Darien lacrosse rolls past Warde
Updated 10:03 pm, Tuesday, April 18, 2017
FAIRFIELD — About a week ago, after watching his team play their hearts out from the opening faceoff until the final whistle and still lose by a whopping 18 goals, Ludlowe boys lacrosse coach Chris Parisi could only say this about his opponent that night, Darien.
“They’re a good Division I college team.”
Bold words to describe a high school squad, but no truer words were likely spoken. Over the last three seasons, the Blue Wave have captured three straight state titles, three straight FCIAC championships and have posted a 66-3 overall record.
So far this season, Darien is (what else?) undefeated at 6-0 and have now outscored its opposition 107-31. On Tuesday, it was Warde’s turn to challenge the mighty Blue Wave and, despite a stellar effort all around, the Mustangs came up on the short end of a 18-4 score at Tetreau-Davis Field.
“They are a very, very talented group,” Warde coach Tom Cunningham said. “Well coached, very deep. They have tons of guys that can play.”
One of those is senior attack Kevin Lindley, who scored five goals and added an assist to lead the Blue Wave. Junior attack Logan McGovern added three goals and two assists while Ethan Dewbrey contributed three goals for Darien.
It didn’t take Darien long to establish itself as Lindley stole a pass from in front of the goal and beat Mustangs goalkeeper Ted Coppola just 27 seconds into the match. Barely a minute later, it was McGovern scoring and Darien was off and running, racing away to a 9-0 first quarter lead.
Key in that opening surge was the faceoff play of sophomore Tanner Strub, who won all 10 faceoffs in the first quarter, allowing Darien to control the possession and the momentum.
“It’s a good part of our game,” Darien coach Jeff Brameier said. “If you can’t win faceoffs, then you’re stuck playing defense. We’ve been on that other side of the fence, trying to figure out how to get the ball back. Strub has been doing a nice job for us.”
Five more goals in the second quarter pushed the Darien margin to 13-1 at halftime. When you consider that Coppola made 13 saves in the opening half — many of them spectacular — the score could have been a lot worse.
“Teddy’s really had some solid games for us,” Cunningham said. “He’s kept us in some games and he made some great saves against some top-notch shooting. He looked great in the cage.”
Darien kept the pressure on in the third quarter, scoring three more times to make it 16-2 and, with a running clock in the fourth quarter, coasted to the victory.
“We’re a junior-senior group,” Brameier said. “We know they’re (Warde) a fairly young team. They’ve got some good, young kids and they’re going to get good. It just takes time.”
Over the past 20 years, Darien lacrosse has been like a dynasty. The Wave have won 12 state championships and 15 FCIAC crowns. Brameier has built this program from the ground up. And that’s what Cunningham is trying to do at Warde, making sure his players play hard, but also have fun.
His senior captain, Gareth Gacetta, had a lot of fun, scoring all four Warde goals, three in the second half, doing his part to make sure the Mustangs never quit.
“That’s what I preached to Gareth, a senior captain, go out there and have some fun playing the game,” Cunningham. “Obviously, he had a great game in the second half and that’s what we want these guys to do, go out and compete.”
DARIEN 18, WARDE 4
DARIEN 9 4 3 2—18
WARDE 0 1 1 2—4
Records: Darien 6-0, 3-0 FCIAC; Warde 1-4, 0-3. Goals: D—Kevin Lindley 5, Logan McGovern 3, Finaly Collins, Riley Stewart 2, Matt Meyjes 2, Ethan Dewbrey 3, Ryan Quinn, Henri Pfeifle; W — Gareth Gacetta 4. Assists: D — Lindley, McGovern 2, Jack Joyce, Collins, Arden Cohen, Dewbrey, Pfeifle, Charlie Christensen. Goalies: D—Ryan Cornell (1 save); W—Ted Coppola (16); Chris Gonzalez (3 )