In the end, Darien had to jump through a hoop of fire, feeling Wilton’s hot breath on its neck.
But that’s just the way the Wave likes it.
There’s no better experience than this team.
— Laura Murphy
“We love playing in games like that, it’s not fun playing in a game where we’re going up by 15, 16,” said junior Christine Fiore following Darien’s 13-10 victory over the Warriors for its fifth straight state crown at Jonathan Law in Milford on Saturday. “Good job for Wilton putting up a fight against us. But we played as a team, and that’s what really counted.”
Darien led 10-4 at the half, but Wilton didn’t read it as a signal for over and out.
Depth was the armor that ground the Warriors’ rally down.
“The team is so deep, that what ever age that you are, you can fully contribute to the team,” said junior Katie Ramsay. “We have Ashley Humphrey, freshman, who was even face-guarded today.”
Ashley Humphrey had a hat trick and set up a goal. Coming over from Greens Farms Academy with sister Nicole this season, they’ve given Darien a present and future double-stick of dynamite up front.
“And our bench also, was going wild,” said Ashley Humphrey. “So I had four other freshmen teammates behind me. And that really pushed me forward.”
Fiore had a hat trick, Katie Ramsay scored two goals, Emma Jaques had two goals and two assists, Kendall Wisinski scored and set up a goal, Nicole Humphrey scored, Anna Stein had two assists, Maddie Joyce scored one goal.
Starter in goal senior Carly Schoudel made five saves and Maggie Brooks came on early in the second half, making three stops when Darien needed a change of momentum.
“It’s something to say, to be able to play with these girls since, kindergarten,” said Wave senior captain Emma Lesko. “So it’s special to end it on a high note with two championships.”
Darien ends the season at 20-3, Wilton at 13-7.
Paige Brown made seven saves in goal for Wilton, sharing duties with Bridgette Wall who made five stops in the second half.
Julia Bonnist and Rebecca Wistreich led the Warriors with four goals each.
It was not a forlorn senior captain Laura Murphy who ended her might-have-been senior season, with Darien missing its top scorer as well as Murphy missing so much more. She was wistful instead.
“I loved it,” said Murphy, who sat out essentially the entire season with injury. “There’s no better experience than this team. And even though I didn’t have the senior season I’d imagined, it was still worth it. I love all the girls.”