NORWALK — Katie Elders is a field hockey first responder.
Her job description as the “fly” on Darien High’s defensive penalty corner defensive unit is short and succinct: Race from the cage and disrupt the play before it has a chance to start.
Elders did her job in impressive fashion on Monday night at Casagrande Field as the Blue Wave denied all 14 of Norwalk’s penalty corners while posting a 4-0 win over the Bears in an FCIAC playoff semifinal.
“Katie was unreal,” said Darien coach Mo Miniscus. “She’s just super fast, competitive, hungry, focused and she was just in the moment.”
Eleven of Norwalk’s corners came in the second half, but the Blue Wave corner defensive squad was up to the task each time.
“My main focus is just getting the ball out of the circle,” Elders said. “Just stop the ball. I have to get out there as fast I can and go stick to stick, that’s what I’ve always been told. The insert goes straight out and I just follow it directly.”
Along with her trail Bridget Mahoney and post defenders Sally Cassidy and Kiki Tropsa, the unit joined goalie Erica Blaze (7 saves) in shutting out the second-seeded Bears.
Offensively, meanwhile, Darien was balanced getting four different goal scorers in the win.
Kendall Wisinski (from Cassidy) tallied the first goal on a penalty corner while Tropsa gave Darien a 2-0 lead at the half with a goal set up by Sydney Schrenker.
Molly Hellman and Schrenker added second half goals, both set up by Elders.
For Norwalk, goalie Jess Monterio made four saves.
Darien, the third seed, will face sixth-seeded Wilton, a 3-2 overtime winner over Greenwich, in the FCIAC championship game on Thursday at 7 p.m., back at McMahon.