Brunswick School

Brunswick lacrosse team edges Darien in OT on Coulter Mackesy’s goal

Coulter Mackesy’s goal in overtime lifted the Brunswick School lacrosse team to a 9-8 victory over host Darien.

After nearly scoring in the final seconds of the fourth quarter with the score tied against Darien, Brunswick School senior Coulter Mackesy made sure he sealed the deal in overtime.

In a game involving two premier high school lacrosse teams in the nation, Brunswick edged Darien before an enthusiastic crowd on a cloudless day and Mackesy, who just missed scoring the game-winner in regulation, provided the drama.

The attackman’s goal 33 seconds into overtime lifted Brunswick to a thrilling 9-8 comeback win over host Darien. The Bruins, who were coming off a loss against Lawrenceville School, their first setback of the season, faced deficits of 4-0, 5-3 and 7-4. But Mackesy gave the Bruins the only lead they needed when he ended the matchup with his overtime goal.

Receiving the ball on the right side, Mackesy sprinted to the left side of the field while being defended, turned the corner to get an angle to shoot and snapped a shot past Darien goalie Andy Demopoulos inside the right post. Then it was celebration time for the Bruins, who needed every ounce of energy and intensity to defeat the formidable Blue Wave.

“It was a fabulous game,” Brunswick coach David Bruce said. “Darien is the measuring stick of Connecticut lacrosse and they have been for a long time. They are a storied powerhouse and we’re lucky that we get to play them. We’re lucky that we have these types of games with them. This game was fantastic and it was exciting. My excitement level would be different if we lost, but my thought process would be the same.”

Mackesy recorded a hat trick, sophomore midfielder Leo Hoffman tallied twice and sophomore midfielder Tomas Delgado had one goal and one assist for the Bruins, who received eight saves from Luke Schlank. Darien, which like Brunswick, is listed among the top-20 teams in several national high school lacrosse polls, was led by Brady Pokorny’s four goals and Jamison Moore’s two tallies.

The game-winning goal by Mackesy occured shortly after his shot hit the post with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the score knotted at 8-8.

“We were originally planning a little pick play, where we were setting picks on the crease and we were cutting down to X and they played it well, so I just popped off the crease and got it,” Mackesy said. “Our second look was trying to set a down pick for me. Tomas was able to set a pick and I was able to sweep across the middle and finish it.”

In the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, Mackesy almost tallied.

“I had a good angle and I thought it hit the inside pipe, but it’s all right, we’re lucky to get the win,” Mackesy said. “They thought it was a save, as the horn just went off. We had a mix of emotions going into the fourth but our coaches helped us keep our composure.”

Luke Schlank had a strong game in goal for Brunswick School in its road victory against Darien on May 1, 2021.

The Bruins (8-1) tied the score at 8-8 when Hoffman tallied with 7:38 left in the fourth quarter. The Blue Wave seized a 4-0 first-quarter lead on a pair of goals from Moore, a senior and one goal apiece from Brady Pokorny, a freshman and senior Finn Pokorny. Brady Pokorny opened the scoring 49 seconds into the first quarter, then Moore tallied 47 seconds later, making it 2-0.

In a pivotal point of the game, the Bruins scored three times late in the opening quarter to cut Darien’s lead to 4-3. Mackey started the scoring and Hoffman had the Bruins’ third goal. Brady Pokorny had the game’s only goal in the second quarter and Darien went into halftime with a 5-3 edge. The Bruins had opportunities to tally during the second quarter, but Demopoulos was up to the challenge. He finished the game with 18 saves.

“That was one of the most fun games that I’ve ever played in,” said Schlank, a junior. “It was a team win and we did a great job of battling back. We didn’t hang our heads in the first half and going into the second half we didn’t hang our heads. Give credit to Demopoulos, he was making great saves on some of the best shooters in the country.”

Senior faceoff man Blake Burchill, junior defender Will Donovan and sophomore Myles Speiss each added one key goal apiece in the second half for the Bruins, whose defenders stepped up throughout.

“Darien is a great team, I give them a lot of credit,” said senior Colin Mulshine, who along with Donovan, and sophomore Charlie Johnson helped pace the team’s defensive effort. Especially on their home field, they always play well, so we knew we had to lock it down. I’m real proud of how the defense played, especially in the second half. The past two days in practice we were all fired up. We came into this game with a lot of intensity, after coming off that loss.”

Said Brunswick senior midfielder Lucas Delgado: “All year we have been looking for that final gear and we hit it in the second half. Give a lot of credit to Darien, they had a great game plan and they played super hard. Their goalie stood on his head. We knew to win this game we had to win faceoffs and be real gritty on ground balls. Luckily, our shots started hitting the back of the net and we came out with the win.”

Brunswick exits the field after edging Darien, 9-8, in a hard-fought matchup in Darien on May 1, 2021.

Brunswick is back in action against another FCIAC school on Monday – Ridgefield.

“This was a nice rebound win after a tough loss Wednesday,” Bruce said. “We won against a really strong team that’s well coached.”

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