Darien boys lax team cruises to one-sided win over Staples
Picking up right where it left off from its lopsided season-opening win, the Darien boys lacrosse team dominated from coast-to-coast against Staples on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Darien High School. The outcome was never really in any doubt as the Blue Wave rolled past the Wreckers by a 13-3 margin.
With 7:29 remaining in the opening quarter, the Blue Wave opened the scoring when Case Matheis found Jon Magnusson for a goal.
Staples goalie Cole Gendels did what he could to keep the potent Darien attack from taking over the game, but the Blue Wave got two goals in 34 seconds to run their lead to 3-0 by the end of the first quarter. Kevin Seiler assisted Matheis to make it 2-0, and Tim Murphy found Seiler to make it 3-0.
"Two-and-oh is a great way to start the season, and Staples gave us a great run today. They brought intensity to the field and gave us a great test," said the Duke-bound Matheis, who finished with three goals and an assist. "There's a little extra motivation [after not winning the state title last year] and I definitely value that title much more."
Unfortunately for the Wreckers, the Blue Wave scored the next three goals to take a commanding 7-1 halftime lead. The final goal of the first half came courtesy of Bobby Weaver, who scored on a rebound after Gendels had denied Henry West of his second goal.
"I thought Darien played very well as they always do, very efficient. They're fast, they move the ball well and if you get in that unsettled situation against them, you're in trouble," Staples coach Paul McNulty said. "They're on you all the time on groundballs, and that's the sign of a good team. You're going to have to be very good to dodge one-on-one against them."
Staples opened the scoring in the second half when Joey Zelkowitz found the back of the net, but Darien's West, Weaver and Jon Magnusson scored the final three goals of the third quarter.
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Darien made several substitutions in the fourth quarter, but it was more of the same as the Blue Wave outscored the Wreckers 4-1 for the 10-goal margin of victory.
Although the scoreboard was soundly in Darien's favor, McNulty believes his team is on the right track.
"I like this team. Cole played very well. He was terrific," McNulty said. "I like how much we improved from the last scrimmage against them until now. In the scrimmage, I don't even think we got a shot in the first quarter."
As good as the Blue Wave looked on offense, the defensive effort may have been even better. Staples' quality scoring opportunities came few and far between, as the Darien defense -- led by Sam Meyjes, Tony Britton and Tommy Lyons -- refused to allow the Staples attack to get on track.
More often than not, Darien netminder Paul Huffard was on point whenever Staples did manage to send a quality shot his way, stopping five-of-seven shots. Midway through the fourth quarter, Huffard was spelled by Hunt Bartram, who stopped two-of-three shots.
"Our defense stepped up tremendously this year. I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far," Matheis said. "We have a bunch of new faces in there such as Andrew Barnard, Sam Meyjes and Paul Huffard. Tommy Lyons is a new starter too and it's kind of his time. They're all playing lights out right now. The offense has got to step up and do its part, and I think we have."
Darien (3-0) also picked up a 16-0 home win over Fairfield Warde on Tuesday.