Darien boys lax team crushes Wilton, 17-3

Living up to its top-five national ranking, the Darien High boys lacrosse team routed Wilton, 17-3, on Saturday in Darien.

The Warriors couldn’t stop the potent Darien attack, which was led by Kevin Lindley (seven goals) and Jack Kniffin (four goals).

Wilton (4-3) did keep Darien (7-0) off the scoreboard for nearly the first seven minutes of the game. Freshman goalie Andrew Calabrese came up with two big saves during that period to hold the hosts scoreless.

The Warriors took a 1-0 lead with 5:42 to play in the first quarter when co-captain Harrison Bardwell found freshman Connor Drake open for the score. But that goal seemed to wake up Darien, which answered with Lindley’s first goal just 29 seconds later.

Darien then found the back of the net three more times in the final two minutes of the opening quarter to go ahead, 4-1. Kniffin had two of those tallies, including a transition goal with 8.9 seconds left in the period.

In the second quarter, the Blue Wave again outscored Wilton, 4-1, to take an 8-2 lead into halftime. Lindley netted three goals in the period for the Blue Wave, while Brian Calabrese had the only goal for Wilton.

Darien kept its foot on the gas with five more goals in the third quarter, including three from Lindley. Kieran McGovern had the lone goal for the Warriors, who trailed 13-3 through three periods.

The Blue Wave then added four goals in the final 12 minutes while keeping Wilton scoreless.

"They’re a great team," said Wilton head coach John Wiseman about Darien. "That’s why they’re highly ranked in the country. We clearly didn’t match their intensity level, and we put our heads down when we fell behind. We played zone defense and that worked for a while, and when they figured it out we switched to man-to-man. We won the face-off battle, but gave it [possession] away too many times; you can’t make those kinds of mistakes and expect to win."

Notes: Two of Darien's goals came on man-advantage situations.

R.J. Romeo won 14-of-20 face-offs for the Warriors, but the visitors couldn't cash in on those draw victories.

The Warriors committed 19 turnovers, some of which were unforced due to bad passes.

Wilton's Peter Koch had a goal waved off, for being in the crease, during the second quarter.