NORWALK— Down a man and three goals four minutes into the game, Darien coach Lisa Lindley called a timeout to reorganize her team.
Whatever was said in the Blue Wave huddle worked as top-ranked Darien turned that deficit into a 14-7 win over No. 4 Greenwich Monday at Norwalk High School in the FCIAC semifinals.
“When I called the timeout I just said ‘Hey, calm down,’ ” Darien coach Lisa Lindley said. “I wasn’t particularly worried. I just knew that we needed to get the draw and needed to even up to settle down a little bit.”
Darien will play No. 3 Wilton Thursday, looking for its seventh straight FCIAC title.
“I think player for player were stronger,” said Lindley, whose Darien squad beat the Warriors 15-10 in the regular season. “But we need to make sure we shut down their three guns, which I think we can do because we did that in the first game. With this group it’s just coming together as a team, being senior leaders and knowing when to push it and when not to.”
After Greenwich got three goals in the first two minutes — one from Jordan Stefanowicz and two from Jennifer Kelly — Darien had to push it in a big way.
Maggie O’Gorman put the Cardinals up 4-1, but five goals from Darien’s Ashley Humphrey and Emma Jacques sandwiched another O’Gorman tally to give the Blue Wave a 6-5 lead at the half.
The second stanza looked a lot more like the Darien that the FCIAC is accustomed to seeing.
Nicole Humphrey scored 1:10 in to take a two-goal lead, but Greenwich’s Grace Fahey and Paige Finneran tallied to tie it at seven.
That would be it for the Cards, however, as Darien scored the final seven goals of the contest to finish with the lopsided win.
“I thought most of the game we looked good, we just had a couple bounces that didn’t go our way and a couple cards that we probably could have had a little more composure for,” Greenwich coach Kaitlin Gaghan said. “But I’m really excited, this was a great game. We’re upset this is the end of our FCIAC run, but we still have a run at states. We’re just going to recompose and re-evaluate our situation and move forward. I have a great group of girls.”
While there’s no shortage of veteran talent on Darien, it was the Humphrey sisters — junior Nicole and sophomore Ashley — that dominated play Monday.
Nicole finished with four goals and two assists while her younger sister tallied six goals and two assists.
“They dominated, especially in the second half, which was nice,” Lindley said. “It’s not designed that way, but they were finding the back of the net, which was nice.”
NO LOVE LOST
Normally the goalie isn’t praised after giving up 14 goals, but without Sloane Loveless’ 15 saves, that final could have been much higher.
“She was absolutely insane,” Gaghan said. “She’s just the general of our defense and she makes saves that you don’t expect anyone to save, which is fantastic. I’m proud of her.”
NO. 1 DARIEN 14, NO. 4 GREENWICH 7
GREENWICH 5 2—7
DARIEN 6 8—14
Scoring: G—Jordan Stefanowicz 1 goal, Jennifer Kelly 2g 1 assist, Maggie O’Gorman 2g, Grace Fahey 1g 1a, Paige Finneran 1g 1a, Leah Caputo 3a; D—Katie Ramsay 1g, Ashley Humphrey 6g 2a, Emma Jacques 2g 2a, Nicole Humphrey 4g 2a, Christine Fiore 1g 2a. Goalies: G—Sloane Loveless (15 saves); D—Maggie Brooks (7). Shots: G—20; D—30.