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Clutch Cassidy and the sudden-death kids

Wave freshman top-scorer scores to force overtime, wins it in double-OT in FCIAC semis

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SAVE THE TIGER — Wave ninth grader and top scorer Georgia Cassidy moves in for the kill in double OT. (Photo courtesy of Darien Athletic Foundation)

GIRLS WAVE HOCKEY

Freshman Georgia Cassidy plays on instincts.

“I felt a goal, so I went all the way,” said Cassidy of her long rush to the Tigers’ cage, that ended in a short breakaway and double-overtime tally, lifting girls Wave Hockey to a 2-1 victory over Ridgefield in the FCIAC semifinals at DIR on Wednesday night.

I can’t stress enough how happy I was with the girls fighting and battling the way they did.

— Jamie Tropsa

“I was jumping — I was like high-knees on the ice,” said Darien senior captain defenseman Lily Christensen. “It was like I had toe-pegs like a figure skater — it was amazing, the greatest feeling.”

Cassidy scored unassisted, twice, tying it 1-1 with 16.5 left on the clock in the third period to force overtime, and then striking again for the winner with 3:55 remaining in the second 8:00 overtime period.

“Georgia’s a special kid,” Wave coach Jamie Tropsa said. “She’s a hell of a hockey player and we are looking for big things from her. Just such a great, great kid too; and works so hard.

“Every day it’s just tremendous to see.”

Meredith Keenan made it 1-0 for Ridgefield with 8.3 seconds to go in the second period. Anna Marcus had the assist.

From there, Darien was marching uphill.

“First goal, I was feeling kind of tired so I thought we would get a whistle,” Cassidy said. “So I went around the net and stuffed it and it happened to go in.”

She went for a wraparound on the right side.

“It changed the momentum of the game,” said Ellie Bennett.

And Cassidy wrapped it up in OT charging in from the blue line, cutting left right in front and beating Heather Ogden, who went down kicking out the right pad.

“Our locker room was going crazy, everyone was screaming,” said Christensen of the aftermath. “This is a dream come true making it to the championship. And everyone’s realizing that through double-overtime, which is killer.”

Wave goalie Shannon Hall made 13 saves, two in each overtime period.

And Ogden was excellent.

She made 27 saves, three in the first overtime and one in the second extra stanza.

“It’s hard when you have a team that puts everything out on the ice, all the time,” said Bennett. “Ridgefield played a great defensive game, and I think it was just us looking deep down and managing to pull out two goals late in the game.”

“It’s amazing, it’s so great,” said Christensen. “Last year we didn’t make it into the final. And this year we are. And all I want to do is play New Canaan one more time. I’m excited to play them again, I’m excited to beat them.”

Second seed Darien (11-2-1 FCIAC) will face top seed New Canaan (15-0) Saturday time TBA at Terry Conners in Stamford for the title.

Third seed Ridgefield bows out at 9-5-1.

“It was a tough game, we were playing two lines and three D at times,” said Christensen. “We kept our heads up. We went hard. That’s all you ask for, that’s all you can do.”

“It was a great game, I’m really proud of our girls,” added Tropsa. “We never quit.”

Right up until Cassidy scored, the ‘O’ in Ogden’s name had all but turned into a 0.

“When you’re in a battle like that, one little bounce one way and you’re in trouble,” Tropsa said. “But I can’t stress enough how happy I was with the girls fighting and battling the way they did.”

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Darien Times Sports Editor since 2000

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