GIRLS SOCCER

Christine Fiore kept Darien in the fight in the first half, and Katie Ramsay made a good fight of it, in the closing minutes.

We didn’t go one goal down, two goals down and crumble. We came together and the girls came together as a team.

— Leigh Parsons

But the Wave ends its longest run at states with a slim 3-2 semifinals loss to a slick kicking Staples at Taft Field in Fairfield on Wednesday.

The No. 4 Wreckers go to its first final in 22 years.

Eighth seed Darien makes the final four showdown for the first time ever at states.

Reese Sutter, scoring twice, made it 1-0 for Staples from the corner with 4:21 on the clock in the first half.

“It’s tough, because the last 25 minutes of that game we dominated,” said Darien coach Leigh Parsons. “We played the way we have for most of the season, to show what we could do. We just came out kind of flat.”

Under lots of pressure in the first half Fiore leapt to the cross bar to make the starkest saves you would ever want to see, while Ramsay closed out the contest with two late goals, both of them dazzlers.

“She scored in every state game,” said Parsons. “It shows what she’s capable of.”

Ramsay headed in Ellen Harnisch’s corner feed, after a Wrecker got a head on it in front first, to cut the Wreckers' lead to 2-1 with 11:51 to play, and made it 3-2 with a 25-yard bomb that precisely sailed in over the goalkeeper's head and landed in the far corner with 2:45 to go.

Nathalie Bravo had the assist with a good arcing pass from the right sideline.

Fiore made a half dozen golden stops with Staples working a clockwork attack that had it play most of the game in the Wave end of the field.

“If I’m honest about it, they probably were the stronger team,” Parsons said. “The last 25 minutes we took it too them.”

Staples’ Olivia Ronca scored on a penalty kick for 2-0 in the back breaker early in the second half with Fiore diving to her left, landing hard as she made the initial stop. She made seven saves for the game.

Ronca scored on her own rebound on the left side.

Fiore came out of the game with an injured arm, ending one of the best goalkeeper careers in team history.

“If we react and clear that, it is 2-2,” Parsons said.

Junior Caroline Orphanos came in and made six saves, letting in the third goal, but staking Ramsay to the comeback bid.

Sutter had the winner from the left side on a roller in between Ramsay's rallying tallies, with 4:21 on the board.

Anna Sivinski made six saves for the win.

“It’s hard,” said Parsons. “Of course we’re disappointed because of all they’ve achieved this year. But you have to put into perspective how good Staples is, and what we did do today. We didn’t go one goal down, two goals down and crumble. We came together and the girls came together as a team.”