Darien beats Farmington to reach first-ever boys soccer state championship
NAUGATUCK — Last season was the first time the Darien boys soccer team reached the semifinal round of the Class LL tournament and it was determined to go a step further this year.
The No. 11 Blue Wave did just that, defeating No. 7 Farmington 1-0 in the semifinals in Naugatuck Tuesday night.
Darien will now make the first trip to a CIAC state championship game in school history, facing the winner of tomorrow night’s game between No. 1 seed and defedning champ Glastonbury and No. 13 Hall Saturday.
Hall is playing in place of disqualified Bridgeport Central. which was removed from the tournament Monday for use of an illegal player, moving the other semifinal back a day.
Farmington was playing for a trip to a fourth-straight state championship. The Indians lost to Glastonbury 2-1 in last year’s Class LL final after winning three straight Class L titles from 2010-13.
Darien coach Jon Bradley said the game was physical and hard played on both sides with his team able to find a way to win one more time.
“We played well and the boys kept grinding and grinding,” Bradley said. “It is our first trip to the state championship and after losing in the semis last year this was our goal. They put a lot of pressure on us but we were able to get another result in this tournament.”
Andrew Mathew scored off a corner kick by Hunter Kooyman with 26 minutes to play in the game, giving the Blue Wave all of the offense they would need.
From there the game rested on the defense and goal keeper Liam Rischmann and the senior net-minder responded.
“He was unbelievable tonight,” Bradley said of Rischmann. “It’s massive to have him back there. He kept us in a lot of tough games this year and he did it tonight. The last 10 minutes they were all over us and he kept us in the game. He’s so valuable back there.”
Rischmann also had shutouts in the opening round against Ridgefield and in the quarterfinals against Fairfield Prep.
DARIEN 1, FARMINGTON 0
DARIEN 0 1 - 1
FARMINGTON 0 0 - 0
Records: D - 16-2-5; F - 15-3-2
Scoring: D - Andrew Mathew 1g; Hunter Kooyman 1a
Goalies: D - Liam Rischmann; F — Jordan Sicklick