You might think Darien was through with counting — its blessings, or counting anything at all — after the halt to its half-decade of constant additions to FCIAC and state titles, and consecutive games won, last fall.
But it is not.
There are just too many new and returning blessings for Wave field hockey to ignore.
“I think the theme this year is just, strength in numbers,” said Darien coach Mo Minicus, who loses four starters in this her 13th year. “We have a lot of depth. A lot of solid players.”
It showed immediately in preseason.
“We played Rye High and I rotated everybody,” Minicus said. “Everybody played.”
Big numbers and solid in skill is DHS 2012, back as a contender to pick up where it left off in 2010.
“I think it’s a combination — success breeds success,” said Minicus.
Captains are offensive midfielder Kat Huber and Lexi Perticone, a forward.
“And they are both looking great,” said Minicus.
Hollis Perticone is at midfield, and a potential potent scoring catalyst.
“She sets the ball up really well,” said Minicus. “She’s got excellent hand-eye coordination.”
Rising sophomore Erica Osherow, up from jv, looks strong with skills sharpening — she could be on corners lots this season, giving Darien a 1-2 punch with Huber.
Seniors include forward Sam Wright, Maggie Wells at midfield, forward Paxton Voigt back from knee injury her sophomore off-season, Lydia Ruhlin, Mara Donoghue, former forward Cammie Lattimer at defense.
Junior Jackie Brokaw has impressed as well in preseason, Sloane Bessey returns as a solid midfielder.
Claire Culliton and Libby Feingold return for depth at forward.
Kyla Johns is a sophomore expected to play and Mollie Riegel should surprise many an attacker approaching the Wave net this fall.
In goal, there’s experience with junior Danica Hornick.
And then there is the high charge in the depth provided in bulk by Hornick, Osherow, Johns, Brokaw, Bessey, plus Kelsey Bumgardner, Allie Parsley, Katie Shanahan, Cassidy Stauffer and Eliza Wisinski — all good people ready to step in.
Go-to defensemen include Brokaw, Riegel, Lattimer.
Said Minicus: “We have so much depth at forward.. But I would say, Lexi, Hollis, Erica…”
There will be more.
And Darien has a, go-go midfielder, in fireball Huber.
The Wave was 19-2 last year after graduating 13 and returning only one.
That winning 19 was a disappointment is a testament to just how tremendous a run the program’s had.
“It really was a successful season,” said Minicus. “Just given our history — it was unfortunate that (people) thought it was a disappointing season.”
The Wave lost to Staples 1-0 in the FCIAC semis in 2011, and fell to Wilton in overtime at semis in states.
“We have the talent, we just need to get the chemistry,” said Minicus. “That takes time.”
Time, between the end to the massive championship trophy harvest last fall, and now, gives everyone a fresh start.
“And I think the girls are excited too,” added Minicus. “In a way, the way last year’s season ended, these girls come into the season with a sense of relief.
“There’s no pressure keeping up the titles, or the game-winning streak.”
A fresh start means needed fresh air.
“These girls can breathe a little bit.”