Darien boys lacrosse tops New Milford to reach L semifinals

DARIEN -- On its best days, the state tournament is a test of teams and leagues from diverse corners of Connecticut.

Saturday No. 6 New Milford got to test its mettle against No. 3 Darien in the Class L boys lacrosse quarterfinals.

A valiant effort only showed the divide between the SWC and the FCIAC in boys lacrosse as Darien posted a comfortable 16-6 triumph.

"We battled Darien for 48 minutes. I couldn't be prouder of our group," New Milford coach Greg Lacava said. "The reality is Darien is such a top-notch lacrosse program with a great history and such a deep (more than 50 players) roster. When we face Darien, the battle for our coaches is to get the kids to just play the game not the name on their jerseys."

It was a special season for New Milford (14-5) with 16 seniors on its 27-man roster.

"Most of our group have played together since youth lacrosse," Lacava said. "They molded together They took our program to a whole new level. We beat every team in our league (SWC)."

Although the Green Wave defeated FCIAC teams Trumbull, Norwalk and Danbury in the regular season, playing Darien is an entirely different story.

And Darien unleashed its postseason finery. The two-time FCIAC champions led 6-0 after one quarter and 12-0 at halftime.

New Milford's 6-foot-6 senior goalie Logan Doud finished with 15 saves. But the plethora of scorers for Darien (18-3) were impossible to contain.

Colin Minicus (three goals, two assists), Kevin Lindley (two goals, two assists), Jack Kniffin (one goal, three assists), Hudson Hamill (two goals, two assists), Christian Trifone (two goals in 22 seconds to end 1st half) and Jack Book (two goals, one assist) were a machine.

Senior Blaine McMahon had two goals and one assist to pace New Milford.

"We haven't seen a team as strong as Darien," Lacava said. "The way they move the ball. The multiple strategies. Their sheer execution at both ends of the field."

It all added up to Darien's 27th trip to the state semifinals in 28 years. The Blue Wave's next challenge will come Wednesday against No. 2 Glastonbury at a neutral site to be determined. Glastonbury nipped another FCIAC team, No. 10 Staples, 12-11 Saturday.

"We had a good first half. I tip my hat to New Milford for outscoring us (6-4) in the second half," Darien coach Jeff Brameier said. "We found some good flow while winning the FCIAC title. Now we have two big games left."

As was the case with the New York Yankees of the 1990s, Darien plays to a higher standard.

But every minute is important as the Blue Wave used the second half to rest starters and look at others with future seasons in mind.

The focus for Darien moves to winning its first Class L title. The tradition-rich Blue Wave have won seven Class M crowns since 2006 and a Division I title in 2005.


Darien 16, New Milford 6

NEW MILFORD0 0 2 4 --6

DARIEN6 6 1 3 -- 16

Records: NM 14-5; D 18-3

Scoring: NM -- Blaine McMahon 2 goals, 1 assist; Keegan Olegoetz 1g; Jacob Plancon 1g; Justin Lourenco 1g; Matt LaCava 1g. D -- Colin Minicus 3g, 2a; Kevin Lindley 2g, 2a; Jack Kniffin 1g, 3a; Hudson Hamill 2g, 2a; Christian Trifone 2g; Nicholas Tuzinkiewicz 1a; Riley Stewart 1g; Jack Book 2g, 1a; Ian Burgoyne 1a; Tim Lochtefeld 1g; Jake Kirby 1g; Liam Rischmann 1g; Matt Gould 1a.

Goalies: NM -- Logan Doud (15 saves); D -- Ryan Cornell (1st half: 4 saves), Phil Rech (3rd Q, some of 4th, 3 saves), Jeff Hingst (final 3:32, 3 saves).

Highlights: No. 3 Darien will face No. 2 Glastonbury in L semifinals Wednesday at neutral site TBD. Ridgefield vs. Greenwich in other L semifinal.