Fairfield Warde falls to Darien in FCIAC field hockey final
By Rich DePreta
NORWALK — The constant concern for high school coaches is finding the proper avenues to motivate their teams to achieve success. But motivation takes care of itself for the Darien field hockey program.
“We simply didn’t want to be the first Darien field hockey team to lose,” explained Ellie Riegal, one of Darien’s tri-captains as well as one of 13 seniors on the Blue Wave roster. “We wanted the 4-peat.”
And four consecutive FCIAC field hockey championships are firmly in Darien’s possession as the Blue Wave defeated Fairfield Warde 4-0 Thursday at McMahon, adding the 2010 FCIAC crown to its vast collection.
“It’s amazing,” Darien senior Maddie Gill said. “Especially for the seniors. Four years. Four FCIAC titles.”
And Gill made herself the center of attention Friday, scoring two goals to key the Blue Wave offense and earn herself FCIAC Championship Most Valuable Player honors.
“This is a nice trophy to have,” Gill said. “But success in Darien field hockey is always about the team.”
Gill scored the first goal, converting a pass from the right corner from sister Leslie Gill with 26:15 left in the first half.
Darien’s Alex Iqbal made the mountain to climb for Warde (13-6) even harder, cashing in a rebound of a Maddie Gill shot just 6:13 before intermission to give Darien a 2-0 halftime edge. The crushing blow came with 26:09 left to play as Darien’s Ellie Riegal took a shot and cashed in her own rebound for a 3-0 Darien advantage.
“Darien has talent. Darien has depth and uses it well,” Warde coach Jodie Shannon said. “They get tired, they bring people in. We get tired and we stay tired. Today was Darien’s day.”
Darien could face Warde once again the Class M quarterfinals.
“I’m so proud that my team reached the FCIAC Championship,” Warde’s Shannon said. “But we want another shot at Darien.”
FAIRFIELD WARDE........................0 0—0
DARIEN....................................... 2 2— 4
Records: Fairfield Warde 13-6; Darien 18-0.
Goals: D — Maddie Gill 2, Alex Iqbal, Ellie Riegal. Assists: D — Leslie Gill, Maddie Gill. Goalies: FW — Jess Deutsch (18 saves). D — Perrin Brown (3 saves).