DARIEN -- Save for a pair of early fast breaks, the Simsbury girls soccer team didn't have a whole lot of quality looks at the Darien net in their first round Class LL state tournament matchup with the Blue Wave at Darien High School Monday afternoon.

Unfortunately for the No. 12-seeded Blue Wave (10-4-3), the No. 21-seeded Trojans (8-5-4) made the most of both opportunities, as Sydney Shugdinis scored twice for the two-goal lead before 12 minutes had elapsed.

"(Katherine) Zwick was kind of on the sideline, and she sent a ball over the top to me and there was no one on me (on the first goal)," Shugdinis said. "We didn't have as good of a season as we wanted to, but we all had the mindset that we were going to win today. We obviously weren't as technical as them, but we had the heart going in to win the game."

With the win, Simsbury is set to face No. 5 Northwest Catholic on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the second round.

"We're always a little nervous coming down to play FCIAC teams; they're good teams, good competition. The couple goals early really helped," Simsbury coach Jim Bayer said. "We thought even though we had a low seed that we could still do damage in the tournament. We're happy with the result, but it's just one down."

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Following Shugdinis' first marker, which came less than seven minutes into the game, the Blue Wave nearly drew even.

Darien's Dillon Schoen sprung herself on a fast break by playing a ball down the center of the field and winning the footrace in front of a Simsbury defender. With the net slightly to her right, Schoen fired a short-range shot that was deflected by Simsbury goalie Carly Heintz. Darien's Kelly Karczewski got to the rebound, but her shot went just over the crossbar.

"All of the coaches couldn't be more proud of them. What these girls had to get through and overcome is a credit to their character," Darien coach Leigh Parsons said. "Soccer is soccer at the end of the day. Winning is great, but there are more important things. It's just tough on a day like today when it doesn't quite click."

Less than five minutes after she made it 1-0, Shugdinis scored again after tracking down a lead pass from teammate Maggie Grigely to make it 2-0 with 28:57 to play in the first half.

The Blue Wave enjoyed a 6-1 advantage on corner kicks, and although some of those opportunities looked promising, none had the desired result.

"The way this team rallied for each other and came together for each other and really overcame certain things this year -- it's important that they take time to look back and realize what character they showed," Parsons said. "As a coach, you couldn't ask for more. I'd take this team over any team around."

jchik@bcnnew.com Twitter: @jchik17



DARIEN 0 0--0

Records: Simsbury 8-5-4; Darien 10-4-3. Goals: S--Sydney Shugdinis 2. Assists: S--Katherine Zwick, Maggie Grigely. Goalies: S--Carly Heintz (8 saves); D--Kellyn Berrigan (6). Shots: S--11; D--11.