WEST HAVEN -- The clock was going to strike midnight for one of two Cinderella teams Tuesday night, and despite a furious first half attack it was Darien that saw its season come to an abrupt close.

Glastonbury used an opportunistic offense and timely defense to beat the Blue Wave 3-0 and advance to the Class LL finals against No. 4 Farmington on Saturday.

"We definitely had more possessions in the first half," Darien coach Jon Bradley said. "They have their style and it's three passes and get it forward as quickly as they can and I think if we were a little bit more composed the first half it would have been different."

No. 11 Darien (11-4-2) registered six first half shots to Glastonbury's two, but the fifteenth-seeded Tomahawks (11-4-2) were able to make their first one count as Tyler Peterson corralled a deflected shot that found the back of the net in the 18th minute.

"He was declared out for the season," Glastonbury coach Mark Landers said of the senior. "He broke his ankle, had surgery and plates put in and he just got cleared Friday; for him to come and score in the semis after all the kids have been through is amazing."

Glastonbury had to overcome a slew of injuries in addition to Peterson's, but Landers lauded his team for its ability to keep plugging forward.

"I can't count the number of injuries we had this year," Landers said. "A long time ago we could have packed it in but we don't quit, we just wanted to keep playing some ball and having fun."

After a dominant performance by the Blue Wave in the first half the Glastonbury offense came alive in the second. Junior Nick Kapelewski scored twice, first in the 65th minute with a header off a corner kick by freshman Sebbie Sanzaro and then in the 78th minute he was able to float one over the head of keeper Liam Rischmann to ice the game.

"The boys have been brilliant, we very rarely give away goals from corner kicks or throw-ins," Bradley said of his team. "It was a really good header for their second goal and that really put the game away for them."

Despite the defeat, advancing to the state semifinals was a huge step in the right direction for Darien, one that Bradley hopes is a foundation for seasons to come.

"It's going to be tough to maintain this standard," Bradley said. "We used to come in and hope to win six games, now you're going to try to make FCIACs and states and see where things go."

Bradley couldn't be prouder of how his team handled itself, and what its playoff run meant to the school and program as a whole.

"It's exciting for the town," he said. "You see some of the middle-schoolers that came up to watch and now there's some interest in boys soccer. It's been a long time coming and it's been a fantastic season.

"It's huge just to be the last FCIAC team standing."




DARIEN 0 0--0

Records: G 11-4-2; D 11-4-2. Goals: G-Tyler Peterson, Nick Kapelewski 2. Assists: Sebbie Sanzaro. Goalies: G--Daniel Jennings (6 saves), Sean Lindsey (1); D--Liam Rischmann (8). Shots: G-12; D-13.