Girls lax young, poised
Published 1:03 am, Thursday, April 15, 2010
Before the games are played each season every team has the right to hope, the right to envision a winning campaign wherein the dethroning of a perennial favorite takes place. It's part of the renewal process each year.
But right now, it seems the rest of the FCIAC can abandon those dreams when it comes to girls lacrosse.
There's no sure thing, of course, and although this Blue Wave team is young, early returns are showing signs of prosperity that have come to pass with veteran squads in the past under head coach Lisa Lindley.
To be blunt: the team looks scary-good yet again despite its lack of seniors.
Darien easily defeated Stamford Tuesday afternoon, 19-4, and in doing so, after handshakes were had, prompted Black Knights head coach Ben Levy to give his team a 15-minute lecture to his team on just what the heck went wrong out there. The chat wasn't an angry one, just something that seemed more therapeutic than anything.
Chances are the Blue Wave will induce quite a few more post-game, 15-minute teaching/therapy sessions on behalf of the losing coach this season.
Darien played all of its players who weren't nursing injuries, and the ones who were only sat out to protect the mild stuff. If this was a playoff game, all Blue Wave players would have been able and willing.
The Blue Wave got scores from eight girls and 11 tallied a point. Stamford is, admittedly, one of the easier opponents Darien should face in 2010. Head coach Lisa Lindley did her best to praise her team without going to absolutes so early in the season against such a weak opponent.
"I think the girls did some things very well, like moving the ball in the midfield well," Lindley said. "We finished well. Defensively, I think we're still struggling a little bit."
Is it hard not to be satisfied so far? Darien is 3-0 already and defeating its opponents by an average of 17-5.
"Definitely," Lindley said, but warned, "we have a lot of our stronger opponents ahead of us."
The Blue Wave should face their fair share of challenges, but the way the team scored Tuesday afternoon came with a certain amount of effortlessness -- and Stamford wasn't playing the pushover part willingly -- it would suggest early-practice routines been executed nearly flawlessly.
"I think we've worked very well in getting the ball straight off the draw," Emma Getsinger said. Getsinger scored five goals, which shared the team-high with Emily Tropsa, and said the team's ability to cruise throughout the midfield opened up so many scoring opportunities.
"Also, transitioning in the midfield is a big thing," Getsinger said. "We're doing a good job of moving the ball when we're on the attack."
Darien scored on Stamford an average of one goal every two minutes and six seconds. There was one point in the first half when the Blue Wave scored five goals in less than two minutes and 30 seconds. That swelled their lead to 11-2.
"No matter what team we're playing, we're trying [our best]," Tropsa said. Her score with 16:54 remaining in the first half came on a curl that was as beautiful as any goal scored Tuesday. She caught the Stamford defense out of position and executed the score with such discipline to form it seemed two invisible defenders were flanking her as she attempted the shot.
"It's about getting our plays down, because when we play tougher teams they'll be sharper," Tropsa said. "We want the passes to be sharp and keep our defense strong."
Lindley added, "It's keeping practices intense, it's challenging each other there and making sure that they are running through things and drilling things repeatedly so that they are prepared when we get to that higher level of competition."
With bench players not only seeing double-digit minutes but also scoring, team morale was at a high level as the girls shuffled off the field and headed home.
"I think it was good getting our whole team out there because then it gives everyone a chance to see the whole field and [experience] a real game," Getsinger said. "I know, since our team is young, it's good to get everyone a feel for what it's like to play on the varsity field. It's a big change and a big step up."
Yet, the girls aren't playing like they've needed any time to adjust to the varsity life.