No. 1 Darien boys lacrosse shuts out FCIAC rival Greenwich, stays unbeaten in-state
GREENWICH — Facing Darien is tough enough, but playing the Blue Wave shortly after they experienced two losses against premier teams is even more difficult.
Trumbull felt the Blue Wave’s power on Tuesday and Greenwich was on the receiving end Saturday.
Building a wave of momentum as the game progressed, Darien downed Greenwich, 15-0, in a late-season FCIAC boys lacrosse matchup at Cardinal Stadium.
After being edged by Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) 12-11 in overtime and dropping an 11-9 decision to St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) last weekend, Darien has won two straight, improving its record to 10-3 overall and a perfect 9-0 against FCIAC squads.
“After a tough weekend last weekend we knew what we had to do this weekend,” Darien senior tri-captain/midfielder Bruce Ferguson said. “With three losses under our belt we have a lot of fight in us to keep going no matter what the circumstances are. Those losses serve as motivation — we know we can’t make those mistakes again.”
Senior midfielder Jack Bogdan recorded a hat trick to spark the five-time defending FCIAC champion Blue Wave — ranked No. 1 in the GameTimeCT Top 10 poll.
“Today was a nice statement win,” said Darien coach Jeff Brameier, who recently earned his 600th career victory. “Seeing us come out here and perform well on both sides of the ball and not take anything for granted was a good sign.”
Junior attackman Michael Minicus, senior midfielder Henri Pfeifle, Jackson Peters (junior midfielder) and Tommy Hellman (senior midfielder) each tallied twice for the victors, which received a tough challenge from Greenwich in 2018.
“We knew we could not let up,” Hellman said. “Greenwich is a good team, they always give us a good fight, so we had to lock down on all phases of the game — faceoffs, riding, everything. We have a great defense and this was a testament to it.”
The Cardinals dropped to 5-7 with the loss and 4-4 in the FCIAC.
“You play a team like that after they played so well against St. Anthony’s and not win and we knew there was going to be some fight in them,” GHS coach Bobby Lutz said. “They came out ready to play. We tried to slow it down a bit and get some possession time, but we got a little too conservative at times and that took us out of our own game plan.”
Greenwich hung close in the first quarter and through most of the second stanza, behind the solid play of senior Teddy Bacon in goal. Bacon made three early saves, keeping it a scoreless game, until Hellman went top shelf with a shot with 4:50 remaining in the first quarter. Peters tallied off a dodge from 8 yards out, making it 2-0 with 10 seconds to go in the opening quarter.
A five-goal second quarter stretched the visitors’ advantage to 7-0. Peters finished off a feed from Minicus, senior Hudson Pokorny converted a shot from 9 yards out and Bogdan put a laser past Bacon, putting the Blue Wave on top, 5-0, late in the second quarter.
“We started off cold, then we got hot, coach told us to stick to our game plan,” said Pokorny, a senior captain. “We knew coming out of last weekend, going 0-2 against those good teams, our offense was one of our positives. So we thought if we stuck to that we would get into our groove.”
A pair of goals from Minicus gave Darien a commanding 7-0 lead heading into halftime. In the third quarter, Darien extended its lead, with Pfeifle tallying twice and Bogdan scoring to start the second half. Meanwhile, possessions were few and far between for Greenwich, as senior Darien Matt Freeman and junior Noah Dewbrey excelled on faceoffs. The duo combined to win 15 of 19 faceoffs.
“We got some confidence going into next week in that area,” Brameier said of the faceoffs.
Sophomore Andy Demopoulos played the majority of the game in goal for the Blue Wave, making three saves. George Demopoulos, a senior, relieved him late.
“We knew he (Andy) was a high-end caliber goalie,” Brameier said. “We’ve just got to keep playing good defense around him.”
Behind seniors Tyler Strub and Pierce Hoyda, and junior Sam Cragin to name a few, Darien kept Greenwich’s usually efficient offense at bay. Darien focused much of its attention on Cardinals leading scorer Jack Feda, a senior.
“When you go against a team like Darien and all six defenders are solid players, it’s hard to find a weakness to go against,” Lutz said. “Most teams you try to find a guy that you can focus on and attack a little bit. Against them, it’s really hard to find the right matchups.”
HONORING TY GUARENTE
The coaching staffs from both teams wore shirts with the words TyStrong displayed on them to honor Brien McMahon lacrosse coach Ty Guarente, who guided the school’s junior varsity and freshman teams.
Guarente was involved in an automobile accident recently that has left him paralyzed from the waist down. Players from both teams also donned the T-shirts while warming up.
DARIEN 15, GREENWICH 0
DARIEN 2 5 5 3 — 15
GREENWICH 0 0 0 0 — 0
Scoring: D — Michael Minicus 2g, 1a; Hudson Pokorny 2g, 2a; Henry Pfeifle 2g; Jackson Peters 2g; Tom Hellman 2g, 1a; Jack Bogdan 3g; Jamison Moore 1g; Holt Matheis 1g, 1a; Cooper Hancock 1a; Goalies: D — Andy Demopoulos (3 saves); George Demopoulos (1 save); G — Teddy Bacon (9 saves); Padraig Colligan (3 saves).