Brunswick School

Brunswick lacrosse team upends Avon Old Farms in its final game of the season

Photo by David Fierro: Brunswick senior Coulter Mackesy, right, looks to pass the ball against Avon Old Farms School.

Though Brunswick School’s graduation took place on Wednesday, a group of seniors returned to Robert L. Cosby Field on Saturday for another significant event.

Saturday’s lacrosse game against visiting Avon Old Farms School marked the final game of the season for the Bruins and the last matchup in the careers of the team’s large group of seniors.

Inspired by their upperclassmen, Brunswick capped its 2021 campaign in impressive fashion, registering a convincing 16-8 victory against Avon Old Farms at hot and humid Cosby Field. The win capped an ultra-impressive 14-3 season for the nationally-ranked Bruins.

“These seniors were unbelievably dedicated to the team, the program and each other,” Brunswick coach David Bruce said. “It was a really tight group and a special season. We didn’t have anything last year, we didn’t know if we were going to have anything this year and we ended up having 17 games and a great atmosphere at the end.”

In Saturday’s triumph against the Winged Beavers, their second victory against Avon in as many days, the Bruins received four goals from senior attack Tommy Quinson and two tallies apiece from senior midfielder Luke Waters, sophomore midfielder Tomas Delgado and senior attackman Coulter Mackesy.

Photo by David Fierro: Brunswick’s Lucas Delgado, left and Coulter Mackesy try to get a ground ball against Avon Old Farms.

“It’s pretty weird this year, because we played after graduation, which we normally don’t do,” said Mackesy, who is headed to Princeton, where he will play lacrosse. “So I guess we were more relaxed. It was fun playing like that. We were getting the seniors some reps and sharing the ball.”

The Bruins scored a 12-9 win at Avon on Friday.

“These past two games, we weren’t really worried about rankings and stuff, it was just about having fun the last two games,” said Mackesy, who served as one of the Bruins’ four senior captains.

Brunswick scored one goal in the first quarter, erupted for eight second-quarter goals, scored once in third quarter and tallied six times in the final quarter. Quinson scored Brunswick’s first-quarter goal at the 9:02 mark, giving the team a 1-0 edge. Avon (6-9) had a long opening possession, as they passed the ball around the perimeter looking for a open shot on goal. But Brunswick defenders – senior Colin Mulshine, junior Charlie Johnson and senior Mario Rinaldi held Avon off the scoreboard.

The visitors tied the score at 1-1 when junior midfielder Jonathan Oris tallied off a dodge with 15.9 seconds remaining in the first quarter. However, the Bruins didn’t waste any time in taking the lead in the second quarter. After senior midfielder Blake Burchill won the faceoff for the Bruins, Mackesy scored in transiton 12 seconds into the second quarter, making it 2-1.

Sophomore midfielder Leo Hoffman scored off a strong run to the goal at the 11:16 mark and Tomas Delgado converted a shot from the right side, putting the home team on top, 4-1, with 9:15 to go in the second quarter. Charging the goal, junior attack Chris Gaine put a shot past Avon sophomore goalie Benjamin Johnson, then Tomas Delgado tallied after Burchill won another faceoff, widening the Bruins’ advantage to 7-1. Lucas Delgado and Mackesy added late second-quarter goals.

Photo by David Fierro: Brunswick’s Owen Guest, right, pursues an Avon attackman on May 22, 2021 at Brunswick.

Leading 9-2 at halftime, Brunswick received a pair of second-half goals from Waters and one goal apiece from senior Keegan Gilsenan, freshman Payton Anderson and Mulshine, a captain. Mulshine’s goal in which he sprinted down field and deposited a low shot inside the left post, drew a huge cheer from the Bruins’ bench.

“I think that was the first and only goal of my career, so it was a good time for me to do it,” said the Princeton-bound Mulshine, who as a defender, didn’t have many scoring opportunities come his way. “Being a part of this program was so amazing. I had such a great time and the team had such good chemistry. I can’t thank the program enough.”

Junior goalie Luke Schlank turned in another strong performance for the Bruins, who were paced defensively by Mulshine, Johnson and Rinaldi. Brunswick’s three losses on the season were by a combined five goals. They lost one-goal games to Lawrenceville School and Deerfield Academy and were defeated by Malvern Prep, 12-9.

“It was a very successful season,” said Waters, who also served as a senior captain. “We lost a couple of games there, but it’s like if one bounce goes our way, the outcome changes.”

Waters, who will play at Duke, reflected on his enjoyable time on the team.

“Freshman year and sophomore year I was trying to find my bearings,” he said. “Coming into this team, you go from playing okay competition to going up against the best guys around in practice. We lost junior year, so to have a senior year like this and to get on the field as a captain felt really good.”

Photo by David Fierro: Brunswick posted a 16-8 victory against visiting Avon Old Farms School on May 22, 2021.

Said Lucas Delgado, also a captain: “I love this team, it has been an extremely special four years and I’m happy we got to end it with two wins against Avon. We had the hardest possible season this year and we played one of the toughest schedules in the country.”

Indeed, Bruce won’t forget his 2021 squad, especially his seniors.

“They always came to practice ready to improve,” Bruce said. “They are all students of the game and they really wanted to get better for the team and for themselves. It was a great senior group. I am proud of them for the sacrifices they made to make the beginning of the season happen.”

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