While normally scores in scrimmages are not nearly as important as the opportunity to get some reps against a different squad, both Brunswick and Greenwich definitely wanted the “W” in the matchup of Greenwich, Connecticut-based schools on Tuesday, March 26.
Following a late two-goal charge from Brunswick to tie the contest, Greenwich was able to get the final tally in a back-and-forth overtime as the Cardinals defeated the Bruins 7-6 on a chilly spring afternoon at Greenwich High School.
In Northern regions especially, early season scrimmages and games are played in less-than-ideal weather conditions (read: COLD!). Players are often just as worried about their hands freezing to their sticks as they are about catching and throwing.
However, both teams looked sharp Tuesday given the fact that it was a rather cold, windy afternoon early in the season. While there were some pockets of sloppy play, starting in warm-ups and for the better part of the scrimmage, balls rarely hit the ground and both teams were able to execute well. That is an excellent sign going forward for both schools.
Content note: As this was a scrimmage and not a game, the teams wore pinnies and all scoring information was unofficial there was no visible clock or scoreboard. Similarly, there were no official rosters to identify players. As such, we will speak more generally in this recap, noting general game trends and team observations.
-Greenwich played with an edge out of the gate and went up 1-0 on a nice man-up finish from inside.
-Brunswick settled in nicely after the first marker, and scored consecutive goals to lead 2-1 after the first quarter.
-Greenwich tied the game after a long possession at the start of the second quarter.
-Brunswick cashed in to regain the lead on a possession that began with a man-up opportunity.
-Greenwich then tied the game on a nice look to a cutter who slipped behind the defense to tie the game at 3 at halftime.
-While play was mainly even, Brunswick had the slight edge in the first half. However, the Greenwich defense and goaltender were up to the challenge, and the offense was able to get timely goals to ensure a tie at the intermission.
-The third quarter was a bit sloppy, with the teams trading turnovers throughout.
-Brunswick had the definite edge in play early, but again the Greenwich defense and goaltender played well and withstood the pressure.
-Brunswick did get a man-up goal on an excellent passing play to take a 4-3 lead into the fourth quarter.
-After Greenwich tied the game early in the final stanza, a wild back-and-forth sequence finally ended with a Greenwich goal to give the Cardinals a 5-4 lead.
-Capitalizing on the momentum shift, a nice individual effort gave Greenwich a two-goal cushion at 6-4.
-With the momentum firmly on the Greenwich side, Brunswick gained possession and called a timeout with time winding down to set up their offense. On the ensuing play, they executed well and scored to get within one goal at 6-5.
-Another wild scramble up-and-down the field led to a Brunswick man-up, as Greenwich jumped offside during a riding attempt.
-On the ensuing man-up with about one minute left, Brunswick cashed in on a high and hard outside shot to send the game to overtime tied at 6.
-The coaches decided to play an overtime session though it was a scrimmage.
-Some great back-and-forth action in overtime, with each team having opportunities to net the game-winner.
-Greenwich finally gets the decisive tally on a nice shot from top center that found the cage.
-FINAL: Greenwich 7, Brunswick 6 (OT).
Ten Team Observations
-Moved the ball very well; they were crisp with their passing and the ball moved quickly. Got some great backside looks as a direct result of quick ball movement.
-Most of their offense was initiated through the midfield with alley dodges.
-Dodgers kept their heads up and looked to feed. Had a few great skip passes that taxed the defense and resulted in some solid looks.
-Off-ball cutters did an excellent job following slides and finding opening areas.
-Rode aggressively and forced numerous Greenwich turnovers in the clearing game.
-Very fluid as a unit. They stayed very tight and slid well collectively.
-Reminded me of the way Notre Dame (DI) and Tufts (DIII) play defense very sluffed in with a focus on keeping the offense to the outside.
-Got the ball off the ground very well.
-Excellent in transition. Had numerous fast break opportunities resulting from solid stick work in the middle of the field.
-Goalie play was very good.
-Patient. They moved the ball well and had a few long possessions that seemed to wear down the defense and result in good chances.
-Had a few excellent looks finding players sneaking in behind the defense.
-Seemed to find a rhythm late, with dodgers becoming more aggressive as the scrimmage went on.
-Rode aggressively, forcing some Brunswick turnovers in clearing situations later in the game.
-Faceoff man was a force and was very good all day.
-Goalie was excellent. Very active and made some fantastic saves.
-Defense as a whole was very physical and aggressive.
-Communicated very well and were very audible throughout the scrimmage.
-Have some playmakers with good sticks a few nice pass interceptions/deflections and a few solid stick checks caused Brunswick turnovers.
-Had some difficulty clearing the ball, which is not uncommon in a March scrimmage.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for interviews with Greenwich head coach Scott Bulkley and Brunswick head coach David Bruce.
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