GREENWICH — Loomis Chaffee School scored 12 goals while winning its first two games of the season, but found itself embroiled in a tie against Brunswick School after tallying once in the opening half.
Then the second half began.
The visiting Pelicans couldn’t be denied during the final 45 minutes of play, recording four unanswered goals en route to registering a decisive 5-1 victory over Brunswick in a NEPSAC matchup.
Junior forward Michael Suski showcased his finishing skills, recording a hat trick for the 3-0 Pelicans, who have outscored the opposition 17-2 so far this season. Brunswick (0-2-1), which was coming off a 2-0 road loss to Taft School, received a goal from sophomore defender Henry Foster.
“Once we got into our stride toward the end of the first half we played better and started to do some good things,” Bruins first-year coach Danny Simpson said. “I think our guys were a little anxious in who they played today. They had seen in previous games that Loomis had scored 12 goals.”
Suski scored the game’s first goal in the 10th minute. Controlling a pass from senior midfielder Jack Rosenberg deep in the box, an open Suski knocked a short shot past Bruins goalie Harry Barringer, making it 1-0.
Brunswick knotted the score at 1-1 with 11 minutes remaining in the opening half. After Loomis failed to clear a corner kick, senior midfielder Nick Boardman sent a cross pass to Foster, who used his left foot to finish and score from approximately five yards out.
The home team entered halftime tied at 1-1 courtesy of junior goalie Harry Barringer. His impressive save off a Loomis Chaffee corner kick in the waning seconds of the half kept the score deadlocked.
“Harry made some fantastic saves,” Simpson said. “He helped keep us in the game.”
The visitors methodically gained momentum during the second half. Suski broke away from the defense and converted a shot on the run from the left side in the 48th minute, putting the Pelicans ahead for good at 2-1. He has a team-best 10 goals in Loomis’ first three matches.
“He’s a dangerous player,” Loomis Chaffee coach Tim Helfrich said of Suski. “He was our leading scorer last season as a sophomore. He loves drawing defenders and he has great instincts around the goal. If he has an open shot he will finish it.”
Said Simpson: “We broke down in the passing game a little bit and that presented him with some chances.”
The Bruins fell behind 3-1 with 36:22 to go in the second half. This time, junior forward Alhasan Barrie converted a cross from Rosenberg for Loomis Chafee’s third goal.
“Their keeper made some great saves to keep them in the game and we were a little sluggish in the first half,” Helfrich said. “Our guys knew we needed to come out with more energy in the second half. If we keep the ball enough we tend to tire teams out with ball movement.”
Barringer made eight saves for Brunswick, before giving way to teammate Eric Meindl in goal late in the second half. Meindl stopped four shots.
“They were moving the ball really quickly and getting guys between our defenders,” said Boardman, a co-captain. “They moved the ball better than a lot of teams we’ve seen so far. We have to get past this game. We have to come out Saturday and just lock it down.”
Brunswick visits Deerfield Academy Saturday at 3 p.m.
Suski completed his three goal game by talling in the 65th minute and Alexander Clarke added a goal in the 88th minute for Loomis.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Suski registered three goals and one assist to propel the Pelicans. He helped Loomis keep possession a good portion of the second half.
Loomis Chaffee sophomore goalie James Fite made seven saves in the win.
“There are some areas we need to work on, like possessing the ball a little more,” Simpson said. “That comes with repetition and training.”
LOOMIS CHAFFEE 5, BRUNSWICK 1
LOOMIS CHAFFEE 1 4 — 5
BRUNSWICK 1 0 — 1
Records: Loomis Chaffee 3-0; Brunswick 0-2-1. Goals: LC — Michael Suski 3, Alhasan Barrie, Alexander Clarke; B — Henry Foster; Assists: LC — Jack Rosenberg 3, Suski; B — Nick Boardman; Goalies: LC — James Fite (7 saves); B — Harry Barringer (8 saves), Eric Meindl (4 saves).