Chik Chatting: Darien has mixed results after layoff
There's no denying it. From Little League to the big leagues, many athletes can be classified as "creatures of habit." That is, they have a very specific routine -- everything from practice times, to diet, to how they spend an off day, to the way they stretch before a game.
As far as the high school athlete is concerned, most who play a fall sport (boys and girls soccer, field hockey and volleyball), are typically wired to play a game every two or three days. After the snowstorm, however, the student-athletes at New Canaan and Darien had a lot of time on their hands. In some cases, they may have had too much time.
The aftermath of the four-day break caused by the snow saw mixed results from the teams at each school. While there's no doubt that the layoff wasn't the only deciding factor in any of the FCIAC postseason games, it's difficult to ignore the possible consequences it may have caused for several New Canaan and Darien squads.
With the exception of the No. 5 seeded Darien girls soccer team's 1-0 loss against No. 4 Greenwich on Saturday, not a single FCIAC playoff game occurred between Saturday and Tuesday, giving teams an almost unheard of four days off and leaving quite a bit on the schedule for Wednesday.
Unfortunately, with so many FCIAC games being played on Wednesday, I missed a full slate of postseason action in Darien while I was covering the New Canaan girls soccer team. So, it's time to take a look at how all three Darien playoff teams fared after the long layoff.
The girls soccer team had to contend not just with a tough opponent in Greenwich, but also with Mother Nature. The game was played in bizarre conditions as the snow piled up on the Greenwich High School turf. Greenwich took a 1-0 lead before the snow was falling hard, so it's fair to wonder if Darien would have been able to mount a comeback had it not been dealing with the heavy snowfall.
The Darien boys soccer team was riding high after its thrilling 3-2 overtime win over Westhill in the FCIAC quarterfinals last Friday. However, the momentum which the Blue Wave undoubtedly wanted to carry over into its next playoff game may have dissipated just a bit.
The boys team had to wait an extra two days until to finally take the field on Wednesday. This isn't a team that would use the layoff as an excuse, but the Blue Wave probably would have liked to get back onto the field as soon as possible following its dramatic opening round win.
Another team which may have been slightly thrown off by the long layoff was the Darien field hockey team. Undefeated dating back to the start of the 2010 season, top-seeded Darien played a scoreless first half against No. 8 Westhill before pulling away for a 3-0 victory in the second half. It's difficult to say whether the extra rest had anything to do with Darien's slow start, but it's certainly a possibility.