Darien too much for Staples
DARIEN — Halfway through its seven-day gauntlet of powerhouse boys lacrosse teams, Darien finds itself exactly where it wants to be — continuing to dominate.
After a tough 10-7 win over archrival and Under Armour / Inside Lacrosse No. 6 New Canaan on Saturday the UA/IL fifth-ranked Blue Wave followed that impressive with a 17-5 drubbing of Staples Tuesday in Darien.
“These kids are on a mission,” Darien coach Jeff Brameier said. “They’re driven to play each game one at a time and obviously it was an exciting win on Saturday, but we know this is a tough week and we have to take one at a time; they’re very good at staying focused.”
Darien (10-0, 7-0 FCIAC) has little time to lose that focus in the coming days as Thursday UA/IL No. 24 St. Anthony’s (NY) visits the Blue Wave looking to beat Darien for the second consecutive season.
“We do this for a reason, this is very similar to the FCIAC playoffs,” Brameier said of the schedule’s setup. “We do Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday so when the FCIAC tournament hits you’re ready, you only get a day to prepare for each team. St. Anthony’s is the real deal, they have athletes all over the field and we’re going to have to play our A game.”
Darien’s ‘A game’ was on display early and often Tuesday as the Wave took a 5-1 lead after the first from four different scorers in Hudson Hamill (two goals, four assists), Kevin Lindley (four goals), Colin Minicus (three and three) and Liam Rischmann.
From there Darien would add five more in each of the second and third periods behind Jack Kniffin and his five tallies in that span.
Staples (9-2, 5-2) came in at No. 3 in the FCIAC, but made far too many mistakes to be able to slow the Darien attack.
“Darien is a very good team, they stifled us,” Wreckers coach Paul McNulty said. “They moved the ball very well on defense, got us out of position and made some good shots; our offense had a couple of good opportunities and when we did the goalie stopped us.”
Wave goalie Ryan Cornell had 12 saves in the contest and fared particularly well when Staples tried to beat him low.
“They’re a good offensive team,” Brameier said of Staples. “We gave up more shots than I would like to see him facing but he’s a big time goalie, he’s one of the best in the state — if not the best — and he’s proven it day in and day out.”
Staples had back-to-back goals in the second within a minute of each other from Evan Zinn (one goal, one assist) and Michael Reale (two goals) to bring the deficit to four, but Darien rattled off six goals in a row to put the game out of reach.
Despite Staples’ high ranking in both the conference and state McNulty thinks there is a lot of work to be done after the tough loss Tuesday.
“For us, it’s what you did last,” McNulty said. “And what we did last was terrible, things that we did very bad we have to work on; those other wins are in the past, you’re as good as your last game so we’ll show up tomorrow and start over.”
DARIEN 17, STAPLES 5
STAPLES 1 2 2 0—5
DARIEN 5 5 5 2—17
Records: Staples 9-2, 5-2 FCIAC; Darien 10-0, 6-0. Scoring: S—Dobson Cooper 1 goal, Evan Zinn 1g 1 assist, Micheal Reale 2g, Matthew Johnson 1g, Connor Chamberlin 1a; D—Hudson Hamill 2g 4a, Liam Rischmann 1g, Kevin Lindley 4g, Colin Minicus 3g 3a, Jack Kniffin 5g, Kevin Klingman 2g, Finlay Collins 1a, Jake Kirby 1a, Logan McGovern 1a, Brendan Seiler 2a. Goalies: S—Peter Burger (12 saves), Matthew Garber; D—Ryan Cornell (12), Andrew Clarke (1), Jeffrey Hingst. Shots: S—25; D—26.