Darien tops Wilton for CIAC Class L field hockey title behind Hapgood hat trick

WETHERSFIELD – The Darien field hockey team has been one of the most dominant programs in Connecticut over the years and this season’s version took that dominance to another level.

The Blue Wave entered its Class L championship game on Saturday against Wilton having dominated both ends of the field and outscoring opponents 114-6. The Blue Wave produced 14 shutouts en route to a 22-0 record.

Ryan Hapgood made sure Darien kept that pristine record unbeaten. Hapgood scored three  goals to lead No. 1 Darien to a 4-0 win over No. 2 Wilton at Wethersfield High.

For Darien (23-0), which also won the FCIAC tournament title, the Class L title is its 11th state championship overall.

"After falling short last season, I knew coming into this year we had the talent to have this kind of a special season," Darien coach Mo Minicus said. "We had key players returning and talented players to fill in the holes where we needed. We never talked about our record, we just took it one game at a time.

"All our championship titles are special. This was my most talented team when it comes to depth at every position. Everyone stepped up to today. It's been an amazing season." 

Darien dominated the first half ball possession to take a two goal lead at halftime. Hapgood scored on a spin-around shot at the left post to give Darien a 1-0 lead with 6:44 to go in the first quarter. Hapgood scored her second goal, a tip-in, to give Darien a 2-0 lead with 7:06 to go in the second quarter.

"I have never been on a team like this before, one with so much talent and depth," Hapgood said. "Everyone contributed and someone would always step up to lead us in every game. To win this title and go unbeaten, it's amazing, for all of us.

"I really felt good coming into this game today. This was only my second hat trick of the season. It's a special feeling knowing you contributed."   

Darien’s Raina Johns was awarded a penalty stroke with 9:30 to go in the first quarter. But the shot rolled wide right to keep the game scoreless at the time.

Hapgood converted off a penalty corner to get the hat trick with 3:05 left in the third quarter for a 3-0 Darien lead. Ashley Stockdale made it 4-0 with 8:56 to go in the fourth quarter.

Eva Filipponi had seven saves for the Warriors (18-3-1) and Lindsey Darby had three for the Blue Wave.

"Our girls played hard and gave it everything they had, but Darien was the better team today," Wilton coach Leon Kerr said."We've also been battling some injurers with some of those players just coming back today with little time to prepare. We knew coming into this season we would have a strong team.

"Overall it has been a very good year for us. We had a strong team on offense and defense that scored 100 goals and allowed only 11."

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Hapgood has been working with Minicus on positioning around the goal for better opportunities to score. She was certainly in the right place at the right time in the Class L final, finishing the game with her second hat trick of the season. 


DARIEN 4, WILTON 0

At Wethersfield

Wilton  0 0 0 0 – 0

Darien  1 1 1 1 – 4

Goales: D-Ryan Hapgood 3, Ashley Stockdale

Assists: D-Tori Stockdale, Raina Johns 2, Blake Wilks

Saves: Wilton -Eva Filipponi 7 ; Darien Lindsey Darby 3.