DARIEN -- In the rare occasions when high school teams travels across multiple time zones for a game, it's difficult to know exactly what's coming. Such was the case on Saturday afternoon, when the Darien boys lacrosse team welcomed Torrey Pines High School, the defending California state champions.
However, fans of Connecticut lacrosse probably knew exactly what was coming, because Saturday turned out to be just another day at the office for the undefeated Blue Wave.
In a tale of two halves, Darien thoroughly dominated the third quarter to turn a would-be competitive contest into a one-sided rout, coming away with a 16-10 win over the Falcons.
"I think seeing teams from the west is a good experience for us. It's good to see that lacrosse is expanding and they came to play today, so it was really fun," said Darien's Kevin Seiler, who scored three goals and dished out an assist. "I think we just came together as a team, started working the ball around and teammates were able to find each other."
Darien (5-0), which allowed Torrey Pines' Sean Doyle to score a goal just as the clock expired in the second quarter to shrink its lead to 8-6, took control of the game in the third by winning nearly every faceoff and enjoying a sizeable advantage in time of possession. The end result was the Blue Wave scoring all six of the period's goals to take a commanding 14-6 lead heading into the final quarter.
"The credit goes to Clay Barker doing a nice job with the faceoffs. Also, there was a lot of good groundball play," Darien coach Jeff Brameier said. "It took a little bit of time to figure out what was working against the zone and then we started hitting our shots."
For Torrey Pines (9-3), which erased an early 3-0 deficit to tie the game at 3-3 by the end of the first quarter, the amount of mistakes in the third was too much to overcome.
"We played a zone which allowed them to handle the ball without pressure. We felt like we had to do that to compete," Torrey Pines coach Jon Zissi said. "We made a few too many mistakes and they capitalized immediately. It took the air out of us. We buried ourselves that whole third quarter."
The Blue Wave got off to a fast start in the first quarter on goals by Weaver, Tim Murphy and Barker. Not about to go down without a fight, Torrey Pines countered with goals by Lucas Gradinger, Bennett Shafer and Andrew Perkins to pull even.
"We had a couple goals that really surged our momentum. We scored a couple really nice goals," Doyle said. "We tried to keep up, and they just kind of broke off. I would say just not having the ball enough on offense hurt us. They played really well."
Just under two minutes into the second quarter, Seiler found the back of the cage to put the Blue Wave on top for good.
The game also benefitted the Wounded Warrior Project.
"It's a great day for us, but also a great day for the Wounded Warrior Project and everything that lacrosse is about," Brameier said. "We wanted this to not just be a game, but also have it mean something."
Darien 16, Torey Pines 10
TORREY PINES 3 3 0 4--10
DARIEN 3 5 6 2 --16
Records: Torrey Pines 9-3; Darien 5-0.
Scoring: TP -- Sean Doyle 4g, 1a; Brad Gradinger 1g, 1a; Sam Perkins 2g, 2a; Tom Shafer 1g, 1a; Tim Weelak 2g. D -- Case Matheis 5 goals, 2 assists; Kevin Seiler 3g, 1a;Tim Murphy 2g, 2a; Bobby Weaver 3g; Jon Magnusson 2a; Henry West 1g; Clay Barker 1g; Brendan Hathaway 1g; Tommy Lyons 1a. Goalies: TP -- Sean Cady (7 saves). D -- Phil Huffard (5 saves), Hunt Bartram (1 save).