Garden City (NY) downs Darien girls lacrosse, 17-11
DARIEN — Because the Darien High School girls lacrosse program has won the last five FCIAC championships and have captured seven state titles since 2007, it’s easy to believe the Blue Wave simply bring their sticks to the field and magic happens.
Although no Connecticut-based opponent has defeated Darien in recent memory, the Blue Wave do run into obstacles.
Recently, Darien lost its leading scorer — senior co-captain Laura Murphy — as well as junior defender Charlotte Harmon to season-ending knee injuries.
The Blue Wave are not a roster of interchangable chess pieces. Darien showed Saturday that adjustments do take time to jell for its squad as well as Garden City (NY) came to Fairfield County and departed with a 17-11 triumph.
It was the second straight year that Garden City (8-0 overall) conquered Darien. The Trojans topped the Blue Wave, 12-5 on the field last season.
Garden City jumped out to a 5-0 lead. After Darien clawed back to 7-6 in the opening minute of the second half, Garden City went on a 9-1 surge for an insurmountable 16-7 edge with 9:54 to go.
Aided by a two-minute Darien penalty, Garden City simply ran out the final 5:17 with perimeter passing.
“It was a game of runs. We knew Darien would make a comeback. The key for us was to play hard the whole game,” said Garden City coach Diane Chapman. “I was so pleased about our offense. We were able to spread the ball around.”
Besides dominating the faceoffs about 70 percent of the contest, Garden City had four players score three or more goals.
The Trojans scored a number of goals on backdoor cuts against the Darien defense.
“Darien is a great team and a good test. We consider this a huge win,” said Garden City senior attack Kelly George. “Our passing was really sharp and everybody got involved in our scoring.”
Darien’s offense had energy but was a little short on precision in running its sets.
The Blue Wave was foiled at many turns by Garden City’s senior goalie Kaitlyn Larsson (eight saves).
“Kaitlyn is amazing. She steps up and is an anchor for the defense,” George said. “Her saves give us momentum to transition into fast breaks.”
“Larsson is one of the best girls lacrosse goalies in the nation,” Darien’s veteran coach Lisa Lindley said.
The sky isn’t falling on Darien, which lost at Ridgewood (NJ), 10-8 back on April 8. But the Blue Wave has work to do with road clashes at Baypoint Bluepoint (NY) and at Manhassett (NY) coming in the next 11 days.
“Garden City moved the ball well on offense and did beat us on backdoor cuts and dominated on faceoffs and were more aggressive,” Darien’s Lindley said. “But we had too many turnovers and questionable decision making. We have to learn from this.
“Offensively, no Laura Murphy is a big loss. People don’t realize all the things she did. And she did things instinctively,” Lindley continued. “Nobody can replace her. But there are opportunities there now and our younger kids need to accept the challenge. They need to step up. It’s unfair to expect the offense to run with incredible precision at this moment. But it needs to come together soon.”
GARDEN CITY (NY) 17, DARIEN 11
GARDEN CITY (NY) 7 10—17
DARIEN 5 6—11
Records: Garden City (NY) 8-0; Darien 4-2 overall.
Scoring: GC—Liana McDonnell 3 goals, 1 assist; Celia Concannon 3g, 2a; Jenn Medjid 5g, 3a; Caitlin Cook 3g, 2a; Sarah Kaval 1g, 1a; Kelly George 1g, 2a; Jackie Brattan 1g. D—Christine Fiore 2g, 2a; Mason Maloney 1g; Emma Lesko 1a; Emma Jacques 3g; Sarah Jacques 2g; Katie Elders 2g; Nicole Humphrey 1g; Katie Ramsay 1a. Goalies: GC—Kaitlyn Larsson (8 saves). D—Carly Schoudel (2 saves), Maggie Brooks (6 saves).