Year in and year out, the Darien High School girls lacrosse team is among the best in the FCIAC and state. The defending conference champions will look for another run of success this spring, and many of the pieces are in place early on, coach Lisa Lindley believes.

"My midfield is the same -- very strong. My attack is stronger this year than it was last year," Lindley said. "Defense is coming along."

Darien graduated seven players from last year's team, and the biggest hole is on the back line, but Lindley is confident her team defense will develop as the year unfolds.

A Goal for the season is to repeat as conference winners.

"I would like to get back into the FCIAC final and defend that championship," Lindley said.

After a 10-5 regular campaign, Darien was the No. 9 seed in the Class M state tournament and fell to top-seeded and eventual champion New Canaan in the quarterfinal round.

"We're always trying to be the best we can. These girls have been working very hard in the offseason, getting stronger and working on their stick skills, and hopefully it pays off," Lindley said.

This year's captains are Taylor Hardison, Jena Fritts and Kristy Gilbert, and all three players have very high hopes.

"We're looking forward to trying to be undefeated this year," Fritts said. "We have the talent."

Gilbert says it is important to show opposing teams how strong the Wave is right from the start.

"I think we do have a lot of skill and athleticism. We also have a lot of depth," Gilbert said.

Key players on attack to watch for are Lexie Perticone, Mariah Matheis and Anna Moorhead.

The midfield is led by Emily Stein, Dillon Schoen, Gilbert and Hollis Perticone.

On defense, players whom Lindley will lean on are Ellie Bennett, Vanessa Budd, Parker Hamill and Lauren Power. In goal is Caylee Waters.

Hardison would like to see her team be competitive against out-of-state powerhouses they have struggled against in the past. Among the non-conference teams on the slate in 2013 are Garden City, Farmingdale and Suffern of New York, as well as Loomis Chaffee.

There are plenty of top-notch teams to be found right in the FCIAC as well, led by New Canaan, Wilton and Greenwich. The Wave players don't expect anything to be easy this spring, but they do believe there will be plenty of wins.

"I think we have a really capable team this year," Hardison said.

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