The Greenwich High School-Brunswick School lacrosse matchup was one of the games I always looked forward to covering each spring. Though the Bruins and Cardinals won’t meet in the regular season this spring for the second straight year, they renewed their rivalry in a way Wednesday, as they faced each other in a scrimmage at Cosby Memorial Field.
The Bruins entered the game a seasoned, experienced team poised for another winning season, and it showed. Greenwich, meanwhile, went into the showdown as a young, inexperienced team, and well, it showed.
Controlling possession for the majority of the first half, the Bruins seized a commanding 10-0 halftime lead and coasted to a convincing 12-2 victory. Brunswick head coach David Bruce had plenty to pleased after watching his Bruins crispy move the ball and execute their settled offense throughout.
“I thought our guys played very well,” Bruce said. “There was good movement on offense and I thought we were great on the defensive end. Greenwich is always tough. They’re a crosstown rival, so our guys were very excited to play them.”
Billy Heidt, Cam Stafford, Blake Booker and Trey Camissa scored two goals apiece for Brunswick, which led 6-0 after the first quarter. Nick Bartlett set up fellow attackman Heidt for the game’s first goal 29 seconds into the first quarter and Stafford scored in transition 2:18 later, putting the Bruins quickly ahead, 2-0.
“Having Billy and Nick on attack creating is great,” Bruce said. “We also have a great core of athletic middies.”
Hit hard by graduation, Greenwich has only a handful of players that saw significant minutes last season. Cardinals coach Scott Bulkley knows his young team is a work in progress, and realizes Wednesday’s experience was important for his players.
“It’s important for them to understand that this is the level of play they have to reach,” Bulkley said. “They got a little skiddish because for a lot of them this was their first time facing this type of competition. When you get skiddish you start questioning yourself and you make mistakes. That’s exactly what happened.”
Bulkley and the Cardinals took solace in the fact that they fared better on defense in the second half, yielding two goals.
“We made some adjustments and we started communicating better,” Bulkley said. “I told the team I don’t care what about the score, I just want to see you execute better and be more consistent.”
Bartlett, Curt Townshend and Charlie Castine each added single goals for the Bruins, who split their first two games of the season on their Florida trip. Their first New England game is Saturday against host Deerfield School, one of the premier teams in the region.
“We always have high expectations and being among the top four teams in New England is always one of our goals,” Bruce said. “We can accomplish that if we remain consistent throughout the season.”
Greenwich, which received goals from Alex Moeser and Kevin Davis, opens its season Wednesday at Ridgefield. Bulkley left the scrimmaged highly impressed with what he saw from Brunswick.
“That’s a seasoned team right there,” he said. “You could see that they have played together a lot. You could see the difference with guys who have played two to three years with each other and guys who have been together just eight days.”
Brunswick’s season preview is scheduled to appear in Saturday’s Greenwich Time and Greenwich’s 2012 preview is slated to run on Wed., April 4.