Darien tops Warde in Class L Girls Lacrosse final

MILFORD — The top-seeded Darien girls’ lacrosse team continued its reign of supremacy, winning the Class L Tournament championship for the fourth consecutive season with a 12-5 victory over sixth-seeded Fairfield Warde on June 11 at Jonathan Law High School.

How’s this for leaving a legacy? Each of the 10 seniors on the Darien squad has been a part of four state and FCIAC title-winning teams.

Senior attack Susannah Ropp scored a team-high four goals, while junior midfielder Laura Murphy recorded a hat trick for the Blue Wave, who entered halftime with a 9-2 lead. Kirby and Kaeleigh Morrill scored two goals apiece for Darien (21-1-1).

The Mustangs, who made their first appearance in the state championship game, were paced by sophomore midfielder Libby McKenna’s four goals. Olivia Seymour scored the other Warde goal.

“We really wanted to upset Darien and we were all working hard to be the team that beat the big team,” McKenna said. “We tried our hardest, but it didn’t work out that way. This is a young team and we feel we can make it to the finals again next year and the year after that. It’s a process.”

The four-time defending state champions capped the season by winning their last 13 games and were unbeaten against Connecticut competition.

Murphy scored the game’s first goal, scoring off a pass from behind the net by junior Anna Stein 3:08 into the opening half. Cutting to the goal, Ropp snapped a shot from close in past Warde senior goalie Rebekah Snitkoff (who made seven saves) making it 2-0 at the 21:17 mark of the first half.

McKenna went low with her shot with 20:23 left to go in the first half, bringing the Mustangs to within 2-1. But after Darien won the ensuing draw, Kirby tallied in transition, putting the top-seeded team in front, 3-1, with 20:02 to play in the opening half. McKenna cut Darien’s lead to 3-2, going top shelf with a shot from 10 yards out with 18:32 remaining in the first half. However, the Blue Wave seized the momentum the rest of the half, going on a 6-0 run to open a comfortable 9-2 advantage.

“They picked apart our defense in the first half, but the second half we changed a few things,” Mustangs coach Tom Davis said. “We were able to come through and stop them, so they had to go to something else. It was a chess match the whole way.”

McKenna scored off a spin move and Seymour tallied on an 8-meter shot, slicing Darien’s edge to 9-4 seven minutes into the second half. But that was as close as the Mustangs got.

“It was a great game, our kids never quit throughout the whole game,” Davis said. “I’m excited to be here and though I’m disappointed we didn’t win this was a big step forward for our program.”

Davis believes the experience will help his squad.

“Our program has a lot of pride and this gives us some more pride and motivation,” he said.