One last tango.
After blasting their respective semifinal opponents by a combined margin of 30 goals, the Darien and New Canaan boys lacrosse teams will meet for a third time this season in the Class M state championship Saturday. The Blue Wave took both of the previous meetings in overtime, most recently with a come-from-behind 12-11 effort in the FCIAC tournament. Since that time, the Rams have set their focus on a championship rematch with their archrivals and demolishing all other teams in their path.
Said junior Cole Turpin after a 16-1 quarterfinal win over New Fairfield:
“We know what we want, and all we can think about is next Saturday.”
New Canaan coach Chip Buzzeo echoed Turpin’s sentiment after the same contest, as his team ran post-game sprints.
“You see these defensemen running sprints after the game? They are running hard,” he said. “These guys want Darien, and that’s why they are running like that. They are working so hard and are all focused on one thing.”
Of course, not all the motivation to win Saturday lies on the Rams sideline. Darien will have the chance to polish off its second perfect season in history, after the 2005 Blue Wave squad ran the tables. While the pressure would seem to grow to its very highest this weekend, Darien coaches and players are taking confidence from their mounds of experience winning big games this past season.
“We’ve had a lot of big ones this year and that’s why we do them,” Wave coach Jeff Brameier said. “It’s to get them ready for Saturday. We’re ready for that heat again.”
Senior Peter Lindley picked up a hat trick in Wednesday’s bashing of Daniel Hand, just as he did in each previous meeting with New Canaan. His presence, limited by a cut above his eye in the teams’ FCIAC semifinal clash, will be critical for the Blue Wave. Amongst many other key offensive players, fellow fourth-year attack John Reed must come through for Darien in his final game before moving off to play lacrosse at Bucknell.
Thus far, he has, and it’s led to nothing short of an unbelievable ride for the Wave.
“Honestly, I didn’t think we’d be sitting here undefeated,” he said.