NORWALK — Susanaah Ropp picked a fine time to find her shot Thursday afternoon.

The senior gave Darien its first lead of the game with 5:33 left in the contest and eventually ended it in overtime with a bouncing strike, leading the Blue Wave to their fifth straight FCIAC title with a 12-11 win over arch-rival New Canaan at Brien McMahon High School.

“I knew that we only had a few minutes and the first thing I thought was, I won three FCIACs and wanted to win my fourth really badly,” Ropp said. “And I saw the opening and knew I was going to go for it and knew nothing would stop me.”

Darien was forced to battle back in this one after New Canaan came out and charged to a 7-1 lead behind Catherine Granito (four goals, three assists) and Campbell Armstrong (two goals) but the Wave were able to chip away to head into half trailing 8-5.

“We came up with a ton of draws early and executed our game plan,” New Canaan coach Kristin Woods said of her team’s early run. “We made great adjustments from the last time we played them (a 20-10 loss) and gave them a run for their money.”

In the beginning we were patient, our offense was moving well, we stood still in the second half quite a bit and didn’t place our shots as well.”

That allowed Darien to strike back, getting hat tricks from Emma Lesko, Laura Murphy and Katie Cronin in the contest as well as one from Emma Jacques, who controlled the faceoff circle in the second half and won the draw in overtime that propelled Darien to victory.

The difference in the second half, according to Blue Wave coach Lisa Lindley, was the sheer number of talented players the Darien program produces.

“We started using our bench and our depth and started running some people in the midfield so people could catch their breaths,” Lindley said. “That made a huge difference and we played a little more aggressive on defense and converted our shots more…the reason we won today was really the depth of our program; I played about 22 kids today.”

Those kids never panicked, even facing an early hole to dig out of, largely because they’ve been in high-pressure situations so many times before.

“We don’t talk about that,” Lindley said of the Blue Wave moping when they were down. “I would say that at least for me I knew we had the opportunity to come back, if it got to more than eight I would have been pretty worried but we handled it pretty well.”

After Darien took the lead late the Rams’ Karlie Bucci was able to connect on her second of the game with just over three minutes left to send the contest to overtime, but New Canaan wouldn’t see the ball in the extra period as Darien ended it on its first possession.

“I feel bad for the seniors,” Woods said. “I’m so frustrated for them because I knew they could do it; I’ll be back again but they won’t and that’s why I’m the most disappointed. We still have the states and I’m excited fir that, this will only make us better.”

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

DARIEN 12,

NEW CANAAN 11 (OT)

NEW CANAAN 8 3 0—11

DARIEN 5 6 1—12

Scoring: NC—Campbell Armstrong 2 goals 1 assist, Catherin Granito 4g 3a, Gianna Bruno 1g, Braeden Dial 1g, Karlie Bucci 2g, Samantha Stewart 1g; D—Emma Lesko 3g, Katie Cronin 3g, Laura Murphy 3g, Emma Jacques 1g 2a, Susannah Ropp 2g, Anna Stein 1a. Goalies: NC—Cameron Blair (4 saves); D—Carly Schoudel (3). Shots: NC—17; D—19.