Darien pulls away from Wilton in Class L semifinals

FAIRFIELD — In the regular season finale a few weeks ago the Darien girls lacrosse team beat Wilton by a six-goal margin.

In the rematch Tuesday, with a trip to the Class L state final on the line, No. 13 Wilton made things much tougher for the top-seeded Blue Wave, who eventually triumphed 8-6 at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.

The win pits Darien against FCIAC rival Warde Saturday at Jonathan Law High School where the Wave will look to win their fourth straight state title. The Blue Wave beat Warde in their only matchup 12-4 in early April.

“I know they’re well coached and have a good D and have a couple of players on offense that definitely have the ability to break it wide open,” Wave coach Lisa Lindley said of the impending matchup with the Mustangs. “We’ll look at the film and be prepared to see them.”

Looking at the film was exactly what Wilton coach Meredith Adamicki said she did to prepare for Tuesday’s matchup, and that she didn’t change much of the strategy from the earlier loss to the Wave.

“I think defensively we played fantastic,” Adamicki said. “Darien is so talented it’s hard to get going against them; they played a great game defensively as well. It was a hard fought battle and I’m truly proud of my girls and sad for my seniors that they don’t get another chance to play for a state championship, but they left it all on the field and that’s all I can ask.”

Darien looked to be its usual dominant self early on, getting a goal from Katie Cronin in the first minute and tallies from Chandler Kirby and Susannah Ropp in the next five, but the Wilton defense responded, holding the Wave without a goal for the rest of the half.

Wilton’s Margaret Smith scored with just three seconds remaining in the first half to shift momentum and head into halftime down just 3-1.

Cronin once again put one home to start a half and then the contest became the Paisley Eagan and Ropp show.

Darien’s Ropp, who had the overtime game-winner against New Canaan in the FCIAC championship, once again showed a flair for the dramatic, scoring three times in the second half including her last with two minutes left to effectively put the game away.

“In the state tournament now every game could be our last,” Ropp said. “And that kind of kicked in this game, and I knew that I didn’t want it to be my last and I knew I wanted to get my fourth state championship.”

Wilton’s Eagan, just a sophomore, looked unstoppable at times, scoring two goals in 13 seconds to cut the Darien lead to two with four to play, and setting up teammate Eva Greco with under a minute left for the final goal of the contest.

“It shows, No. 1, the future is bright for this program and two, that as an individual she has the ability to take over a game,” Adamicki said of Eagan. “We’re very fortunate we get her back for two more years.”

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP


WILTON 1 5—6

DARIEN 3 5—8

Scoring: W—Margaret Smith 1 goal, Rebecca Wistreich 1g, Eva Greco 1g, Paisley Eagan 3g 1 assist; D—Katie Cronin 2g, Chandler Kirby 1g 1a, Susannah Ropp 4g, Laura Murphy 1g, Kaeleigh Morrill 1a. Goalies: W—Paige Brown (11 saves); D—Carly Schoudel (6). Shots: W—14; D—26.