Challenging stretch awaits 8-1 McMahon

The Brien McMahon boys lacrosse team has gotten off to a fast start this season with wins in eight of its first nine contests.

Considering the bulk of talent that returned from last season (13-6 overall, lost in first round of FCIACs to Ridgefield and second round of Class L state tournament to Staples) that’s not necessarily a surprise.

Head coach Mike Epstein has had high hopes for McMahon since the start of the preseason, when he praised, among many things, his team’s character.

“It seems everytime you get on them, they seem to step up instead of step back. That’s a character thing,” Epstein said back in March. “You don’t always know what you’re going to get. Some of our kids last year stepped up, some of our kids stepped back.”

We’re about to learn a lot more about this McMahon team in the next two weeks.

The Senators have a brutal five-game stretch that kicks off on Friday at home against nationally-ranked Darien (8-1, 5-0 FCIAC). It doesn’t get much easier after that as the Senators host Greenwich on Tuesday, then hit the road for games against perennial powers Ridgefield, New Canaan and Staples. The combined record of the Senators’ next five opponents entering play on Thursday: 27-13.

Since its lone loss (10-8 to Glastonbury on April 14), McMahon is riding a four-game win streak, highlighted by an 8-5 triumph over previously unbeaten Simsbury on Wednesday.

If the Senators want to remain among the top tier of teams in the FCIAC, now is the time to show it.