Boys lacrosse: Darien rolls past Warriors in FCIAC semifinals
It isn’t by luck that the Darien Blue Wave boys lacrosse has now won 72 straight games. It’s because they play as one cohesive unit in all facets of the game, no matter who coach Jeff Brameier puts out there.
And the players knows if they don’t get the job done, someone is waiting on the sidelines to take their place, driving them to be at their best.
The Blue Wave were clearly at the top of their game as they broke open a 1-0 lead after one period into a 7-0 lead late in the second quarter, en route to a convincing 17-5 win over Wilton on Wednesday night in the FCIAC semifinals at Brien McMahon High School.
The Darien attack was led by five goals by Logan McGovern, three scores by Brian Minicus, and two goals apiece for Hudson Pokorny and Henri Pfeifle.
Darien will now take on the New Canaan Rams in the FCIAC championship game Friday night, as the Warrior wait for the state playoffs to start.
Wilton’s Chris Sweeney won the game’s opening face-off and the Warriors possessed the ball for about a minute and a half, but couldn’t score.
The Blue Wave’s McGovern got the lone goal of the first quarter with 9:23 left in the period.
The second quarter was a completely different story from a scoring standpoint. Darien reeled off six goals in the span of five minutes for the 7-0 lead. Minicus netted three of the Blue Waves scores, while Blake Sommi, Pokorny, and McGovern each had a goal.
During its second quarter run, Darien dominated the face-off circle, outhustled the Warriors to the ground balls, and dominated possession. And when Wilton did get a chance in the offensive zone, the Blue Wave gave the Warrior attackers hard checks to give up the ball.
“They were clearly more aggressive in picking up the ground balls to keep the offensive pressure on our defense,” said Wilton head coach John Wiseman. “Look, they’re a great team and it showed. They also have great depth and when you make a mistake or get your guard down they make you pay for it. They pushed us when we had the ball and we didn’t push back. We didn’t identify their offensive set quick enough and they made up pay for it.”
The Warriors finally got on the board with 3:55 left until halftime when Dean DiNanno’s shot found the back of the net. Zach Zeyher scored on a transition goal to make the score 7-2 with 1:46 to play in the first half, but Darien tacked on two more goals in the final minute for a 9-2 halftime lead.
Darien outscored the Warriors 4-1 in the third quarter to increase the lead to 13-3. Wilton’s only goal came when defenseman Tyler Previte went coast to coast unmarked for the team’s third goal of the game.
The final quarter saw Darien outscore the Warriors 4-2 for the 17-5 final score. Wilton scored a minute and a half into the fourth quarter when goalie Andrew Calabrese brought the ball up into the offensive zone and found his brother Brian for the score.
Senior Ryan McDermott closed out the scoring for the Warriors with a goal with 6:29 remaining in the contest. McDermott took a pass from DiNanno from behind the net.
“They’re a strong team and have a lot of weapons,” said Wilton senior co-captain Joe Murtha. “We made too many mistakes, didn’t protect or possess the ball like we should have, which was the plan going into the game. We have to regroup and move on to the states.”