A dominant performance in the faceoff circle led to a dominant performance from endline to endline for both Darien and Wilton girls lacrosse Wednesday in their respective FCIAC semifinals. As a result, the long-time conference powers will clash tomorrow in the FCIAC championship at 5 p.m. in a meeting most expected over the course of the girls lacrosse season.
By holding the ball for more than 2o minutes in their second half against New Canaan, the Warriors all but ensured a matchup of the conference’s top teams prior to the state tournament.
“That’s something we try to do,” Wilton coach Meredith Meyran said of her team’s offensive patience. “We practice a lot with the clock so that we don’t just take the first option, we’re patient and we’re smart. We know that if we force it, we’ll get into trouble.”
Following the Warriors’ 11-5 win, the Blue Wave faced zero trouble battering Greenwich in a 19-8 victory built on draw success. Darien’s Katie Cronin and Hollis Perticone claimed 15 of the opening 19 faceoffs to race past the Cardinals early and coast in the second half. Five different Wave players finished with hat tricks, as the Darien defense forced Greenwich into a number of turnovers in the few times it could stake possession.
“Our defense was strong even though we didn’t win a lot of ground balls,” Blue Wave coach Lisa Lindley said. “What we did differently from our first meeting was we used a zone defense. That worked well.”
In their lone meeting of the regular season, Darien topped Wilton 13-8 at home, surviving a late rally by its visiting rival. The Warriors won three consecutive draws to get themselves back in the game, but couldn’t complete their comeback due to a pair of late Wave transition goals. Given both teams’ ability win draws, the finish of this year’s FCIAC final will very likely be determined by the outcome of its start inside the circle.