MVP Schoudel out-duels shooters in FCIAC final
Updated 12:33pm May 25 — Carly Schoudel reached her stick to the dark sky and might as well have been pulling down stars.
Stars to adorn Darien’s sixth straight FCIAC crown, in the Wave’s 17-7 win over Ridgefield at Norwalk’s Testa Field on Wednesday.
Half of the Wave senior goalie's 16 saves were about that out of this world.
She was very strong, up high. Both in snagging those incoming comets, and, with the game played above her shoulders, and between her ears.
Watch the video It's Go Time, featuring the Wave's team-record sixth title win, action shot from the trenches, reactions and interviews, on this site
“I don’t like to think about the score, I just think like: the next one’s yours, the next one’s yours…” said the FCIAC Championship Game MVP Schoudel, of making the saves. “And when in the first-half they just kept coming, I just knew I had to stop that ball.”
“I mean what a testament — that, was amazing — usually you don’t play that well in that big of a game,” said a well pleased Wave coach Lisa Lindley, winning her four-hundredth-and-something game, and 16th league title. “And she did, so, great for her.”
Darien sets off for states at 16-3 overall. Ridgefield is county runner-up at 14-5.
Christine Fiore and Emma Jaques scored five goals each, with Jaques setting up three.
Freshman Ashley Humphrey had two goals and two assists, Emma Lesko two goals, Nicole Humphrey two goals, Anna Stein one goal and four points.
“They put up a very good first-half, but overall we just had a great team win,” said Fiore. “And that’s what really came through.”
Darien played a kind of scoring tag with the Tigers in the first-half, still coming out of it with an 8-5 lead.
“We weren’t moving the ball in the first-half like we did against Staples,” said Darien’s only freshman, Ashley Humphrey. “I think we did a lot better job of that in the second-half.”
“I thought the girls did a really good job of adjusting in the second-half, and really executing our game plan,” said Lindley. “So I was very, very happy and thrilled with that. They did exactly everything that we asked for.”
“We came into practice yesterday with such high intensity, I knew that when we stepped out onto this field, it was like, OK, it’s go time,” said Emma Jaques, who went to the net like lightning striking, with jagged dodges from 30 yards out. “And we just ran the field so well, so we were able to fast-break it.”
The Wave trampled the Tigers in the second half.
“Katie Ramsay was huge on the draw and we found the back of the net a little bit better than we did in the first-half,” said Lindley. “Our ride was something they couldn’t handle.”
“The girl I was taking it against, was so strong,” said Ramsay of the draws. “And I just knew to win it against her, I had to push it more to the side. So the people I was taking the draw with were really helpful, and they stayed wide, so I could go and get it. We worked together.”
Having a 10-goal lead at the final buzzer was something of a breather for all concerned — decisive — although nothing can equal both last year’s league title overtime win, and particularly the apocalyptic OT victory of 2015 for sheer screaming drama.
“I just think that we’ve just had such crazy experiences in the FCIAC finals for the past years, as I think everyone knows,” said Darien captain Lesko. “Especially with New Canaan. We’ve had these mental lapses over the years with going down, but eventually we have always come back.
“But it was refreshing coming in this year facing a new team. We weren’t focused on this immense rivalry, that’s been so distracting to us.”
Playing Ridgefield for the FCIAC title instead of New Canaan was not the only new way to finish up the county competition.
“We actually broke the record with six in a row,” added Stein with a smile as bright as the scoreboard. “So that’s really exciting.”