GREENWICH -- Those typical opening-day jitters usually can result in slow starts for teams. While that may have been the case for Greenwich, it certainly didn't apply to the Darien High School girls soccer team Wednesday afternoon.

Aggressive from the outset, Darien tallied twice the first 21 minutes of play and carried the momentum during most of its impressive 3-0 victory over FCIAC rival Greenwich in the season-opener for both squads at Cardinal Stadium.

Freshman Katie Ramsay registered one goal and one assist for the Blue Wave, who received seven saves from junior goalie Kate Fiore.

"Today, we showed a lot of fight and good team camaraderie," said Darien coach Leigh Parsons, whose team dueled Greenwich to a scoreless draw last season. "We had a good preseason, but it's not the same as opening game against a well-organized team like Greenwich. We knew this was going to be a good test to see where we are at."

Junior co-captain/forward Erin Karczewski and sophomore Laura Murphy also scored for the Blue Wave, who led 2-0 at halftime.

"It was hard losing our first game like this," GHS junior forward Anna Giannuzzi said. "Now we know we have to come out full force and not let this happen again. We know what we have to do and what not to do next time."

Said Greenwich coach Danny Simpson: "Darien was aggressive to the ball right away and credit goes to Leigh (Parsons) for them coming out that way. This was a good experience for our younger players. It showed that you can't come out a little flat or slow or teams will punish you."

Sophomore goalie Emma Barefoot prevented the Blue Wave from scoring by getting her body in front of a shot near the far post in the first minute. The visitors eventually seized a 1-0 advantage on Karczewski's goal off a scramble in the box in the 13th minute.

"It's always nice to get that first goal, which settles the nerves," Parsons said. "Possession is something we try to work on a lot."

The work seemed to pay off, as the Blue Wave possessed the ball the majority of the first half. Ramsay gave Darien a 2-0 lead, lofting a high shot from 20 yards out that went over the arms of a leaping Barefoot and settled into the top corner of the goal in the 21st minute.

"This week in practice we have been working on keeping the ball and fitness," Karczewski said. "It all starts with our defense and goalie. That's the base of our team and we build off that."

The Cards almost closed to within 2-1, but Fiore came up big in goal. Giannuzzi dribbled past a defender and was in a one-on-one situation with Fiore, who moved far out of the goal to cut down the angle. Fiore turned away the shot with her body, keeping the Cardinals off the scoreboard. In the 67th minute, Fiore got her hands on a shot from in close by Greenwich freshman forward Kim Kockenmeister.

"We created a great opportunity for Kim and we put as much pressure as we could on them in the second half," Simpson said. "But their goalie made two great saves and their defense played strong."

Murphy sealed the win for the Blue Wave, scoring off a cross from Katherine Cronin with 4:12 remaining.

"We did a good job in the midfield and were effective at knowing when to play it long and when to play it on the ground," Darien senior tri-captain Daphne Budd said. "From forward, to midfield to defense -- we all played as one unit, were not selfish and shared the ball."

Greenwich, which is looking to get healthy -- it played without goalie Kylie Ginsberg and defenders Treloara Harrisson and Amanda Yu to name a few -- got eight saves from Barefoot.

"After a preseason where we scored a bunch of goals it was a shocker not to score today," GHS senior captain Jamie Kockenmeister said. "We didn't seem to have that composure and control we needed and came out a bit frazzled. We need to work on our technical skills, they seemed to be moving the ball a little bit faster. It's all stuff we can work on in practice."

david.fierro@scni.com; 203-625-4423

Darien 3, Greenwich 0

DARIEN 2 1 -- 3

GREENWICH 0 0 -- 0

Records: Darien 1-0; Greenwich 0-1

Goals: D -- Erin Karczewski, Katie Ramsey, Laura Murphy; Assists: D -- Ramsey, Grace Harmon, Katherine Cronin. Goalies: D -- Kate Fiore (7 saves); G -- Emma Barefoot (8 saves).