Earlier this season, Yale-bound Darien goalie Phil Huffard talked about the frustrating way the Blue Wave closed out the 2013 season, losing in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference semifinals and Class M state quarterfinals.
The team still felt the sting of those unexpected losses and used them as motivation as it proceeded with its mission for 2014 — winning both the FCIAC and Class M tournament titles.
Mission accomplished for the Blue Wave. They finished the season 23-0.
Darien defeated rival New Canaan for the second time this season with a 12-11 overtime victory in the FCIAC tournament championship game. The Blue Wave went on to beat New Canaan for a third time on Saturday in the Class M championship game by a score of 10-8.
Putting a bow on the perfect season is a perfect finish in the Register Top 10 Poll — a unanimous selection as the No. 1-ranked team in the state with all 13 first-place votes. The Blue Wave were No. 1 all season, starting with the preseason poll in early April.
Greenwich (20-3), which defeated Staples 10-8 for the Class L title, ends up No. 2 with 115 points and New Canaan (17-5) finished third with 104 points. No. 9 Amity (15-5) cracks the Top 10 for the first time this season with 23 points.
“Accomplishing our goals, getting to this point and finishing 23-0 means a lot to all of us,” Huffard said. “Coming in every day and working so hard with everyone on this team paid off. The seniors wanted this very bad and the entire team took pride in finishing off everything we had set out to accomplish.
“It’s all unbelievable and I can’t describe the feeling.”
The Blue Wave outscored opponents 68-18 in going 4-0 in the Class M tournament. In their 16-0 regular season they outscored opponents 219-65.
“This is the culmination of a dream season, a season that was all about team and our team philosophy,” Darien coach Jeff Brameier said. “It all began at the start of the season, making sure anyone with a self-centered, individual frame of mind came on board and understood this was all about a team effort with everyone understanding their roles.
“Sometimes that meant sacrificing some stats and individual accolades, but they all bought into it and they have seen how it pays off. That team mentality has always been a part of who we are at Darien and it always will be.”
Rounding out the top five teams in the poll are No. 4 Ridgefield (16-5) with 82 points and No. 5 Staples (15-6) with 75 points. Fairfield Prep (14-6) is sixth with 72 points.