DARIEN -- Fairfield Ludlowe girls lacrosse coach Heather Lewsey didn't really have to stretch it to mention the positives from the Falcons performance Tuesday afternoon in an FCIAC game Darien won by more than a dozen goals.
Ludlowe didn't exactly challenge Darien over every inch of the field in the Blue Wave's 18-5 victory that wrapped up its FCIAC schedule. Lewsey knows she can apply examples of what went well Tuesday as she devises her game plan for the Falcons when they likely will travel to Darien again on Friday for an FCIAC tournament quarterfinal. Having fresh examples is always a benefit in developing strategy.
The season ends on Wednesday for the Falcons in Fairfield against St. Joseph (3-10) and they will leave that game regardless of outcome as a tourney qualifier with one of the eight best records. The coaches will seed the eight qualifying teams by vote, though they cannot cast a ballot for their own teams.
Darien, which won its third straight game, finished the regular season with a 14-2 overall record and an 11-0 FCIAC mark. The Blue Wave will be seeking a three-peat in the conference and a repeat in Class L.
Six Darien players were multi-goal scorers, led by Emily Stein's three goals and two assists. Hollis Perticone added two goals and two assists, Mariah Matheis provided three goals and an assist, Julia Black and Dillon Schoen each supplied two goals and an assist and Gabby Noto fired in a pair of goals. Emily DeMasa paced the Falcons (6-7-1, 4-4-1 FCIAC) with two goals.
"They beat us in transition," Lewsey said. "We were not able to get back in transition. But when we were able to slow them down on attack, we made some nice plays. We knew what they were going to be running and we were able to jump into the lanes. But they have such quick ball movement, so at times our defense couldn't get set."
Darien outscored Ludlowe 11-1 in the first half. The second half, based on goals scored, was more competitive, Lewsey said. The second-half score was 4-4 until a late three-goal flouirish by Darien, and Lewsey was pleased with what Ludlowe accomplished during that even stretch.
Two of Darien's strengths are its transition game and balanced scoring, Blue Wave coach Lisa Lindley said. Both were in evidence against the Falcons, who had won four of their previous five games. But she is looking for improvement. Lindley told her players after the game to be ready for demanding practices leading up to the FCIAC tournament.
"They better be prepared to work hard and be ready to execute (in the game) because we have a lot of work to do," Lindley said. "We need to execute at 90 percent efficiency." She rated Darien's typical season-long efficiency at close to 80 percent.
"If I can get certain individuals to get into the mind set to take it to the goal more often than not, we can be dangerous," Lindley said. "For us to be strong, we need to have seven legitimate (scoring) threats, not two or three."
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Darien 18, Ludlowe 5
LUDLOWE 1 4--5
DARIEN 11 7--18
Records: Ludlowe 6-7-1, 4-4-1 FCIAC; Darien 14-2, 11-0 FCIAC. Scoring: L--Emily DeMasa 2 goals, Ali Gorab (1g), Kate Palmer (1g), Bryce McClure (1g); D--Emily Stein (3g, 2a), Hollis Perticone (2g, 2a), Mariah Matheis (3g, 1a), Jackie Brokaw (3a), Julia Black (2g, 1a), Dillon Schoen (2g, 1a), Gabby Noto (2g), Anna Moorhead (1g, 1a), Alexa Sheldon (1g), Chandler Kirby (1g), Susie Ropp (1g). Goalies: L--Sarah Chapdelaine (12 saves); D--Kyra Gardner (6), Sammy Nielsen (1). Shots: L--13; D--30.