Undefeated Darien rallies past rival Rams to reach FCIAC final
Tearing away from his sideline with less than 10 seconds left in a tied game, Ian Burgoyne called for the chance to put Darien in the FCIAC championship, to crush rival New Canaan and to keep the Blue Wave's undefeated season alive. Gaining possession on a frenetic transition attack, Burgoyne slowed, readied and fired his shot at glory.
Then, moments into the ensuing overtime period, Burgoyne curled around the right post only to stumble upon the exact opportunity once again. And this time, he made it count.
Trailing by three goals with eight minutes to go, the Darien boys lacrosse team rallied to beat New Canaan 12-11 Wednesday in the FCIAC semifinals on Burgoyone's extra-session score.
The Blue Wave improved to 18-0 with its second defeat of the Rams this season, as New Canaan (14-4) failed to claim a third consecutive FCIAC title. Darien will see Greenwich in the conference championship Friday at 7 p.m.
"I told the kids it's character. It's passion. It's believing," Blue Wave coach Jeff Brameier said. "These guys have worked hard. They've been on a mission, and they don't want to be denied."
Following Andrew Pugliese's face-off win that opened overtime, Brameier quickly called timeout to organize his group and maintain possession. Darien failed to connect on its initial shots of the period before placing the ball on Burgoyne's stick once 90 seconds had elapsed. The Naval Academy-commited senior took it from there.
"I was lucky (coach) went back to me," Burgoyne said. "I'm not his go-to guy, and we've got a great senior group that could've handled the ball behind. I had a short-stick matchup, and I feel pretty confident behind the net because I've played there a bunch this season " I took a few dodges and I finally stuck the shot."
Blue Wave senior Peter Lindley netted four goals, the only Darien player to score more than twice. New Canaan's Michael Kraus and Justin Meichner each recorded hat tricks, helping sustain an 8-2 Rams run from the late first quarter into the early fourth. Senior goalie Trent Nader managed to record tough save after tough save, but didn't receive any help from his offense in a scoreless fourth for New Canaan.
"We were up by three goals," Rams coach Chip Buzzeo said. "Credit them for being aggressive, but we gave the ball away. And to be quite honest, we gave the game away."
Knotted at 7-7 coming out of halftime, New Canaan outscored Darien 4-1 in the third quarter. Junior faceoff specialist Teddy Dumbauld secured the first four faceoffs of the period, which led to goals from Meichner and Kraus. Later, Bossidy scored top-shelf on an unassisted effort, shortly before another Meichner goal that closed the quarter.
The Wave failed to cut into its 11-8 deficit until Lindley found the back of the net while crashing to the ground in a remarkable effort with 7:17 to play. Then, Darien goalie Phil Huffard stopped a pair of shots, handing possession back to the Wave attack, which produced a Colin Minicus score at just over two minutes remaining.
Next, Pugliese claimed victory in the faceoff circle to set up an eventual Harry Gillespie goal that sunk inches below the crossbar and tied the game.
Darien 12, New Canaan 11
NEW CANAAN 4 3 4 0 0--10
DARIEN 6 1 1 3 1--11
Records: New Canaan 14-4, Darien 18-0. Scoring: NC-- Michael Kraus 3 goals, 1 assist, Justin Meichner 3g, Harry Stanton 2g, Teddy Bossidy 2g, Kyle Smith 1g, Robby Paul 1a; D-- Peter Lindley 4g, Colin Minicus 2g, Harry Gillespie 2g, 1a, Ian Burgoyne 1g, 1a, Jack Kniffin 1g, 1a, John Reed 1g, Kyle Cornell 1g, Nic Tuzinkiewicz 1a. Goalies: NC--Trent Nader (10 saves); D--Phil Huffard (11). Highlights: Ian Burgoyne scored with 2:27 left in overtime to put Darien in the FCIAC title game Friday night. New Canaan failed to win its third straight conference championship.