Darien boys lacrosse nips Ridgefield
Published 10:15 pm, Thursday, April 23, 2015
DARIEN -- It is never dull whenever the Darien and Ridgefield High School boys lacrosse teams get together.
And Thursday's matchup was no exception.
There were great goals, great saves and a great comeback by Darien as the Blue Wave rallied from a four-goal deficit for a dramatic 10-9 home triumph over Ridgefield.
"It was a great contest with a lot of ebbs and flows," Darien's coach Jeff Brameier said. "Our message to the kids was to play the game in segments. But against Ridgefield every minute is a new battle."
It was the 29th straight win for Darien, which is ranked No. 9 in the latest Inside Lacrosse / Uner Armour National Rankings.
Despite arriving 20 minutes due to traffic, the Tigers roared out to a 3-1 lead after one quarter.
Ridgefield's Schuyler Blair (four goals, one assist) and Simon Mathias (four goals, two assists) continued to power the Tigers' offense. Darien (6-0, 4-0 FCIAC) picked up three penalties in the second quarter as Ridgefield led 6-3 at halftime.
Ridgefield (4-2, 3-2) led 8-4 with one minute left in the third quarter when the Darien rally began.
Ian Burgoyne and Kevin Lindley scored in the final 30 seconds to bring Darien within 8-6.
Andrew Pugliese continued his second-half dominance in the faceoff circle as Darien kept applying pressure on Ridgefield's side of the field. Also, Darien's ability to roll two midfield lines began to take a toll on Ridgefield's defense.
Jack Book, Hudson Hamill, Colin Minicus and Burgoyne all scored to give Darien its first lead at 10-8 with 4:43 left to play.
Mathias made it 10-9 with 2:50 to go. Ridgefield's last hope seemed to evaporate when it was called for a one minute slashing penalty with 1:24 to go.
However, Ridgefield coach Roy Colsey called for a stick check on a Darien player. The stick was deemed illegal so both sides had a player in the penalty area, creating a 5-on-5 situation on the field.
It was then that Darien goalie Ryan Cornell stood tall with a pair of amazing saves in the final minute to preserve the victory along with Darien's winning streak.
"On the final save, the Ridgefield guy dropped his head so I knew he was going to shoot high," said Cornell (nine saves). "It was a team win. The offense picked up in the second half. The defense shut Ridgefield down. We just keep fighting."
It was Darien's toughest test of the young season. And Brameier was happy to see the Blue Wave pass it.
"Pugliese's faceoff wins got us going because we had ball possession. We have three sophomores on attack so we're still finding our way," Brameier said. "Cornell made the big saves at the end. It was a big growth step for us against a very good Ridgefield team. These kids believe that winning Darien boys lacrosse tradition never graduates. They don't know how to stop fighting."
Darien 10, Ridgefield 9
RIDGEFIELD 3 3 2 1 --9
DARIEN 1 2 3 4 --10
Records: Ridgefield 4-2, 3-2 FCIAC; Darien 6-0, 4-0 FCIAC.
Scoring: R -- Schuyler Blair 4 goals, 1 assist; Simon Mathias 4g, 2a; Ryan Dunn 1g, 1a; Peter Dearth 1a. D -- Riley Stewart 3g; Colin Minicus 2g; Hudson Hamill 1g, 1a; Christian Trifone 1g; Ian Burgoyne 1g, 1a; Kevin Lindley 1g; Jack Book 1g. Finlay Collins 1a. Goalies: R -- Kristofer Klemm (5 saves), Brendan Wynne (1 save). D -- Ryan Cornell (9 saves).
Highlights: D -- Darien has won 29 straight games dating back to 2014.