New Canaan Girls Lax Falls Short Against Darien


Just like any New Canaan and Darien matchup, there was buzz heading into Thursday night’s girls lacrosse contest. And with both teams coming into the showdown undefeated in FCIAC play (6-0), the buzz grew to a roar at an electric Dunning Stadium.

In the end, it was the Blue Wave who made the most noise on the field. Led by junior midfielder Chandler Kirby’s three goals and a stretch of five straight goals between the end of the first and start of the second half, Darien took down the Rams 12-9.

“The game plan was really to be disciplined,” New Canaan coach Kristin Woods told “They [Darien] have a spectacular team. We have to take advantage of every opportunity. We can’t have careless turnovers. And I think that we did a good job minimizing that today, and I was really proud of the way they fought.”

New Canaan jumped out to an early lead as—after possessing the ball for all of the first 4:39 of the contest—senior co-captain Elizabeth Miller sped through the slot and scored on the feed from teammate Catherine Granito.

Just a little over three minutes later, Darien made their second offensive possession count as Mariah Matheis took advantage of a free shot at the goal to tie it up at one.

After another three minutes, Darien took their first lead of the game when Kirby found the back of the net for the first time on the night, taking advantage of an open slot and beating New Canaan goaltender Bailey Pilder top right.

Pilder came up huge on the next Blue Wave possession, stopping a shot from Darien attacker Anna Moorhead. This led to an extended stay in the offensive zone for New Canaan and culminated in a goal by Granito to tie it at two.

That goal seemed to spark New Canaan’s energy as they continued to possess the ball and fired two shots on net that just didn’t go past Darien goalie Sammy Nielsen.

However, the third time was the charm when the co-captain Miller found the back of the net for the second time, charging through a crowded slot and beating Nielsen through the legs, giving New Canaan the 3-2 lead.

Darien responded with back-to-back goals of their own. The first came on Kirby’s second of the night, followed by Laura Murphy who put the Wave back on top 4-3.

With just under five minutes remaining in the half, Katie DeMarino knotted the game at four, however Darien was able to respond immediately. The Blue Wave pulled off four straight goals to end the half and added a fifth straight a little over a minute into the second, taking a commanding 9-4 lead.

The Rams didn’t lie down. Their rally started with a fantastic goal, all due to the incredible effort by Miller, who deflected a pass from the goaltender Nielsen who had vacated the net, and directed it into the goal for her third score of the game.

17 seconds later Campbell Armstrong scored after a great feed from DeMarino on the run, cutting the Rams deficit to three, 9-6.

A minute and a half later, New Canaan struck again as a goal from Kylie Murphy cut the Darien lead to 9-7.

New Canaan, however, would not get closer than two. Despite trailing by scores of 10-8 and 11-9, the Rams eventually fell by a final score of 12-9.

“This is the first time I’ve really seen improvement from our team playing as a unit, which is a good sign,” Miller—who scored four goals in the game—told “As of right now we haven’t been improving each game, so [for] the postseason, this is a good sign because we’re improving now. And if we just didn’t make a couple mistakes today, the outcome could’ve been different.”

New Canaan will look to get back in the ‘W’ column on Saturday, May 9th at home in a 12pm contest vs. Longmeadow (MA).

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