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Darien boys lacrosse rallies past Staples

Updated 10:22 am, Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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  • Mike Ross Connecticut Post freelance -Staples High School's goalie #12 Cole Gendels protects the goal and make a save during Tuesday afternoon match-up against Darien High School. Photo: Mike Ross / www.mikerossphoto.com
    Mike Ross Connecticut Post freelance -Staples High School's goalie #12 Cole Gendels protects the goal and make a save during Tuesday afternoon match-up against Darien High School. Photo: Mike Ross

 

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Darien High's Kevin Seiler admitted that Tuesday's game against Staples was one that the Blue Wave needed to have.

And with the Blue Wave tied in the fourth quarter and in need of a spark, the senior attack delivered.

Seiler netted the go-ahead goal with 10:41 remaining and assisted another late, propelling Darien's boys lacrosse team to a 5-3 come-from-behind win at Staples.

Darien, which had lost two of its last three (9-4 at New Canaan on April 16 and 11-5 against Yorktown, N.Y. on Saturday), improved to 5-4. Staples fell to 5-3.

"It's huge for us," said Seiler, who finished with two goals and two assists. "It was tough losing to New Canaan, and coming off that Yorktown loss, I think it was a must win for us. It was really a confidence-booster for our team."

Darien trailed by two goals late in the third quarter, but responded in a big way late, outscoring Staples 3-0 in the fourth.

Harry Gillespie scooped up a turnover near Staples' net and fed Blue Wave junior attack Peter Lindley, who beat goalie Cole Gendels with 11:32 left to tie it 3-3. Lindley also netted a goal with 5:53 left off a pass from Seiler to put the Blue Wave ahead 5-3.

"They did a great job defending us," Darien coach Jeff Brameier said. "Cole was very good in net against us, making some great saves. We got some fortunate goals, but so did they."

Staples, which was coming off its first-ever win over perennial power New Canaan (8-7 in double overtime on Saturday), led 3-1 late in the third after midfielder Joey Zelkowitz's third goal. The Wreckers, however, let Darien cut it to 3-2 just nine seconds before the fourth on a tally by Gillespie.

"If you make one mistake, they're going to take advantage of it. And they did," Staples coach Paul McNulty said. "When you're playing good teams, you've got to expect that, and you have to come back from that. ... We had some good chances, but they stopped us."

Junior Paul Huffard made 12 saves in net for Darien, which held a surging Staples team to just one goal over the game's first 31-plus minutes.

"It was a great defensive effort against a very talented Staples team who was coming off two big wins," said Brameier, referencing the Wreckers' recent wins over Glastonbury and New Canaan. "We knew we had our work cut out for us."

Both teams traded empty chances for much of the first quarter before Seiler put one past Gendels (12 saves) to make it 1-0 with 4:39 left. The score stayed that way until 3:59 remaining before halftime, when Zelkowitz fired home a shot from the point to make it 1-1. The teams entered halftime knotted 1-1, despite the Blue Wave's 12-6 edge in shots.

"I think it was a little tough for our offense. We started off a little slow," Seiler said. "They were playing great (defense) on us, so all the credit to them. ... They played well on us the whole game."

Darien, which out-shot Staples 23-13 for the game, fell behind 2-1 with 4:04 left in the third quarter on Zelkowitz's goal off a pass by Lance Lonergan.

Although the Wreckers later relinquished the lead, McNulty was pleased with his team's inspired play against the defending M state champions.

"I loved the way our guys play," McNulty said. "We want to be competitive and move up in the lacrosse FCIAC rankings, and that's the way we have to play. If our team plays like that all year, I think we'll do very well."

dbonjour@scni.com; 203-255-4561 ext. 114; twitter.com/DougBonjour

DARIEN 5, STAPLES 3

DARIEN 1 0 1 3 -- 5

STAPLES 0 1 2 0 -- 3

Records: Darien 5-4 (5-1 FCIAC); Staples 5-3 (3-3).

Scoring: D -- Kevin Seiler (2g, 2a), Peter Lindley (2g), Harry Gillespie (1g, 1a); S -- Joey Zelkowitz (3g), Isaac Paparo (1a), Lance Lonergan (1a). Goalies: D -- Paul Huffard (12 saves); S -- Cole Gendels (12). Shots: D -- 23; S -- 13.

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