Darien boys lacrosse team looks to recapture state title
With the Blue Wave boys lacrosse team placed at or near the top of just about every ranking, it appears the 2012 season could be one for the ages.
According to senior co-captain Henry West the team is aiming high.
"We want to go undefeated," West said. There is no game on our schedule that we should lose."
Talk of an undefeated season, even for an elite team like Darien, is a tall order. But this year's squad features 18 returning players, 11 of which are seniors, giving the Wave hope that their goal is attainable.
"We're definitely excited to get back at it after how last year ended," West said.
That bad memory, of course, was Darien's premature exit from the Class M state semi-final to Wilton. The Wave had won the State championship six years running and did not like watching from the sidelines. Wilton went on to handily beat New Canaan in the championship game.
Darien can, however, point to its impressive run in the FCIAC last year. The Wave went 10-0 in the conference and took home their 12th FCIAC crown by taking down Ridgefield 10-7 in the title game. For the 2011 season, Darien went 19-4 overall.
This year's lineup is loaded with talent and figures to make its mark both locally and nationally.
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Captain and scoring phenom Case Matheis returns after missing the end of last season due to a lateral meniscus injury. Once again, the team will look to Matheis, who has tallied 120 goals and 94 assists over the past three years, to electrify the offense.
Matheis, who has committed to Duke University, says he is back in the saddle.
"I feel great," Matheis said. "I am working out the rust right now, and I am getting my moves back."
With such a star-studded team, it is difficult to find an Achilles' heal. Paul Huffard, who was the freshman backup last year, takes over between the pipes for Dylan Torey, who is now playing at Quinnipiac University.
Head coach Jeff Brameier, who enters his 29th year with the team, has full confidence in Huffard.
"He is an up and comer," Brameier said. "He is hard-working, directs his defense and understands the game."
"We have a lot of new guys on defense, and a young goalie," West said. "But we have good continuity on offense so we are happy about that."
Matheis had a similar take, "We're really excited. I think we're going to be very scary on offense. We have new faces on defense so we just need to gel with each other."
When asked about match-ups he is looking forward to, West said, "Definitely Manhasset; this is my fourth year playing them, and we haven't beat them yet."
Matheis added, "Wilton has been circled on everyone's schedule. We'll never get to play that same team from last year, but it's a new team this year, just like us, and we're really excited about that game."