Darien, Lindley hold off Wilton lacrosse
WILTON--As one of the top teams in the state, the Darien boys lacrosse team is used to seeing the best from its opponents -- especially its rivals.
Thursday was another example of that, with Wilton providing the Blue Wave with an early-season test that is mostly likely going to happen again with far more on the line.
Peter Lindley scored six goals as Darien withstood a second-half charge to edge Wilton 12-10 in a feisty encounter under the lights at Fujitani field.
"We were just keeping our composure, we knew (Wilton) was going to fight back and compete at a high level," Lindley said. "We just had to move the ball around and get the best shot we could. I was just trying to beat my man every time and the side wasn't coming so I was able to score the goals."
The Blue Wave built a 9-4 third-quarter lead courtesy of a defensive master class and outstanding individual efforts from Lindley, but Wilton's attack came to life at the end of the period. After scoring just four times in 33 minutes, Luke Reyes-Guerra Dunn, Ted Ottens and Mike Burns all scored with under two minutes left to close the gap and head to the final quarter trailing by just two goals.
"We are trying to come together, gel and put things in motion," Wilton coach John Wiseman said. "I think we just started feeling it. We started to move off the ball, Darien plays a big pressure defense and we moved off the ball and got our cuts and looks open and started putting the shots in the goal."
The Warriors closed to within a single goal on three separate occasions in the fourth quarter, but Lindley's final tally with 3:57 shut the door and gave Darien a 12-10 lead.
"(Lindley) had 30-plus goals in nine games last year as a sophomore," Brameier said. He's clearly one of the premier lefty attackmen in the country. Tonight he made some great moves and some bad choices; we have to be smart with the ball."
Although Ottens won the ensuing faceoff, Wilton's lone shot went wide of the cage and Darien was able to run most of the rest of the clock down. The Warriors regained possession with 30 seconds remaining, and tempers began to flair as the clock was winding down. The ensuing scuffle resulted in the Blue Wave's Peter Gesualdi being ejected for fighting, meaning he will miss his teams next match on Saturday against Niskayuna (NY).
"I think the end of the game stuff got too unsportsmanlike on both teams' parts," Brameier said.
The play of Ottens sparked Wilton (1-3). Although his faceoff wins didn't result in goals for Wilton early, it did set the tone for the second half comeback.
"(Ottens) was a major contributor to that because that created a helter-skelter situation and that's a little bit how (Wilton) got going," Brameier said. "We started playing their game and that fed into some unsettled goals and some sloppy stuff on our part. We weathered the storm to a degree."
Ryan Lacey is a correspondent
DARIEN 3 3 3 3 --12
WILTON 1 2 4 3 --10
Scoring: D -- Peter Lindley (6g), John Reed (2g, 2a), Kyle Cornell (1g, 3a), Harry Gillespie (3g); W -- Brendan Devane (1g), Luke Reyes-Guerra Dunn (2g, 1a), Mike Burns (2g, 1a), Thomas Hayes (2g, 1a), Eric Noonan (1g), Ted Ottens (1g, 1a). Dan Baird (1g) Goalies: D --Phil Huffard (7 saves), Christian Miller (0 saves); W -- Connor Johnson (9 saves).
Records: Darien 3-1; Wilton 1-3.