Darien boys lacrosse team aims to end season in a pile
Some of the faces have changed, the leader of last year's offensive firepower is gone, but current members of the Darien High School boys' lacrosse team don't expect anything less than a continuation of the run of success the Blue Wave has had throughout the decades.
Since the team was established 29 years ago, there have been a dozen FCIAC championships, nine state titles and 25 consecutive trips to the state tournament's final four.
"Our goal, clearly, is to be a player when it comes to playoff time," Darien coach Jeff Brameier said.
Brameier believes his team has as good a shot as anybody to win the FCIAC title.
"I don't think there are any huge front runners in the league," the coach said. Among the tough teams in the conference are Ridgefield, Greenwich, Wilton and New Canaan.
The last time Darien won both the conference and state title was back in 2008. Darien won the FCIAC championship in 2011 and the state title last year. One of the goals Darien has every year is to win both championships.
"I think we're going to be right there in both of them," Brameier said.
"We obviously want to get back and repeat -- end the season in a pile as Coach B says," captain Sean Foley said.
Phil Hufford returns as one of the top goalies in the conference.
Another key cog is Peter Lindley, an attack player who emerged to start the last nine games of last season while logging 30-plus goals.
Among the graduates who left shoes to fill is Case Matheis, the team's all-time leader in career goals (198), points (355) and points in a season (122), in addition to goals in a game (nine in the 2010 state championship contest).
"We lost a lot of fire power but I think we'll be fine once we get our wits about us on offense," Brameier said after his team escaped with a 7-4 win over Fairfield Ludlowe in its season opener on April 3.
Darien always has a tough non-conference slate of games to prepare for the postseason. The Wave lost to Manhassett, N.Y. 10-9 in the second game of the campaign on April 6. Darien will also face New York teams Niskayuna, Yorktown and St. Anthony's.
Darien plays six straight road games to kick off the season before hosting St. Joseph on April 18.