Darien girls lacrosse team routs Fairfield Ludlowe in first round of state tourney
DARIEN -- As the No.15 Fairfield Ludlowe girls lacrosse team visited second-seeded Darien in the opening round of the CIAC Class L tournament, the Falcons were faced with combating two relentless forces -- mother nature and the Blue Wave offense.
Following a 13-goal first-half effort and a stifling defense throughout, the Blue Wave washed over the Falcons and punched their ticket to the quarterfinals in by impressive 21-2 count.
Thursday, Darien will host No. 7 Simsbury in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. Simsbury beat No. 10 New Milford 14-7 Wednesday.
With first-half hat tricks by senior co-captain Jena Fritts, Dillon Schoen and Emily Stein, Darien wasted no time setting the tone of the game while goalie Caylee Waters (four saves) and the Blue Wave defense held the Falcons to one goal, which came off the stick of senior co-captain KC McAuliffe.
And even with such a strong performance, Darien (18-1), competing in Class L for the first time, is nowhere near content.
"We played OK today, but I still feel as though we play so much better and do so much more," Fritts said. "We need to be better with our shot selection moving forward among other things. There is always room for improvement regardless of what the final score says."
One area of the game that stood out to senior co-captain Kristy Gilbert was how effective the defense was at creating scoring opportunities for the offense.
"I think we played well today in terms of our transition game," Gilbert said. "Our defense really stepped up forcing turnovers and getting the ball out to offense quickly. We still have areas that need improvement, but when we're on top of our game at both ends of the field, we're tough to beat."
The lack of complacency vocalized by Darien following the game was also mirrored in their second-half effort as the home team kept its foot on the gas, netting a baker's dozen in the first 25 minutes of play. The Blue Wave picked right up where they left off, scoring seven straight goals, highlighted by two-goal efforts from Mariah Matheis and Anna Moorhead in that span. The Falcons would also add a goal in the second half on a solo drive from senior co-captain Lizzie Pratt.
More InformationFact box
It was not the ending to the season first-year Fairfield coach Heather Lewsey had hoped for, but in many ways, the 2013 campaign established building blocks for future success.
"It's unfortunate to have our season end like this today because we certainly didn't play our best lacrosse, but at the end of the day, you have to give credit to a very talented Darien squad," Lewsey said. "I'm very proud of this team, especially all the seniors. We've made some great improvements and have grown together as the season progressed, which will only serve us well in the future."
Despite moving up to Class L from M, it's championship or bust for the Blue Wave, who captured the FCIAC championship on Friday.
"I think we can make it all the way and win it all," Gilbert said. "We set a goal for ourselves to win the FCIAC title and the state title, and so far we've accomplished half of that mission. Anything short of winning this championship will be a disappointment."
Darien 21, Fairfield Ludlowe 2
LUDLOWE 1 1-- 2
DARIEN 13 8-- 21
Scoring: FL KC McAuliffe (1g), Lizzie Pratt (1g), Alison Gorab (1a); D Jena Fritts (3g, 1a), Dillon Schoen (3g, 1a), Emily Stein (3g, 1a), Kristy Gilbert (2g), Anna Moorhead (2g, 1a), Mariah Matheis (2g, 1a), Julia Black (2g) Taylor Hardison (1g, 3a), Lexi Perticone (1g, 1a), Alexa Sheldon (1g), Brooke Connors (1g). Shots: D 30; FL 12 Goalies: D Caylee Waters (4 saves) and Kyra Gardner (3 saves); FL Sarah Chapdelaine (7 saves) and Acacia Galle (2 saves).