Darien girls lacrosse routs Garden City in tour de force

Darien’s Sarah Jaques (17) controls the ball while Garden City’s Amanda Cerrarto (2) defends during Saturday’s game at Darien High School. — Dave Stewart/Hearst Connecticut Media

DARIEN – Sarah Jaques called it a perfect storm. Ashley Humphrey said it was a total team win. Whatever the description, one thing is certain: The Darien girls lacrosse team’s performance on Saturday was simply dominating.

Led by eight goals from Jaques, the Blue Wave steamrolled over the Garden City Trojans to the tune of 19-4 at Darien High School. Darien had eight players find the net, 11 of the goals were assisted, and the defense was on point to complete the picture.

“As a team, we just really meshed together,” Jaques, a junior, said. “Everyone was really unselfish and looked to move the ball through transition. Everything went really went well. It was a perfect storm for us on offense. We connected on passes, connected on all our shots and and a whole, we were out there to play.”

Garden City won’t argue that.

Wave senior Mason Maloney scored the game’s first goal 36 seconds after the opening draw and Darien held the lead the rest of the way. The Trojans’ deficit was 5-3 with 16:05 to play in the first half, but the Wave outscored Garden City 14-1 the rest of the way, even pitching an 8-0 shutout in the second half.

It was a surprising final margin, as the Darien-Garden City series has typically featured close games. The Wave won on the road last year 15-13, and Garden City won 17-11 during its last visit to Darien in 2017.

“This was a total team win,” Humphrey, a junior, said. “Everyone on the field contributed, we had our freshman goalie Shea Dolce making saves and that turned into offense. From the saves to the goals, everyone contributed, and a lot of the goals were not unassisted. The draw in the second half was huge momentum for us, and we took good care of the ball.”

“They came out of the gate really aggressive and fast,” Darien head coach Lisa Lindley said. “They did everything I asked so I was very happy. They shared the ball. Mason starting us off with the first goal relaxed us a little bit, and Sarah was 8-for-8 (on shots) and she was outstanding. We had some good looks from everyone. I was happy we had a lot of assists and our D did very well.”

Jaques’ eight-goal, two-assist performance was the headliner, but the offense was truly spread out.

Ashley Humphrey had six points on three goals and three assists; senior co-captain Nicole Humphrey had two goals and two assists; Maloney had a goal and three assists; senior co-captain Katie Elders had two goals and an assist; and senior co-captain Shea van den Broek had one goal and one assist. Junior Maddie Joyce and sophomore Nelle Kniffin each had a goal.

The Wave also had a huge game from Dolce, a freshman who has taken over as the starting goalie this spring. She collected eight saves on Saturday.

“Shea Dolce is a freshman and she’s coming in and lighting it up,” Jaques said. “Every single thing she does, she’s amazing at. I coached her on the eighth-grade team last year and she was a beast there, too. Our defense is really stepping up and everything is going well for us.”

“She’s technically very strong and she’s a phenomenal athlete,” Lindley said of Dolce. “She’s going to have a big future here for Darien. For a freshman to start in a big game like this is huge.”

For Garden City (1-2), Caitlin Cook had two goals, Ella Heaney had a goal and an assist, and Sydney Pappas had one goal.

The Blue Wave has several other out-of-state games on its schedule this season, including a road trip to take on Manhasset, the nation’s top-ranked team, on May 2.

Darien obviously passed its first test.

“It’s a challenge, especially this early,” Lindley said. “I was thinking why am I doing this because this could be disastrous, but it forces us to make sure our preseason is very precise and methodical. If we’re not ready for this game, we’re going to get our doors blown off.”

“These games are what we live for,” Ashley Humphrey said. “We love these out-of-conference games because we have nothing to lose. It’s just to play and play against great competition and girls we’re going to see at the next level. It’s a great experience and obviously the result is pleasing too.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Sarah Jaques, Darien. Jaques scored eight goals and had two assists in the Wave’s tour de force. Five of those goals came during the first half, when Darien took control.

QUOTABLE

“They’re very driven. They have amazing team chemistry and frankly, that’s the key to success. I could have all the talent in the world, but if the girls don’t get along, I’m not winning. They all get along and I feel really blessed about this team.” — Darien head coach Lisa Lindley

DARIEN 19, GARDEN CITY 4

Garden City 4 0 – 4

Darien 11 8 – 19

Garden City: Caitlin Cook 2g; Ella Heaney 1g, 1a; Sydney Pappas 1g; Liana McDonnell 1a

Darien: Sarah Jaques 8g, 2a; Ashley Humphrey 3g, 3a; Nicole Humphrey 2g, 2a; Mason Maloney 1g, 3a; Katie Elders 2g, 1a; Shea van den Broek 1g, 1a; Nelle Kniffin 1g; Maddie Joyce 1g; Kit Arrix 1a

Goalies: GC – Emma Graves 8 saves; D – Shea Dolce 8 saves

Records: Darien (2-0); Garden City (1-2)