DARIEN – Darien boys lacrosse coach Jeff Brameier always stresses the team concept among his players and he believed it was more important than ever entering the Blue Wave’s game against Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference rival Greenwich on Saturday.
The game also had statewide significance in a rare No. 1 vs. No. 2 scenario with the Blue Wave, ranked No. 1 in the New Haven Register/GameTimeCt Lacrosse Top 10 poll, taking on the second-ranked Cardinals.
The Blue Wave would go on to dominate in nearly every phase of the game with Colin Minicus and John Reed scoring three goals each and senior goalie Phil Huffard, committed to play lacrosse at Yale next season, making eight saves to lead Darien to a 10-4 win over Greenwich at Darien High.
In the second quarter, James Paradise scored for Greenwich to tie the game at 3 with 4 minutes, 18 seconds left in the first half. The Blue Wave would go on to outscore the Cardinals 7-1 to take control of the game.
“It’s always a team thing here, not just one or two guys,” Brameier said. “ They all buy in to the team picture because they know if they do that, we’ll have a special team. We needed that team effort today.
“For us to only allow four goals against a strong team like Greenwich says something about that team effort. We had a lot of good ball movement and team defense today. There is always pressure playing a rival like Greenwich and there was additional hype because of the 1 vs. 2 thing. But these are the kind of exciting games you look forward to playing every year.”
Darien improves to 11-0 and Greenwich falls to 11-2.
The Blue Wave closed the first half with a goal by Harry Gillespie with 3:23 to go to give Darien a 4-3 lead. Darien’s Peter Lindley opened the second half with a goal 1:49 into the third quarter to make it 5-3.
Kyle Foote responded for Greenwich with a goal exactly three minutes later to cut the score to 5-4. But after that it was all Darien. While Darien’s on-field defense limited the Cardinals’ shots on goal, when a ball did get by the defenders Huffard was there to make four second-half saves.
“We came into this game wanting to make a statement on offense and defense and I think we did that,” Huffard said. “Our four to five guys on defense really came to play today.
“We don’t focus on the polls that are out there. But we all know what’s going on and it adds a little something to the game when you have No. 1 going against No. 2. But the only thing we’re really focused on here is trying to be the best team we can be. I think in the second half today we gave it everything and we were the best at least for that half.”
James Paradise led the Cardinals on offense with two goals and goalie Tom Rogan had six saves.
DARIEN 10, GREENWICH 4
Greenwich 1 2 1 0 – 4
Darien 2 2 4 2 – 10
Goals: Greenwich: James Paradise 2, Kyle Foote, Bobby Goggin; Darien: Colin Minicus 3, John Reed 3, Peter Lindley 2, Jack Kniffin, Harry Gillespie.
Assist: Greenwich: Montana Larson; Darien: Owen Koorbusch, Hudosn Hammill, Lindley.
Shots on Goal: Greenwich 12; Darien 16
Saves: Greenwich: Tom Rogan 6; Darien: Phil Huffard 8.
Records: Greenwich 11-2; Darien 11-0.