GREENWICH — With his team possessing a load of depth up front, Darien girls hockey coach Jamie Tropsa feels extremely comfortable starting a game with any one of the squad’s four lines.

“We don’t have a first line, we have four good lines,” Tropsa said following Tuesday’s FCIAC matchup against Greenwich. “Our depth is what, hopefully, will help us win. Today we played four lines. Our players are working hard and they deserve the ice time.”

Depth and a hat trick from senior forward Georgia Cassidy powered Darien to its second straight win to start the season — a convincing 6-1 triumph over Greenwich at Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink.

Cassidy, one of the team’s four captains, scored one goal in each period for the Blue Wave (2-0). The Blue Wave, who received one goal apiece from junior forward Cassidy Schiff, senior forward Schuyler van den Broek and senior forward Marissa Baker, tallied twice in each period.

“We came out hard after coming off a good win Saturday against East Catholic, which beat us last year,” Cassidy said. “So we had a lot of confidence after that win and we were ready to take on Greenwich.”

The Cardinals (0-2) saw freshman center Jen Kelly tally and sophomore goalie Jessie Aselin turn in a solid performance. Despite the final score, Aselin kept the Cardinals in the game as long as she could, making 41 saves against a Darien squad featuring a strong forecheck.

“Jessie was great, she was so alert in net,” GHS coach Alex Lerchen said. “She was all over the rebounds and was really aggressive. I can’t say enough about her.”

The three-time defending FCIAC champion Blue Wave took a 1-0 lead 2 minutes 48 seconds into the opening period.

With Darien controlling the puck in Greenwich’s zone, Cassidy converted a one-timer near the crease off a pass from her sister Sally Cassidy (a sophomore). Van den Broek also helped set up Georgia Cassidy’s tally.

Schiff put the visitors ahead 2-0 putting a wrist shot past Aselin stick side from the right faceoff circle with 11:10 remaining in the opening period. Aselin made 10 saves in the first period, while Blue Wave junior goalie Emily Gianunzio made five of her 15 saves.

“She is awesome in goal,” Darien senior quad-captain/defender Chandler Kirby said of Gianunzio. “She has been our starting goalie for a while now, since her freshman year and it’s really awesome to have such a great goalie.”

Kirby and senior Katie Zaro — also a captain, helped spark Darien defensively.

“What we have been working on in practice is looking up the ice and hitting the forwards on breakouts,” Kirby said. “It’s really important that we do that, because that’s where it all starts.”

Greenwich had three power-play opportunities, two of which came in the second period on high stick and interference infractions.

But Darien killed off each penalty, then added on to its lead. Cassidy’s shorthanded breakaway goal at the 13:55 mark and van den Broek’s tally off a 2-on-1 rush with 6:40 to go in the second period, put GHS in a 4-0 hole.

The Cards closed to within 4-1 when Kelly scored from close in off a feed from Grace Fahey. Forwards Erika Hvolbeck and Riley Ellsworth also contributed to the goal.

“I just forechecked hard, Erika made an awesome pass and I just knocked it home,” Kelly said. “It is good to go up against challenging teams like that to see the type of game we have to bring if we want to go deep in the playoffs.”

Cardinals senior forward/tri-captain Claire Eschricht left the game knowing GHS took a step forward.

“It was a completely different team than what showed up against Rye,” (a 4-1 loss to Rye Country Day) Eschricht said. “Darien has always been a strong team and a team like that highlights our weaknesses. That is how we are going to get better. I’m proud of our effort.”

Said Lerchen: “They had a pretty intense forecheck and we had a tough time with it, but we moved the puck better today and our neutral zone play was better.”

Baker tallied in the third period and Cassidy capped her hat trick with a goal at with 2:34 left. Indeed, Darien has high expectations for itself.

“We are looking to win FCIACs and states hopefully,” Cassidy said. “We won FCIACs last year, but we lost in the state semis, so we have to fight hard in these type of games in the FCIAC and keep getting better at the basic things.”

Tropsa added: “They want to go for the titles and we are here to guide them. Hopefully, they’ll get what they want.”; 203-625-4423


DARIEN 2 2 2—6


Goals: D — Georgia Cassidy 3, Cassidy Schiff, Schuyler van den Broek, Marissa Baker; G — Jen Kelly; Assists: D — Sally Cassidy, van den Broek 2, Emily Ferguson, Courtney Lowe, Corinne Bevill; G — Grace Fahey, Riley Ellsworth; Goalies: D — Emily Gianunzio (15 saves); G — Jessie Aselin (41 saves).

Records: Darien 2-0; Greenwich 0-2