Mean in '17: Lesko, Murphy captain senior-strong crew of long-time champs
Updated March 30 — No rain appears to be in the forecast to spoil the Wave’s half-decade-long championship parade.
Darien’s won five FCIACs straight, and seems prepared for a sixth, and what would be a fifth straight title in Class L this spring.
Everyone on the team has been really positive and focused, creating an especially fun and productive atmosphere.
— Laura Murphy
“We are really excited for the season because we have all put a lot of work in during the off-season,” said senior co-captain Emma Lesko, one mighty midfielder. “But also, we have so many big games, like Ridgewood and Garden City, when we can showcase our abundance (and) wide range (of) talent.”
Senior Laura Murphy, who has run a defensive gauntlet to become Darien leading scorer, co-captains with Lesko.
“As far as the season goes, Emma and I are really excited,” Murphy said. “The senior class this year is especially close — we’ve been playing with each other for 10 years — and we also have a lot of talent with the younger players.”
“We have a lot of talent, no question,” said Wave coach Lisa Lindley. “Really the question mark for me is, what the team chemistry will be like.”
Vanishing Class of 2016 elements are about the same in number to team seniors this season, with a half-dozen dynamic multi-year starters Darien will have to adjust to no longer having this season.
“If they can (gel) as a team, and I do a good job of promoting that, then I think we’ll be very successful,” Lindley said.
When going up and down the senior-heavy roster, it appears Darien’s got the chemistry, with the right mixing and blending, to make the Wave once again go boom!
Murphy, Anna Stein and Christine Fiore rev-up the attack.
At the other end Darien returns goalie Carly Schoudel.
“She had a great year last year,” said Lindley. “So, I expect she will have a comparable year this year.”
“We are so lucky to have Carly,” added Lesko.
Lindsay Ferreira and Maggie Brooks back up Schoudel in goal.
Midfield has Lesko, Emma Jaques, Katie Ramsay, Kendall Wisinski among its ranks.
Defense ranks first in experience.
“On defense we have a bunch of seniors,” Lindley said.
Catherine Arrix, Annie Wright, Laurie Travaglini, Logan Book, Abigail Hancock, Kat Heaney fill the moat that surrounds Schoudel.
“Defensively we're really strong with six senior defenders,” Murphy said.
Underclassmen adding a powerful punch are defenseman KiKi Tropsa, Katie Elders on attack, sophomore Mason Maloney at midfield and Nicole Humphrey.
And freshmen Sarah Jaques, Ashley Humphrey will look to jump into the fire with the kind of sparks only rookies can produce.
“I believe we have a very strong midfield this year and I am excited to see what it will accomplish,” Lesko said. “One of our biggest strengths this year will be our depth, because although we have a more compact team than usual, every member has the ability to contribute.”
There could be a new wrinkle or two on attack.
“Lisa has been drawing up some new plays and strategies in the offseason,” Murphy said. “And there's also a lot of creativity in our offense that's unique to the team this season.”
When Darien opens the season hosting Yorktown 11am April 1, it will be the beginning of the end to a sisterhood stretching back most of the 12th graders’ lives.
“We have all been playing together since third grade and we have come so close as teammates, so we are very excited to lead the team together this year,” Lesko said. “I think the team dynamic is really positive and encouraging, but we are all competitive and ready to compete against our highly ranked out-of-state, as well as instate, competitors.”
“Everyone on the team has been really positive and focused, creating an especially fun and productive atmosphere,” said Murphy. “We're looking forward to everything in store for us this season.”
4/1 Yorktown N.Y. Home 11:00 a.m.
4/7 St. Joseph Home 4:00 p.m.
4/8 Ridgewood N.J. Home 3:00 p.m.
4/11 Brien McMahon Home 4:00 p.m.
4/13 Staples Away 4:00 p.m.
4/15 Garden City N.Y. Home 11:00 a.m.
4/18 Ridgefield Home 4:00 p.m.
4/22 Baypoint Bluepoint at Cold Spring Harbor 10:00 a.m.
4/25 Stamford Away 4:00 p.m.
4/26 Manhassett N.Y. Away 6:30 p.m.
4/29 New Canaan Away 1:30 p.m.
5/2 Trumbull Home 4:00 p.m.
5/4 Wilton Away 6:00 p.m.
5/8 Fairfield Ludlowe Away 7:00 p.m.
5/10 Norwalk Away 4:30 p.m.
5/11 Fairfield Warde Home 4:00 p.m.