DARIEN -- The Darien boys lacrosse team got off to a rocky start in its Class M first-round state tournament clash with New Fairfield, but it was smooth sailing after the first quarter.
After spotting the No. 16-seeded Rebels the game's first two goals, the Blue Wave showed exactly why they are the top seed in the tournament and cruised to a 19-6 victory on the strength of Peter Lindley's seven goals and three assists.
As a result of the lopsided win, Darien advances to Saturday's quarterfinals. It will play host to No. 8 Masuk at 3 p.m.
"We just didn't come ready to play, and it hurt us when they scored three quick goals. Luckily, we were able to rebound and play Darien lacrosse by the end of the game," said Case Matheis, who scored five goals and dished out three assists. "It's the second game in a row that we've come out slow, which is not really acceptable. We don't know anything about (Masuk), but that may be a good thing. We won't have any impression and we'll just have to bring it."
For the game's first 10 minutes, New Fairfield appeared to catch Darien a bit off guard and built a 2-0 lead on goals by Robbi Fiamengo and Ryan Lewis. Dylan White picked up an assist on both.
Darien cut its deficit in half when Kevin Seiler found Lindley, but New Fairfield answered back on an unassisted score by Greg Castro to make the score 3-1, prompting Darien coach Jeff Brameier to call a timeout.
"You've got to give credit to New Fairfield. They came out and they were going full speed," Brameier said. "It's one of those things where the floodgates have to open, and you have to get excited. It took a while for us to make something positive happen. We got 40 kids into the game today, and that's a great experience for all of them."
Darien's response to the timeout was swift, as it went on to score four consecutive goals (Matheis, Henry West, Lindley and West) to end the quarter with a 5-3 advantage. By halftime, the game was basically in hand for Darien, which had built an 11-4 lead.
"We have a good team, but every game kind of seemed like week one for us," New Fairfield coach Marty Morgan said. "We had our struggles with passing and catching -- basic stuff. We played well for a while, but we ran out of gas, and Darien is just too explosive."
From the second quarter to the beginning of the fourth, Darien reeled off 11 unanswered goals to turn an 8-4 lead into a 19-4 advantage. New Fairfield managed to score the game's final two goals, but it was far too little, far too late.
Division M first round
NEW FAIRFIELD 3 1 0 2 --6
DARIEN 5 7 6 1 --19
Records: New Fairfield 9-9, Darien 17-2. Scoring: NF -- Robbie Fiamengo 2 goals; Greg Casti 2g; Ryan Lewis 1g, 1 assist; Tim Silva 1g; Dylan White 3a. D -- Peter Lindley 7g, 3a; Case Matheis 5g, 3a; Henry West 3g, 3a; Clay Barker 1g; Jamie Kerr 1g; Alec Foresta 1g; John Reed 1g; Harry Gillespie 1a; George Gregory 1a; Tim Murphy 1a.