STAMFORD -- Every time the ball was in the air it seemed to come down on the foot of a player wearing a blue jersey.
The Darien girls soccer team won a large majority of the 50-50 balls and in turn defeated Westhill 3-0 Thursday, moving its record above .500 for the season.
According to Darien Captain Emily Stein, winning those balls comes down to who wants it more, and needing a win to keep pace with the top teams in the FCIAC, the Blue Wave were determined to win them all Thursday.
"We worked it really hard this week in practice because we knew that this game was really important to win," Stein said. "What made the difference was winning the ball in the air off goal kicks and crosses. We were just more hungry than they were. It's just hustle and wanting to beat your opponent."
While the Blue wave were getting to every loose ball, Westhill (4-3) had a hard time controlling the ball and when they did were frustrated by Darien's defensive back four.
"They won every ball and that is attitude and athleticism," Westhill Coach Dave Flower said. "They got their gameplan right, they turned up to play and they played hard. Their communication was better than ours and they just deserved to win. They were 100% (frustrating Westhill strikers) whether it was by good play or just annoying them, they were definitely getting frustrated."
The back line of Darien, Kendra Fitzpatrick, Sage Thatcher, Daphne Budd and sweeper Elizabeth Fucigna marked Westhill striker Jess Laszlo all game and turned away the ball anytime it came near their box.
"(Laszlo) is one of the best in the league," Darien Coach Leigh Parsons said. "We have a very good back four right now. Each of them did their job staying organized, playing safe when they needed to but also linked up with the rest of the team when they need to. It was a good performance and a good test for them and in my eyes they passed it."
Darien scored just five minutes into the game when Schoen found the back of the net.
The Blue Wave tallied again in the second half when Karczewski got loose near midfield, dribbled past the keeper and gently put the ball away for the second goal.
Stein then added the icing to the cake, firing a shot from the left side of the box over the goal keepers head and into the upper right side of net.
Parsons feels if his team continues to play at the level it did Thursday, the Blue Wave can make some noise in the FCIAC.
"Everything we have been working on we have seen it in games," Parsons said. "If we do those things right and we play our game we are a strong side. It was a good day for the team."
DARIEN 3, WESTHILL 0
DARIEN 1 2 -- 3
WESTHILL 0 0 -- 0
Records: D -- 3-2-1; WH -- 4-3
Goals: D -- Dillon Schoen, Kelly Karczewski, Emily Stein; Assists: D -- Stein, Erin Karczewski.