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DARIEN -- Playing in a game somewhat reminiscent of its victory over Staples on Wednesday, the Darien field hockey team once again took an early lead, doubled it soon thereafter and allowed next to no scoring opportunities.

The matchup of undefeated teams was a 3-0 victory for the Blue Wave over the visiting New Canaan Rams, and Darien has now outscored its opponents 15-0 through three games.

The early Blue Wave barrage was spearheaded by Georgia Cassidy, who notched both of her team's first two goals by scoring with 19:30 and 17:47 remaining in the half. Assists were credited to Kyla Johns and Kelsey Bumgardner.

"The first one was a tip. I think Hollis (Perticone) hit it in and I tipped it over the goalie's head, and the second one was a tip as well off of Kelsey's lift into the circle. It hit the goalie's pad and I hit it in," Cassidy said. "We're doing well with our strong starts and getting goals in the first half."

While time on the attack was clearly in Darien's favor, New Canaan made several forays onto Darien's side of the field throughout the contest. New Canaan took four shots compared to 26 by Darien, but Rams coach Erin Gildea felt her team was able to play "between the 25s."

"The first goal we had a little bit of a letdown. It was more of a mental breakdown. The second goal was beautiful; those are really tough to stop," New Canaan coach Erin Gildea said. "I think we played them a lot more between the 25s. It wasn't like they had us packed down defensively, which is typically how it is, and I thought we really made them work for this one today."

Less than five minutes into the second half, the Blue Wave stretched their lead to 3-0 when Hollis Perticone converted a penalty stroke with a shot to the upper left corner.

"They passed the ball well, they stepped up well and they had the pressure on the whole time. Momentum changed a little bit when New Canaan had bursts, but the defense came up big as usual," Darien coach Mo Minicus said. "They had a couple of speedy, speedy girls who could get the ball up field. We probably gave them a little too much room through the midfield, but we'll learn from that."

New Canaan goalie Emma Ball was kept busy throughout and came up with 13 saves, while Darien's Danica Hornick made two, preserving her season-long shutout streak.

"I think today definitely made us a better team," Gildea said. "As usual, Darien played a great game and deserved to win."

"I think we have a lot of depth on our team, so our coach has a lot of trust in all of our underclassmen, who got a lot of playing time," Bumgardner said. "It was a really intense game, and we just battled through it, so it was fun to be a part of." Twitter: @jchik17



DARIEN 2 1--3

Records: New Canaan 2-1; Darien 3-0. Goals: D--Georgia Cassidy 2, Hollis Perticone. Assists: D--Kelsey Bumgardner, Kyla Johns. Goalies: NC--Emma Ball (13 saves); D--Danica Hornick (2). Shots: NC--4; D--26.