NORWALK -- At halftime of its FCIAC championship clash with archrival New Canaan at Brien McMahon High School on Friday, the Darien girls lacrosse team found itself in fairly uncharted territory: Down by two goals.

Up to that point, New Canaan had limited the effectiveness of Darien's usually potent attack by possessing the ball and slowing the pace In the second half, however, an eight-goal output by the Blue Wave provided them with the margin necessary to capture the FCIAC championship, 12-10.

Playing in rain that ranged from steady to a downpour, the Blue Wave took the lead for the last time when Emily Stein scored her fourth and final goal on a bounce shot with 7:31 remaining for the 10-9 lead.

"We worked so hard this season to get to this point and I couldn't imagine it ending any other way," Stein said. "We had a rough start but we never gave up. This is all we wanted all season, and we wanted to do it for the seniors because they work so hard and they deserve this."

Darien gave itself a two-goal cushion with 6:03 left on the clock when game MVP Jena Fritts assisted Hollis Perticone.

"It was scary at first since we were down. We had to get groundballs, go 100 percent at everything and that's what we did, and we pulled through," Fritts said. "(Neither team leading by more than two goals) shows how close it was."

The Rams gave themselves a chance when Olivia Hompe assisted Bea Eppler with 1:46 remaining to cut the Blue Wave lead to 11-10. New Canaan briefly had possession after Kelly Armstrong won the draw, but Darien got it back and went to work on running out the clock.

"That's something we practice quite a bit, and I'm fortunate that I have tremendous athletes," Darien coach Lisa Lindley said. "They played well when they had to to pull it out, so I'm very happy with them."

Then, with 28 seconds remaining, Perticone scored again for the 12-10 advantage, and Darien's Ellie Bennett won the ensuing draw to seal the win.

Elizabeth Miller notched a game-high five goals for the Rams, including New Canaan's last four of the first half. Her marker with 5:02 remaining before halftime gave her team a 6-4 advantage at the break.

"Miller was a rock star today. She came up big. I kept telling her all season to just make sure she keeps shooting, keeps shooting. She did today and really came up big for us," New Canaan coach Kristin Woods said. "It was a spectacular game. When it comes down to Darien-New Canaan, you're always going to get a good run, especially when it's the FCIAC championship."

For Darien, Fritts came up with a team-high four goals, including three in the second half, while also doling out three assists. Fritts to set the tone for the Blue Wave in the second half, scoring just 12 seconds in after receiving a pass from Stein.

Neither team could build a lead greater than two goals. However, a key four-minute stretch early in the second half saw Darien scored four straight (Fritts, Kristen Gilbert, Alexa Sheldon and Fritts), turning a 7-5 deficit into a 9-7 lead.

After taking a timeout, New Canaan stormed back to tie the game as Hompe assisted Lily Citrin before scoring the game-tying herself.

"We did (try to slow the Darien offense down)," Woods said. "We tried to play our game and focus on things we can control by being disciplined, making sure that we possessed and taking advantage of every opportunity we had. It made a difference in the game."

"We weren't in our groove, and we switched things around a little bit as the first half was going. We definitely switched it in the second half, and I think that made us settle in a little bit more," Lindley said.; Twitter: @jchik17

Darien 12, New Canaan 10

NEW CANAAN 6 4--10

DARIEN 4 8--12

Records: New Canaan 17-2 (12-2 FCIAC), Darien 17-1 (15-0 FCIAC). Scoring: NC--Elizabeth Miller 5g, Olivia Hompe 2g, 3a, Isabel Taben 1g, Lily Citrin 1g, Bea Eppler 1g; D--Jena Fritts 4g, 3a, Emily Stein 4g, 1a, Kristen Gilbert 1g, 1a, Alexa Sheldon 1g, Hollis Perticone 2g. Goalies: NC--Liz O'Sullivan (5 saves); H--Caylee Waters (9). Shots: NC--24; D--19.