STRATFORD >> When you enter a game on a 55-game win streak against Connecticut competition and fall behind early, you’re not going to panic.
And the Darien girls lacrosse team didn’t in the CIAC Class L championship game against FCIAC rival Wilton at Bunnell High on Saturday.
The Blue Wave fell behind 4-1 the first 10 minutes of the game but scored the next five goals to take a lead they would never relinquish. Anna Moorhead and Gabriella Noto scored four goals each to lead No. 3 Darien to a 14-10 win over No. 9 Wilton for their third straight Class L title.
Since the CIAC started sanctioning girls lacrosse in 2004, Darien has won two Division I titles, a Class M title and now three Class L titles.
“Our team has got into similar situations a lot this season and each time they were able to fight back and be victorious,” Darien girls lacrosse coach Lisa Lindley. “We came out flat today but this comeback shows the character they have as players.
“This is our 14th title (counting titles before the sport was sanctioned by the CIAC) and this feels great. This is my 21st season as coach and it’s very special just to be a part of it.”
Behind 4-1, the Blue Wave came back strong. Moorhead tied the game at 4 with 8:28 to go in the first half. Darien’s Chandler Kirby scored with 5:32 to go and Mariah Matheis made it 6-4 for the Blue Wave with 1:31 left in the first half.
The teams traded goals (Darien led 7-5) and Katherine Cronin appeared to give Darien an 8-5 lead with 17:41 to go in the second half. But Wilton coach Meredith Adamicki asked the officials to check Cronin’s stick. The stick was deemed illegal and the goal was disallowed.
“That wasn’t a bad call by the Wilton coach, I would have done it,” Lindley said. “But after they checked the stick it got our girls a little upset and they responded.”
The Blue Wave responded with a 4-1 run capped by a Noto goal to give Darien an 11-6 lead as it cruised to the win.
“It was hard not to get nervous when they went ahead 4-1,” Moorhead said. “But we fell behind in other games this season and came back. As a senior, I couldn’t ask for a better end to my lacrosse career here at Darien.
“It’s a great feeling.”
Darien 14, Wilton 10
Wilton 5 5 — 10
Darien 6 8 — 14
Goals: (DR) Gabriella Noto 4; Anna Moorehead 4; Susannah Ropp 2; Chandler Kirby 2; Emma Lesko 1; Mariah Matheis 1; (Wil) Sara Dickinson 2; Laine Parsons 2; Rebecca Wistreich 2; Eva Greco 1; Lilla Seymour 1; Cecily Freliech 1; Makenna Pearsall 1; Assists: (DR) Katie Ramsay 1; (DR) Chandler Kirby 1; Saves: (DR) Samantha Nielsen 5; (Wil) Olivia Phelan 5; Shots—Wil: 15; DR: 19;
Team records—Darien 20-3; Wilton 14-7.