DARIEN -- The machine is back.
After a 2013 season that didn't measure up to their usual lofty expectations, the Darien boys lacrosse team decided to go on a mission this spring.
The Blue Wave continued to take no prisoners Thursday, rolling to a 12-6 home triumph over St. Anthony's High of Melville, N.Y.
"My hat is off to Darien. They did everything they needed to do. We didn't play our best but a lot of that was due to Darien," St. Anthony's head coach Keith Wieczorek said. "Darien is a great lacrosse program."
It is certainly hard to argue at the moment with Darien a spotless 14-0 on the season.
More importantly, it was the Blue Wave's fourth victory over New York-state based opposition after going winless against said group in 2013.
Darien has beaten Niskayuna (N.Y.) (8-7, April 12), Manhasset (N.Y.) (7-4 on April 19), Yorktown (N.Y.) (8-5 on road on May 8) and St. Anthony's.
What made Thursday's performance special was all the Blue Wave players took ownership in it.
Darien goalie Phil Huffard made five of his 14 saves in the first quarter -- mostly from point blank range -- to allow the Blue Wave offense to settle in.
Kyle Cornell (two goals, two assists) scored on a man advantage with 7:02 left with Peter Lindley (three goals, two assists), John Reed (one goal, one assist) and Colin Minicus (three goals, two assists) tallying in quick fashion leaving Darien ahead 4-1 after one quarter.
"Those five saves the Darien goalie made early were crucial. That shut us down and let Darien jump out," Wieczorek said. "After that, we just committed too many penalties."
Darien led 7-2 at halftime and 10-3 after three quarters despite eight saves by St. Anthony's goalie Jack Concannon.
At 11-3, St. Anthony's (12-4), scored three straight goals for 11-6 with 6:21 remaining.
But Lindley intercepted a pass at the 40-yardline with 4:25 to go and scored the backbreaker on a breakaway for the 12-6 final.
"This is the type of game you shoot for. I can't ask the kids for much more," said veteran Darien head coach Jeff Brameier. "The great saves early by Phil (Huffard). The defense was solid throughout. And we had good balance in our scoring. Our depth really showed itself."
It was a team victory, pure and simple.
"St. Anthony's was missing its best attackman (JT Caputo injured). But the way St. Anthony's has been playing (12-1 in last 13 before Thursday), this was a statement win against a marquee team for us," Brameier said. "I love the way we're sharing the ball on offense. There's no bickering and no yelling on our sideline. We are all laying claim to each victory."
Darien 12, St. Anthony's 6
ST. ANTHONY'S1 1 1 3 --6
DARIEN4 3 3 2 -- 12
Records: Darien 14-0; St. Anythony's (NY) 12-4.
Scoring: StA -- Greg Galligan 1 goal; Chris Buscemi 1g, 1 assist; Conner Byrne 1g; Billy Sledge 1a; Joe Liccardi 1g, 1a; Eamon Campbell 1g; Brendan Homire 1g, 1a. Dar -- Kyle Cornell 2g, 2a; Andrew Pugliese 1a; Jack Kniffin 1g, 1a; Peter Lindley 3g, 2a; John Reed 1g, 1a; Colin Mincus 3g, 2a; Harry Gillespie 1g, 1a; Hudson Hamill 1g. Goalies: StA -- Jack Concannon (8 saves). Dar -- Phil Huffard (14 saves).
Highlights: D -- Darien's third win in last 4 years over St. Anthony's.