Big Dog: Darien’s Logan McGovern joins Bryant lacrosse team

Logan McGovern in action during the Darien Blue Wave’s victory over New Canaan in the CIAC Class L semifinals. Darien defeated the rival Rams three times this season, and hasn’t lost to New Canaan since 2015. — Dave Stewart photo

Logan McGovern was named the 2018 Connecticut Lacrosse Player of the Year while playing a good part of the season on a bad ankle.

Now Bryant College is looking forward to seeing him display his talent the next four years with two good ankles.

The three-time All-American attacker from Darien High School will be continuing his outstanding career at the Division I Rhode Island school after making an early commitment the fall of his sophomore year.

McGovern celebrates with the FCIAC championship plaque after Darien’s 13-12 win over New Canaan in the final. The Wave has won five consecutive conference titles. — Darien Athletic Foundation photo

“I’m very excited to get on campus,” McGovern, who reports on Sept. 1, said this week. “A lot of Blue Wave players have played up there and I want to follow in their footsteps and hopefully make an immediate impact.”

Indeed, the DHS program has sent a number of talented players to Bryant Bulldogs’ head coach Mark Pressler, the former Wilton High School standout who’s regarded as one of the top college coaches in the country.

“Coach Pressler and I go way back,” Darien head coach Jeff Brameier said. “I’ve sent him several players over the years. Kyle Cornell, who just graduated, was a captain and four-year starter. Jameson Love was a four-year starting goalie and a two-year captain and All-American.

“We’ve had others, too, like Will Hamernick, who is up there now and going into his senior year. I think Bryant has had at least five captains from Darien and Coach Pressler is very interested in keeping that pipeline going and having Darien kids and Fairfield Country kids making their mark in his program.”

And the Darien coach has no doubt McGovern will be the latest Blue Wave laxman to make his mark with the Bulldogs.

“Logan has great change of direction, great stick work, he’s a tremendous goal scorer and he has a very high lacrosse IQ,” Brameier said. “He’s a tremendous athlete who worked tremendously hard on his craft. If it wasn’t for his early commitment a lot of other schools would’ve probably jumped on him. Coach Pressler couldn’t be happier that he’s going to Bryant.”

In fact, Pressler, McGovern says, was one of the main reasons why he chose Bryant.

“I really wanted to play for him,” he said. “He’s a great coach and has a great lacrosse mind. You sit in a room with him and you wish you can get on the field right away and start playing for him. You just want to drop everything and follow him into battle.”

Logan McGovern after scoring a goal during the Wave’s one-goal victory over St. Anthony’s this spring. — Dave Stewart photo

McGovern is already familiar with the school. His brother Conor, a Fairfield Prep graduate, went to Bryant and played on the golf team, graduating in 2015. Like his brother, Logan plans to major in business with a focus on finance.

“That’s what my brother studied and he’s doing well now in Manhattan,” the younger McGovern noted.

McGovern capped off his outstanding scholastic career with a big senior year despite suffering a severely sprained right ankle injury in just the seventh game of the season April 19. The injury sidelined him for two weeks, but even when he got back on the field he was never 100 percent.

“That was a shame,” Brameier said “He showed his toughness and battled through and played in the big games, but he was never the same player.”

Even after he returned, McGovern sat out certain games, but played in key contests down the stretch as well as the postseason.

“It (the injury) was a hindrance to my play, but I wanted to be out there with my guys,” he said.

His first game back was exactly two weeks later on May 3 for the Blue Wave’s huge 11-10 win over nationally ranked St. Anthony’s of New York. All McGovern did that day was score three goals and collect a pair of assists.

“I had that game circled on my calendar,” he said. “I worked hard to get back on the field for that game. I have to give Jason Gromelski, my physical therapist, all the credit. I couldn’t walk for two weeks, but he got me back.”

“St. Anthony is one of the top teams in the country and we knew we had to beat them to be ranked in the top tier nationally,” Brameier said. “We probably wouldn’t have beaten them without Logan.”

Three weeks later, McGovern helped Darien win a fifth straight FCIAC championship and reach the Class L state final. But the Blue Wave was denied a fifth straight state title when they were upset by Ridgefield 9-8, ending their 76-game winning streak in the process.

“The ankle injury definitely set me back, but to win the FCIAC again and get to the state finals, it was all worth it. I’ve got all summer to get back,” McGovern said.

But it was not the way Logan McGovern wanted to end his high school career.

“It was a great game and hats off to Ridgefield,” he said. “They executed. We had a great comeback, but we couldn’t finish.”

McGovern did finish his career on somewhat of a high note when he was named Connecticut’s lacrosse play of the year. It was a testament to his talent that he earned the award despite the ankle injury.

“That’s really a team award,” he said. “I couldn’t do it without my team. But what I really wanted was the ultimate prize, being able to hoist that plaque in the shape of Connecticut up over my head.”

He did do that three times in his career and now he’s about to write a new chapter in his lacrosse journey in the state of Rhode Island.

“I want to make it a hard decision for them not to play me my freshman year,” he said. “That’s my goal.”