Bright lights: Darien girls lacrosse tops Staples for fifth win

The Darien girls lacrosse team has stayed true to form to open the 2018 campaign: Five victories in five games and a seamless transition to the new season.

There’s certainly a lot to like about the Blue Wave so far, but head coach Lisa Lindley was quick to answer what has stood out in her mind.

Darien’s Sarah Jaques (17) keeps her eyes on the ball near the Staples’ goal. — Dave Stewart photo

“I like the unselfishness,” Lindley said. “We’ve been sharing the ball a lot and I have nine to 10 players who can score. So, it’s like pick your poison. You shut down one, and another is going to score a lot.”

The Blue Wave’s deep roster and numerous weapons were on full display when Darien rolled to a 19-7 win over the Staples Wreckers in the girls lacrosse team’s first game under the lights at DHS on Friday night.

Darien had points from eight different players, including four multi-goal efforts, used two different goalies, and received a strong overall effort in all facets of the game.

Perhaps most impressive was the way the Blue Wave came out of the gate, as they scored the first eight goals and even sent the game briefly to running time with 9:49 remaining in the first half.

“This team includes a bunch of people we play against in the summer,” senior co-captain Katie Ramsay said. “So it’s obviously a rivalry and we had a lot of energy and motivation to beat them.”

“We have a really big game on Monday against Garden City, and our coach was telling us to be tough, be as tough as you can be,” senior co-captain Emma Jaques said. “We went out and tried to put everything together at the start of the game. It just clicked for us.”

It was certainly a great way for the Wave to celebrate their first game under their home-turf lights, and boosted their records to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the FCIAC heading into Monday’s game at Garden City on Long Island.

Darien senior co-captain Katie Ramsay takes to the air to grab the ball during a draw control. — Dave Stewart photo

Ashley Humphrey and Sarah Jaques each came through with four goals and one assist for Darien, and Ramsay added a hat trick. Nicole Humphrey scored once and dished out three assists; senior co-captain Kendall Wisinski had two goals and one assist; Shea Van den Broek scored two goals; senior co-captain Christine Fiore had one goal and one assist; and Emma Jaques scored once.

Goalies Kennison Harmon and Maggie Brooks each played one half in the net and made three saves apiece.

For the Wreckers, Christine Taylor had a hat trick, and Emma Ashe and Ellen Fair had two goals apiece.

Staples, with a fine performance from goalie Alexa Moro, made a run mid-game, but Darien had the decision well in hand. Moro finished with 10 saves, many of the acrobatic variety, and provided a great challenge for the Wave attack.

“It was a really good test for Monday and in general,” Jaques said. “You want to play against a goalie like that because she makes you so much better.”

“She really makes you take the time to throw in a fake and see what she’s giving you, and that’s going to help us with the rest of our season,” Ramsay said. “We’re going to be facing good goalies like here the whole time, and we need to get practice against that.”

Darien came out flying and, following goals by Ashley Humphrey and Ramsay just 27 seconds apart, had an 8-0 lead 8:44 seconds into the game.

“They were just ready play,” Lindley said. “I kept telling them they needed to focus and I think they were excited because of the lights and the first night game. They came out on fire. We moved the ball really well in the midfield and we were shooting well.”

Taylor put the Wreckers on the board with 15:04 remaining in the half, but the Wave responded with three more tallies from Nicole Humphrey, Ashley Humphrey, and Sarah Jaques to make it an 11-1 game.

The Wreckers, however, went on a 4-1 run to close the first half, and then scored two of the first three goals in the second half to close the gap to 13-7 with 14:58 remaining in the game.

The play of Moro in the net was the main catalyst for Staples, as Darien was getting looks during that span.

“Alexa made some incredible save, so credit to her,” Lindley said. “Staples settled in and they played us even the rest of the way. It’s much better playing against teams like that than rolling over people.”

As the time ticked down, Darien ended the scoring drought and netted six goals in the final 5:58. Sarah Jaques started that run with an unassisted goal, Van den Broek followed with a goal 58 seconds later, and the Wave ended the game on a run.

Darien 19, Staples 7

Friday, April 13, at Darien HS

Staples 5-2 7

Darien 12-7 19

Staples: Christine Taylor 3g; Emma Ashe 2g; Ellen Fair 2g

Darien: Ashley Humphrey 4g, 1a; Sarah Jaques 4g, 1a; Nicole Humphrey 1g, 3a; Katie Ramsay 3g; Kendall Wisinski 2g, 1a; Shea Van den Broek 2g; Christine Fiore 1g, 1a; Emma Jaques 1g

Goalies

S – Alexa Moro 10 saves

D – Kennison Harmon 3 saves, and Maggie Brooks 3 saves

Darien’s Nicole Humphrey (1) goes against the Staples’ defense during the Wave’s Friday night victory. — Dave Stewart photo

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