Updated 12:53 — Darien had big expectations from up and down its roster going into the season.
And up popped two likely new goal-getters in underclassmen Mollie Riegel and Erika Osherow as the Wave blanked rival New Canaan 4-0 in the season opener at Dunning on Wednesday.
The pair scored two apiece.
“It was a nice first win,” said Darien coach Mo Minicus. “It was exciting to open up against New Canaan. It was good to see what we have.”
And what they’ve got is a lot.
Opening up a 3-0 lead in the first half, Darien (1-0) blitzed the net outshooting the 0-1 hosts 16-0.
Riegel added an assist and Kat Huber, Claire Culliton and Lexie Perticone had a helper apiece.
Danica Hornick held tight for the shutout in goal.
“They were really ready from the first whistle,” Minicus said. “Which is what I want.”
The forwards put on the pressure and it rippled up and down the field.
“It made a huge difference,” said Minicus. “The mid’s and the defense just stepped up.
“And we connected.”
Darien clicked on the corners.
“The first half was just awesome — the first goal was scored off of a corner,” said Minicus. “Hit up to the top to Kat (Huber).”
Huber swept it down to the goalmouth and Culliton got a stick on it.
Darien swarmed and Riegel made it 1-0 from in front.
“That’s sort of what we’re looking for,” Minicus said. “Let’s just finish it.”
Scrambling and scrappy down low, sparking goals off corners, should be Darien’s signature this year.
“Just get it in,” Minicus added.
Riegel ignited the play she scored on with the corner insertion as well.
Darien’s second goal began with a bust up in the Wave end, then the transition back to goal.
“Getting the ball up to midfield at about the 50 yard line, to Claire Culliton,” said Minicus. “It was a 3-on-2 break.”
Culliton found herself 1-on-1 and she made the move, pulling to her right and dished off to Lexie Perticone.
“She was blasting down the right sideline,” Minicus said.
Perticone crossed the ball to Osherow breaking in tight.
“A wide open cage, she just swept it in — it was beautiful,” said Minicus.
Darien made some changes, even ahead by two.
“The last 30 seconds of the half, we had the ball in the circle, and the girls were saying, ‘get a corner, get a corner,” Minicus said. “And Kyla Johns was battling it out with another defender.”
She stayed low.
“And stayed strong, and forced a corner,” said the coach.
There was no time on the clock. But it was not time to clock out.
“You play the corner out. And Hollis inserted in to Erica, who, just smashed the ball in the cage.”
And that smashed the Rams.
“So it was a matter of going into the second half 2-0, or 3-0. It was just really a great way to start the season.”