Darien routs Staples in FCIAC playoffs
DARIEN -- A dominating win against a quality opponent was just what the doctor ordered for the Blue Wave.
No. 3 Darien routed sixth-seeded Staples 17-6 in the FCIAC boys lacrosse quarterfinals, a nice win after having its 34 game win streak snapped and losing three of its final four games.
The Blue Wave (14-3) will have a chance to avenge their streak-snapping loss as they'll face arch-rival New Canaan in the semifinals on Tuesday at Brien McMahon in Norwalk.
It is garunteed to be the final meeting between the heated rivals with Darien has moved out of Class M and into Class L for the state playoffs.
"We play New Canaan and then if we were to win could draw Greenwich," Darien coach Jeff Brameier said. "So we could avenge those two losses, but I don't think we need incentive. The incentive is to win the two championships (FCIAC and state)."
Darien stated the scoring with 3:47 left in the first when Nick Tuzinkiewicz made a beatiful pass to Christian Trifone, who buried it in low in the net.
The Wave then got goals from Timothy Lochtefeld and Colin Minicus to end the first. Lochtefeld added his second 20 seconds into the second before Staples was able to score its first, from freshman Evan Zinn.
Staples (12-4) scored three in the second but only mustered another three in the final two quarters, the final two coming after Darien had already pulled the majority of its starters.
"We had very bad possession time in the first half," Staples coach Paul McNulty said. "Our motto is, `not the first shot, the best shot' and we went more with the first shot instead of waiting."
That problem stemmed from Darien, which controlled possession for much of the game, and played almost impenetrable defense when Staples possessed the ball.
"I think our defense had a good scouting report and good matchups, we took care and tried to force them into attacking their weaknesses and both our goalies played well," Brameier said.
The win for Darien allows the Blue Wave to exhale for a moment and focus on going forward in the playoffs. It's important to be hot at the right time and Darien uncharacteristically was not coming into the postseason.
"I think it's a good confidence boost," Brameier said of the win. "We got out of our change ups what we wanted which was a little more offensive fire power and a little more confidence and I thought that's why we succeed as a group."
Minicus, who finished with five goals and two assists in the contest, was jumping at the chance at a rematch with rival New Canaan. Asked if he wanted the rematch he kept it short: "Very badly -- always."
Darien 17, Staples 6
STAPLES 0 3 1 2--6
DARIEN 3 5 4 5--17
Records: Staples 12-5; Darien 14-3. Scoring: S--Evan Zinn 1 goal, Ethan Burger 1 assist, Teddy Coogan 1g, Michael Reale 3g 1a, Matt Johnson 1g; D--Christian Trifone 1g, Timothy Lochtefeld 2g, Colin Mincus 5g 2a, Hudson Hamill 1g 2a, Jack Book 4g, Jack Kniffin 2g 1a, Kevin Lindley 1g, Finlay Collins 1g 1a, Nick Tuzinkiewicz 1a, Ian Burgoyne 2a, Rock Stewart 1a, Logan McGovern 1a. Goalies: S--Peter Burger (5 saves); D--Ryan Cornell (3), Phillip Rech (3). Shots: S--20; D--28.