enough. It doesn’t matter who we play, the goal is to get that W and that’s what we have to look to do going forward.”
BRUNSWICK 7, NEW CANAAN 5
BRUNSWICK1 0 3 3—7
NEW CANAAN0 3 1 1—5
Records: Brunswick 5-1; New Canaan 2-3. Scoring: B—Alex Buckanavage 2 goals 3 assists, Ben Shapiro 1g, Xander Dickson 3g 1a, Jimmy Heidt 1g; NC—Matt Bisceglia 1g, Mac Deane 1g, Jackson Appelt 1g 1a, Jack Hoelzer 1g, Ryan O’Connell 1g, Graham Braden 1a, Drew Morris 1a, Quintin O’Connell 2a. Goalies: B—Patrick Burkinshaw (5 saves); NC—Morris (13). Shots: B—29; NC—17.