NORWALK >> Despite having a six-goal lead at halftime in the Class L championship game, Darien boys lacrosse coach Jeff Brameier didn’t want to take any chances against a very talented and well-coach Cheshire team.
Since there was a fourth straight state title and unbeaten season at stake, Brameier told his players to put the pedal down and keep playing hard in the third quarter.
“When we broke at the half, I told the players to put the pedal down,” Brameier said. “I thought it was important to create as much separation as possible.”
The Blue Wave went on to score the first seven goals of the second half, Kevin Lindley had seven goals and an assist and Logan McGovern added four goals and two assists to lead No. 1 Darien to a 16-3 win over No. 7 Cheshire at McMahon High’s Casagrande Field.
The Blue Wave finished the season 23-0 and won their fourth straight title — the last three Class L championships and a Class M title in 2014. They have 13 state titles overall.
“This was a great team effort today,” Brameier said, “The team chemistry has been great all season. We have balanced scoring and our scorers get all the notice in the press. But we have a great defense too. Our guys have a pitbull mentality on defense. And after that defense we have an impenetrable wall with the best goalie in the state (Ryan Cornell, eight saves).”
The Rams finished their deep run in the tournament with a 17-6 record.
“We lost a little juice out there today,” Cheshire coach Rich Pulisciano said. “They’re a good team and you can’t make mistakes against them, they get you if you make mistakes. You can’t give them easy transition. This sport is all about momentum and they had it today.
“Overall, I’m happy my guys got here, they earned the right to be here. They worked hard and we had a great year. One of the bright spots today was our goalie Peter Brown (13 saves in the game). He made some great saves.”
Darien set the tone in the first half scoring the first five goals of the game capped by a goal from Lindley 42 seconds into the second quarter for a 5-0 lead.
“We always respect our opponents and you never go into a game expecting to dominate,” said Lindley, who finished the season with 106 goals. “Cheshire is a good team but our defense did a great job. Winning this game and this title is a nice sendoff for me and all the other seniors on the team.”
The Rams responded with a goal from Michael Jeffery with 9:46 to go in the second quarter and Jack Raba scored with 7:44 to go to cut the lead to 5-2. Lindley had a goal and McGovern added two to give the Blue Wave an 8-2 lead at halftime.
The Blue Wave scored the first seven goals of the second half with Riley Stewart giving Darien a 15-2 lead with 5:32 to go in the fourth quarter. At that point, Brameier emptied his bench and replaced his starters.
Darien 16, Cheshire 3
Cheshire 0 2 0 1 ?t3
Darien 4 4 5 3 ?t16
Goals: (CH) Mike Jeffery 1; Ryan Lindsey 1; Jack Raba 1; (DR) Kevin Lindley 7; Logan McGovern 4; Brian Minicus 2; Huson Pokorny 1; Matt Meyjes 1; Riley Stewart 1; Assists: (CH) Sean Black 2; (DR) Matt Meyjes 2; Riley Stewart 2; Logan McGovern 2; Tanner Strub 1; Brian Minicus 1; Kevin Lindley 1; Saves: (CH) Peter Brown 13; (DR) Ryan Cornell 8; Sean Collins 2; Shots- CH: 26; DR: 41;
Team records- Darien 17-6; Cheshire 23-0.