FAIRFIELD — For the first time since 1995, the Staples girls soccer team will have a chance at a state title.

The No. 4 Wreckers outlasted eight-seed Darien 3-2 on Wednesday evening at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, punching their ticket to this weekend’s Class LL title against another FCIAC rival, No. 7 Ridgefield.

“We kind of learned a lesson from the FCIAC final (a 1-0 loss to St. Joseph) that even in a high-tempo environment we have to remain in our game plan and remain confident in how we play,” Staples coach Barry Beattie said. “We kept the ball well and moved them around the field; they’re very tough defensively.”

The Wreckers pressured Darien for the majority of the first half and finally broke through in the 35th minute when Reese Sutter scored on a sharp-angle free kick.

That score would hold through the break, but Staples got on the board again early in the second on Olivia Ronca’s penalty kick.

Her shot was originally saved by Darien goalie Christine Fiore, but Ronca was able to corral the rebound and bury it into the top-left corner.

Despite the two-goal deficit, Darien did not go quietly in its first-ever appearance in the state semifinals.

Katie Ramsay used her 6-foot frame to score in the 68th minute on a header off a corner kick.

Sutter, however, responded with 4:21 left in regulation to again widen the margin to two.

Ramsay again would answer less than two minutes later on a beautiful looping shot from 25 yards out to bring the deficit back down to one, but the Wave couldn’t find the equalizer.

“She’s scored in every state game,” Darien coach Leigh Parsons said of his senior striker. “The second goal from 25 yards out on a half-volley — it shows what she’s capable of there … normally in a game like that we throw a bunch of bodies forward and it gets scrappy, but those were two top-notch goals.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Sutter, Staples. The sophomore bookended the Wreckers’ scoring; breaking the ice in the first half and scoring the eventual winner late in the second.

“I drove it low hoping someone would tap it in and it just went all the way through,” Sutter said of her first goal. “On the second, I had a couple chances when I was alone and I shot early, so I wanted to have composure and keep the ball and try to slot it into the corner.”

PASSING THE TORCH

Darien lost Fiore for the remainder of the game when she injured herself saving the Staples penalty kick. Until that point, she had made six saves, and her replacement — junior Caroline Orphanos — came on in relief to stop seven.

“It was kind of reminiscent of a few years ago when our previous goalie got hurt and Chrissie came in and stepped up,” Parsons said. “It was heartbreaking for me to see Chrissie have to miss the last part of her senior game after everything she’s done; I believe she’s the best keeper in the state and she’s been unreal this season. To lose such a key figure to an injury, it’s tough, but Caroline went in and when she was called upon she was there.

“She made some really good saves, and it was good to see that we have such a good keeper to come in and back up a great keeper.”

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

STAPLES 3, DARIEN 2

DARIEN0 2—2

STAPLES1 2—3

Goals: D—Katie Ramsay 2; S—Reese Sutter 2, Olivia Ronca. Goalies: D—Christine Fiore (6 saves), Caroline Orphanos (7); S—Anna Sivinski (6). Shots: D—8; S—16.