Field hockey: Darien tops Wilton in FCIAC showdown

Marissa Baker scored a goal in each half, and the Darien defense did the rest as the Blue Wave blanked the Wilton High field hockey team 2-0 on Tuesday in Darien.

Darien remained undefeated at 7-0, while the Warriors suffered their first FCIAC loss and dropped to 5-2 overall.

Wilton had some early chances, with three corners in the first nine minutes. The best chance came on the third corner, when Jillian Mahon’s aerial shot was blocked by Blue Wave goalie Kaeleigh Morrill and Bridget Ward’s shot on the rebound went wide.

The Blue Wave countered with a ball to the right of the cage that was covered by goalie Amanda Hendry, giving Darien a penalty stroke. Baker scorched a shot into the top left corner that Hendry had no chance on, making it 1-0 with 17:38 left in the first half.

The Blue Wave just missed on a great chance to make it 2-0 before halftime, when a deflected shot hit the left post.

Wilton’s best chance to tie the game came with 24:30 left to play, on a penalty corner, as Emma Rosen’s hit from the arc was tipped just wide by Ward.

The game went back and for the rest of the way, with Hendry making several big saves to keep Wilton close. Finally, with 57 seconds left, after Hendry denied Katie Elders on a breakaway, Baker knocked in the rebound for Darien’s second goal.

“It was a well-fought battle. We knew it would be. It’s always fun. We have great respect for each other, the two teams. You just know it’s going to be a battle,” said Darien Head Coach Mo Minicus. “Wilton came out harder than we did. They played a better first half. We had to settle into our own game.”

Minicus said the penalty stroke goal by Baker “allowed us to breath a little bit. From that point it was just back and forth. I think in the second half we did a much better job of working the ball around.”

“It was a great fight. It really showed that Wilton doesn’t give up and we’re going to put up a fight every single time we play,” said Wilton Co-Captain Mahon. “Darien’s a great team, they’re very well coached, and they have great players.

“We’re just going to take this as a learning step. It’s really tough but we don’t give up and we’re just going to fight harder.”

For the game, Wilton had a 7-5 edge in shots on goal, and 5-1 edge in corners.