GameTimeCT / Register Top 10 Poll Lacrosse Poll: Darien wraps up perfect season at No. 1

(Arnold Gold-New Haven Register)  Darien boys lacrosse player Owen Koorbusch (left) is photographed at practice on 5/14/2014.

(Arnold Gold-New Haven Register) Darien boys lacrosse player Owen Koorbusch (left) is photographed at practice on 5/14/2014.

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.

The 2013-14 Register/GameTimeCT Top 10 lacrosse poll
Team (Record)(1st place) Points Last

1. Darien (23-0) (13)

130

1

Final game: Defeated New Canaan 10-8 in the CIAC Class M championship.
Bottom line: Blue Wave are taking no prisoners, outscoring opponents 76-20 last six games.

2. Greenwich (20-3)

115

2

Final game: Defeated Staples 13-10 in Class L final.
Bottom line: Cardinals went 7-2 against Top 10 teams this season, including three wins in the Class L tournament .

3. New Canaan (17-5)

104

4

Final game: Lost 10-8 to Darien  in the Class M final.
Bottom line: Darien was a thorn in the Rams’ side all season, going 0-3 including losses to the Blue Wave in FCIAC semifinals and Class M final.

4. Ridgefield (16-5)

82

3

Final game: Lost 7-5 to Greenwich in Class L semifinals.
Bottom line: The Tigers were a top team in the state all season and went as far as expected in the very tough Class L tournament.

5. Staples  (15-6)

75

7

Final game: Lost 13-10 to Greenwich in Class L championship .
Bottom line: Maybe third time is the charm in 2015. Wreckers come up short in Class L final for second straight year, losing 14-8 to Prep in 2013.

6. Fairfield Prep (14-6)

72

5

Final game: Lost 9-8 to Greenwich in Class L quarterfinals .
Bottom line: Jesuits won the SCC tournament title but lack of usual exceptional depth took its toll against FCIAC and out-of-state opponents .

7. St. Joseph (15-6)

48

NR

Final game: Defeated Brookfield 14-11 in Class S championship .
Bottom line: The Cadets took their lumps against tough FCIAC opponents but the tough schedule always prepares them for a solid showing in Class S tournament .

8. Simsbury (17-1)

34

6

Final game: Lost 10-3 to Staples in Class L quarterfinals .
Bottom line: The Trojans were tough up north, coming away with the CCC West tournament title, but its weak overall schedule takes its toll against tough FCIAC opponents .

9. Amity (15-5)

23

NR

Final game: Lost 8-6 to Staples in Class L semifinals.
Bottom line: Amity cracks the Top 10 for the first time this season due to a strong Class L showing, including 11-8 win over McMahon in first round.

10. Brookfield (16-7)

8

NR

Final game: Lost 14-11 to St. Joseph in Class S final.
Bottom line: Balanced scoring and a strong goalie (Danny Dixon) paid off for the Bobcats in the post season .
Dropped out: Glastonbury (8), North Haven (9), McMahon (10).
First-place votes in parentheses and points tabulated on5; Amity (9-2) 3; New Milford (10-3) 3; Newtown (10-3) 3; Fairfield Warde (7-5) 1; Lewis Mills (11-0) 1. a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Others receiving votes: Fairfield Warde (12-7) 7; Barlow (12-6) 5; McMahon (10-8) 3; New Milford (14-4) 3; Hand (11-9) 2; Xavier (10-7) 2.
The following voted: Brian Adkins, Foran coach and Connecticut secondary schools assistant liaison to U.S. Lacrosse; Mary Albl, Fairfield Minuteman; George Baldassare, Laxpower.com director of high school boys lacrosse; Frank Barron, Connecticut secondary schools assistant liaison to U.S. Lacrosse; Jeff Brameier, Darien coach; John Nash, The Hour of Norwalk; Scott Hinchey, Glastonbury coach; Greg Lederer, Cheshire Herald; Joe Lombardi, LaxLessons.com; John Mathews, Weston coach; Dan Nowak, New Haven Register; Rich Pulisciano, Cheshire coach; Jimmy Zanor, Middletown Press.
Poll compiled by: Dan Nowak

Comments

  1. Easygoing says

    It must be hard to pick this ten for sure but I know Brookfield went to the S state final, but top ten? There is such a big competitive difference between the state classes of L,M and S. It’s not a crack on the SWC in anyway because just look at Newtown and NewMilford within the SWC and both in the incredibly tough class L tournament. Newtown beat Brookfield and New Milford beat them twice this year. The attack McDonald on New Milford owned them actually had an astounding 12 goals against them in the first game! This must be some kind of record? Just saying that just because you go to a State final in S doesn’t in anyway mean that your going to beat any of the class M or the class L teams that made there much more competitive State Tournaments.

  2. Easygoing says

    I didn’t mean to bash a solid Brookfield team either as they are for sure a top 20 team in the state.

  3. SCC Runs The State says

    Hand beat Amity, Barlow (2 Semifinalist) and beat North Haven and Guilford both very easily. Hand also beat SCC teams like Shelton and ND WH easily as well. One may say Hand wasn’t a true semifinalist team since they got absolutely destroyed by Darien but the thing is, every other Class M and L teams such as Amity and Barlow or even Brookfield and St Joes would get beat just as bad if not worse because thats just how good Darien is compared to the rest of the state. Hand should be ranked number 9 or 10 in this poll and so should Xavier. Amity and Brookfield? Please. Look at who they play in the regular season… Jonathan Law, Lyman Hall, Cross, Stratford, Immaculate… all teams that Hand and Xaviers Jv teams would beat. I just don’t see the logic used when voting in the final poll. Reward the teams who actually play a tough schedule and win, not the teams that play a Jv schedule and win…

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