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Darien success fueled by down '13

Published 2:39 pm, Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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For many Connecticut high school programs, the 2013 campaign put together by Darien boys lacrosse would have more than sufficed. A winning regular season, a competitive showing in the conference tournament and a second round berth in states.

However, ask any member of the the Blue Wave about last year and you're likely to get a response bordering on pure disgust. Last season's finishes, short of both FCIAC and state championships (let alone even an appearance in either title game), were without a doubt unsatisfactory.

As a result, Darien has dedicated its 2014 year to avenging all of the wrongs committed in 2013. And so far, so good.

The Blue Wave beat Niskayuna (N.Y.) 8-7 two weeks ago and toppled Manhasset (N.Y.) Saturday 7-4 by posting a shutout in the second half. Both schools defeated Darien a year ago and have now contributed to the team's 5-0 start, as of last Wednesday. From the opposing sideline, there's a good reason for the Wave's undefeated mark.

"They're more of a team," Manhasset coach Bill Cherry said. "They share the ball better because now you don't know who to cover. They're definitely playing more of a team game."

Now, whether or not Darien can continue this success into the post-season is yet to be determined, for the playoffs are far, far down the road.

Yet to this point, there's little more Darien can do to set itself up for future fortunes than what it already has--outscore opponents by a ratio of nearly 5:1, a figure that surely cannot hold up over time. Nevertheless, it doesn't appear that fact will slow the Blue Wave from aiming for anything less than dominance in its dedicated quest in 2014.

"Our focus going into the season hasn't changed," Darien coach Jeff Brameier said. "We wanted to avenge the loss and prove we're back in the hunt."

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