Darien cruises past St. Joseph
TRUMBULL — As Darien faces an oncoming slate of tough FCIAC games, its showdown with St. Joseph Tuesday served as a barometer for where it stands midway through the season.
And the results were quite reassuring.
The Blue Wave blitzed the Cadets 20-2 on the road to maintain their undefeated season.
“You can see they have a lot of college players and a lot of high level kids,” first year St. Joseph coach Brendan Talbot said of Darien. “We were punching above our weight today and they outplayed us, it’s a long day if you do that and they’re one of the top teams in the country for a reason.”
Coming in at No. 5 in the Under Armour/Inside lacrosse national power rankings the Blue Wave (8-0, 5-0 FCIAC) have done nothing to quell that notion thus far in the season — but coach Jeff Brameier doesn’t want the Wave to get too ahead of themselves.
“Let’s hold judgment,” Brameier said. “This is the halfway mark of the regular season, they have very good chemistry, they have the understanding of the game, they share the ball a lot; we still are making some mistakes, but generally they’re getting better every game and that’s what you want to do.”
The Darien offense did what it has all season—score early, often and in a variety of ways.
All told the Blue Wave had 13 different players on the score sheet.
With an offense that prolific it can be easy to forget the success the Darien defense has had this season, including holding St. Joseph (5-3, 3-2) to just two first-half goals.
“(Mark) Evanchick and Rock Stewart are two of the best at their positions,” Brameier said. “Rock Stewart is one of the best at his position in the state, he’s the glue of the defense, he’s smart and he communicates. He’s a wing guy and has a strong groundball game so between those two guys and then we also have some real good role players.”
The Cadets, who are rich with youth, have now played New Canaan (No. 7 in the UA/IL rankings) and Darien in back-to-back contests, and while they’ve lost both, they are stronger for the experience as FCIAC play heats up.
“We look at it as being battle tested,” Talbot said. “It’ll help us be better prepared for the rest of the season; there’s no days off in the FCIAC.”
To that notion, Darien faces New Canaan in its next game Saturday and the slate gets no easier from there.
“Now we’re on a run where we get New Canaan, Staples, St. Anthony’s (NY) and Ridgefield,” Brameier said. “So there’s no cake walk the next four games; you have to be doing good things.”
DARIEN 20, ST. JOSEPH 2
DARIEN 4 6 7 3—20
ST. JOSEPH 1 1 0 0—2
Records: Darien 8-0, 5-0; St. Joseph 5-3, 3-2. Scoring: D—Kevin Lindley 2 goals 2 assists, Jack Kniffin 5g 1a, Colin Minicus 3g 3a, Jack Book 2g 1a, Jake Kirby 1g, Finlay Collins 1g, Logan McGovern 2g 1a, Hudson Hamill 1g 1a, Jack Joyce 1g 1a, James Solberg 1g, Brendan Seiler 1g 1a, Rock Stewart 1g, Christian Trifone 1a; SJ—Will Foldesi 1g, Jared Mallozzi 1g, Liam Massey 1a. Goalies: D—Ryan Cornell (4 saves), Andrew Clarke (1), Jeffrey Hingst (1); SJ—Cillian Donahue (12). Shots: D—39; SJ—15