Brunswick School’s streak of excelling against its lacrosse foes each spring was halted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the team is back on the field this year and is primed to add to its long-standing, successful tradition.
Ranked fourth in the nation in the Inside Lacrosse Top 25 High School Power Rankings, the Bruins have the athleticism, depth and strength at each position to meet their high goals and expectations.
“We have a lot of strong athletes on defense through the midfield and offense,” Brunswick coach David Bruce said. “If we can play well together and stay healthy, we can have a good season. Our No. 1 goal is to stay healthy and give guys every chance to be successful.”
The Bruins, who posted a record of 16-2 and were ranked 10th nationally in 2019, also have an undefeated season and a No. 1 ranking on their list of goals.
“That’s we have been talking about since Day 1, to be No. 1, said Brunswick senior defender Colin Mulshine, one of the squad’s four captains. “We want to be No. 1 and we want to have an undefeated season.”
Added senior midfielder Lucas Delgado, also a captain: “Every year, I feel the team has the potential to be the No. 1 team in the nation. I am always super impressed with the amount of talent we bring in and the amount of talent that’s in the program.”
Since joining the Western New England Division I group in 2006, the Bruins have won three division championships (2013, 1014, 2019). Bruce has coached the Bruins since 2007 and has registered a sparkling record of 157-51. Over the past two decades, 105 athletes from the school have proceeded to play lacrosse at the collegiate level. This Bruins’ 2021 team features numerous players that will continue their respective lacrosse careers, including their four captains – Mulshine, Delgado, Coulter Mackesy and Luke Waters.
“All four have been on the team for four years and are our four best players at each position,” Bruce said of his captains. “They have been captains. Leadership takes a different tone this year, because you have to remind guys to make make more sacrifices this year to stay on the field.”
Mackesy, who plays attack, is heading to Princeton University, where he plans on playing on the lacrosse team. He recorded two goals and two assists in the Bruins’ 11-10 season-opening road win against Belmont Hill School this past Saturday.
“We’re good, we’re pretty young from defense to offense, but everyone looks good,” said Mackesy, who is also a standout squash player. It’s good being back on the field with the guys and to have an opportunity to have a full season. We can’t wait to keep playing and hopefully, get the No. 1-ranking in the country.”
Mulshine will also compete on the lacrosse team at Princeton next season.
“Coulter and I have been talking about that for a while,” said Mulshine, who also played on the Bruins’ basketball team. “There are more Brunswick playing now, so there will be quite a few of us at Princeton.”
One of the Bruins’ anchors on defense, Mulshine likes the early signs he’s seen from the squad.
“I’m really excited about this team,” said Mulshine, who mentioned junior Charlie Johnson and senior Mario Rinaldi as some of the players who will solidify the defense. “We have a lot of potential, we had a great showing the Darien game and a nice, tight battle with Belmont Hill, which was a wake-up call for us. But we have a lot of potential this year.”
Waters, a midfielder, will take his lacrosse skills to Duke University. He ignited the Bruins in their season-opening comeback win against Belmont Hill, tallying three goals and one assist.
“We have a lot of talent and a lot of young guys, who haven’t played that much, so we’re waiting on them to step up,” Waters said. “I thought we played well in our first game of the season. Luke Schlank, our goalie, bailed us out a couple of times and our offense produced. Everyone is really excited to be backon the field.”
Lucas Delgado, a midfielder, is headed to Michigan, where he will play the sport. His brother Tomas is is a sophomore midfielder on the Bruins.
“A lot of these underclassmen who were supposed to play last year want to show what they’ve got this year,” Lucas Delgado said. “We have definitely not lost a step from our last season. Everyone is working really hard.”
Brunswick’s seniors also includes attack Jeffrey Matthews, Mario Rinaldi (defense), Blake Burchill (faceoff man), Tommy Quinson (attack), Jackson Alvord (defense), Noah Levi (defense), Keegan Gilsenan (midfielder) and Blake Borges.
Burchill will play lacrosse at Bucknell, as will Rinaldi. Borges is headed to Syracuse and Alvord will play at Colby College. Quinson is going to compete at Denison University.
Against Belmont Hill, Lucas Delgado tallied twice, sophomore attackman Jackson Wolfram had two goals, Tomas Delgado had a goal and junior midfielder Owen Guest contributed a goal for the Bruins (1-0). Juniors Myles Spiess and Chris Gaine and sophomore Hunter Spiess each had an assist in the win, while Mulshine scooped up a team-high eight ground balls.
Junior Will Donovan caused four turnovers, Schlank registered 13 saves and Burchill was outstanding at the faceoff-X winning 10 of 11 faceoffs in Brunswick’s season-opener.
Brunswick travels to William Penn Charter School on Wednesday, before hosting Trinity-Pawling School on Friday. They will visit Trinity-Pawling on Friday, then host Greenwich High School in an anticipated matchup on Monday. The Bruins won’t play for a Western Division I title this year, since some teams in the division are not having seasons this spring.
“Our team is just happy to have games,” Bruce said. “We are not playing our typical league schedule, we only have a handful of boarding school games. But are playing Greenwich High, New Canaan, Wilton, Ridgefield and Darien, which should be fun. We’re proud of our athleticism at each position, that’s one thing we have over most teams.”
Having a sound defense and a consistent goalie, will indeed, aid the Bruins.
“Our defense allows us to play more freely,” Mackesy said. “We are looking forward to getting better every single game.”
Said Waters: “Our defense has to keep the goal production on the other team down and then offensively, keeping our spacing and getting everyone involved will be key to our success. We have a lot of talent, so everyone should be producing. It shouldn’t be one guy scoring.”