Field Hockey: Darien blanks New Canaan
DARIEN — It doesn’t have to be pretty.
But, by winning scrums in front of the net and scoring generally ugly goals, Darien was able to get the job done Monday, defeating rival New Canaan 6-0 at home.
“(We had) four in the first half,” Darien coach Mo Minicus said of the somewhat unconventional scores. “And that’s what I told them in one of the timeouts, ‘listen, you guys are getting the garbage goals, and who cares how the ball gets in the net. She goes down and there’s a lot of activity in front the goalie. Just stay low, get your stick down and push it in; keep it simple.’”
The Blue Wave (9-2, 7-1 FCIAC) got going in a hurry as Bridget Mahoney converted a penalty-corner from Molly Hellman just three minutes in.
Darien made it 2-0 at the nine-minute mark when Liliana Kulesz pushed another penalty-corner in off the stick of Shea van den broek.
“It’s definitely great to start so well,” van den Broek said. “We always need that first push to get us going.”
Despite playing well in the midfield area, New Canaan (6-3-1, 6-2 FCIAC) was unable to find success in front of either team’s net, giving up two more “garbage” goals to Darien’s van den Broek and Catherine Doogan in the first half.
“This was a big test for us to see where we’re at,” New Canaan coach Kelly Marks said. “Six goals is tough, but I think they still played pretty well considering. Even though we were down 6-0 I don’t think they ever felt like they were really out of the game. They kept playing like they still had a chance and still wanted it and that’s all I can really ask for. We had some moments of up and down, but I’m happy with today.”
Brinsley Rushe scored Darien’s fifth goal midway through the second half and the Blue Wave put the finishing touches on with a beautiful two-on-one, tic-tac-toe look from van den Broek to Hellman.
“It was a great to finish it,” van den Broek said. “There weren’t that many of those open breakaways this game that we were able to finish, so it was nice to get a nice give-and-go to end the game.”
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Catherine Vogt, Monisha Akula, Darien. With senior goalie Grace Aronsohn out due to injury, junior backup Vogt got the start, and freshman Akula played the second half.
The duo didn’t skip a beat, combining for four saves and the shutout.
“I’m so proud of them, both of them,” Minicus said. “(Monisha’s) been a goalie for a long time and Catherine picked it up last year and they both just work hard…(Monisha’s) technique is so sound and Catherine is just this little fireplug and she’ll do anything to save a ball. It’s a nice little combination and we’ll probably split them because they’re both good in different ways. We’ll miss Grace but were really confident in those two.”
IN THE THICK OF IT
New Canaan is in a hellacious stretch of its schedule, having just played Norwalk and Darien and with undefeated Staples on the docket for Wednesday.
“This is a test,” Marks said. “I’m finding the girls who are in it. There’s no equal subbing time at this point, its whoever wants to be in the game, who will go hard every time. So, we’re in that midseason point of finding that rhythm.”
DARIEN 6, NEW CANAAN 0
NEW CANAAN 0 0—0
DARIEN 4 2—6
Records: New Canaan 6-3-1, 6-3 FCIAC; Darien 9-2, 7-1. Goals: D—Bridget Mahoney, Liliana Kulesz, Shea van den Broek, Catherine Duggan, Brinsley Rushe, Molly Hellman. Assists: D—Helman, van den Broek 2. Goalies: NC—Emily Gaeta (5 saves); D—Catherine Vogt (3); Monisha Akula (1). Shots: NC—4; D—11.