Field hockey: Warriors fall in FCIAC finals

The Wilton High field hockey team fought to the very end, and beyond, but came up just short in Thursday night’s FCIAC championship game at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk.

Georgia Cassidy’s goal early in the second half held up as the game’s only goal — giving Darien a 1-0 win and the FCIAC crown.

The Warriors (14-5) had several chances the rest of the way to tie the game, including six consecutive penalty corners in the final minutes — two of which came after time had expired.

“We had our opportunities. We had to finish. We had to capitalize. That’s what it came down to,” said Wilton coach Deirdre Hynes. “We knew it was going to come down to pretty much a corner probably happening, and finishing on that.”

“We knew it was going to be a complete battle. We have the utmost respect for Wilton. You knew it was going to be a great game and come down to the wire,” said Darien coach Mo Minicus. “I’m just proud of the defense. They had their backs to the wall. It was a really great team effort today. Everyone stepped up and did the job.”

The Blue Wave (18-1) had the better of the play in the first half, with five corners and five or six shots before Wilton finally got off a shot and earned a corner with five minutes to go in the half.

Amanda Hendry played a great first half in goal for Wilton, and finished the night with seven saves.

“We had great opportunities but their defense is tough. Amanda’s great. And we knew we had to work for every single goal,” said Minicus.

The work paid off just 2:02 into the second half, when Darien broke the scoreless tie on a transition goal, as Cassidy took a pass from the right side and quickly got off a hard shot into the side of the cage.

“That was beyond textbook,” Hynes said of the winning goal. “That’s what they needed in order to beat us.”

Wilton picked up its play on the offensive end the rest of the game, but Darien’s defense was up to the task.

“I’m extremely proud of them. This team from August to now, night and day, especially in terms of their intensity. Blood, sweat and tears — they left it all on the field tonight, and I can’t ask the team for anything more than that,” said Hynes. “They fought so hard for the entire game. I called a time-out with two minutes and said, you gotta believe. And they did.”

Darien finished with an 8-3 edge in shots on goal.