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Darien uses big second half to down Greenwich in key FCIAC title rematch

Updated 11:26 pm, Tuesday, May 7, 2013

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  • At left, Hollis Perticone (#29) of Darien scores during the second half while being covered by Jenny Goggin (# 13) of Greenwich during the girls high school lacrosse match between Darien High School and Greenwich High School at Darien, Tuesday afternoon, May 7, 2013. Darien won the match 17-9. Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time
    At left, Hollis Perticone (#29) of Darien scores during the second half while being covered by Jenny Goggin (# 13) of Greenwich during the girls high school lacrosse match between Darien High School and Greenwich High School at Darien, Tuesday afternoon, May 7, 2013. Darien won the match 17-9. Photo: Bob Luckey

 

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DARIEN -- The game slowly began to turn toward the end of the first half and by the time the second reached its midway point, the Darien High girls lacrosse team was riding a wave of momentum that couldn't be stopped.

Tuesday's showdown between the Blue Wave and Greenwich was truly a tale of two halves. Though Greenwich held a slight edge in the first half, Darien dominated the second, impressively turning a one-goal halftime deficit into a convincing 17-9 win over the visiting Cardinals in a rematch of last season's FCIAC final.

Junior Emily Stein scored a game-high six goals, while senior Taylor Hardison tallied two goals and five assists for Darien, which outscored Greenwich 11-2 after trailing 7-6 at halftime.

"At halftime we needed to get ourselves together because we came out flat in the first half," said Stein, who scored three goals in the second half. "We knew if we didn't come out strong in the second half we were going to lose the game."

Stein was the beneficiary of several pin-point passes from Hardison, who posted two goals and two assists in Darien's 17-14 victory against Greenwich in the 2012 FCIAC championship game.

"Every time we play big competitors in the FCIAC we get pumped up," Hardison said. "We know we are probably going to see Greenwich again in the FCIAC and state tournaments, so it was important for us to set the tone today. Hopefully, we'll do exactly the same thing next time."

Senior midfielder Emily Johnson scored four times, while junior middie Carolyn Paletta scored twice for the Cardinals (11-2). Greenwich displayed solid ball movement and held its own on the draw controls in the opening half. However, it was a different story for the Cardinals in the second half.

"Unforced turnovers -- we beat ourselves on attack," GHS coach Caitlin Keane said. "We had great possession in the first half, we made good decisions and settled the ball when we needed to settle the ball. But we had no ball movement in the second half and too many turnovers."

Stein's goal off a pass from Hardison 1:31 into the second half tied the score at 7-7. Junior Dillon Schoen took a hit to the nose while fighting her way through traffic en route to scoring the go-ahead goal for the Blue Wave at the 22:52 mark. Hollis Perticone's man-up tally capped a string of four unanswered goals by the home team, making it a 9-7 game. After Johnson put a low shot past Darien senior goalie Caylee Waters, the Blue Wave scored two straight, the second of which came off the stick of Stein, claiming an 11-8 edge 10 minutes into the second half.

"They did a good job in the first half and we didn't have our `A' game," said Darien coach Lisa Lindley, whose squad improved to 12-1 with its 10th consecutive triumph. "To Greenwich's credit, they outplayed us in the first half. The second half, I thought we came out stronger and began getting the draws and converting our shots, which was a factor."

Effectively executing their settled offense, the state's top-ranked team methodically increased its lead as the second half progressed. Sophomore Mariah Matheis rolled off a pick and scored off a pass from Stein, sophomore Anna Moorhead scored on a catch-and-shoot off a feed from Hardison and Hardison put a shot by GHS goalie Kylie Ginsberg on the run, putting Darien in front, 14-8.

Johnson helped the Cards get off to a strong start in the opening half. Trailing 3-1 after Jena Fritts tallied, Johnson scored back-to-back goals, knotting the score at 3-3. Goals from Sophie Waine, Paletta and Emma Christie put GHS up, 6-4, with 9:35 to go in the first half.

"We had great momentum in the first half, but got a little bit lethargic in the second," said Christie, a senior midfielder. "Darien is a great team, so to be up on them in the first half is a great accomplishment. Next time, we need to play the whole 50 minutes. We'll see them again."

Said Paletta: "We look forward to this game all season, so that motivated us to come out strong the first half. We are a younger team than they are, so we are hoping to come at them stronger in the postseason."

Ellie Bennett secured numerous draw controls throughout, enabling Darien to control possession and run its offense.

"Ellie did a great job and we got a lot of people in the circle," Hardison said. "It was a great team effort."

Waters made eight saves for Darien, while Ginsberg stopped 10 shots for GHS.

"I thought our defense was fantastic the whole game," Keane said. "We have to go back to working hard on attack."

david.fierro@scni.com;

203-625-4423

darien 17, Greenwich 9

GREENWICH 7 2 -- 9

DARIEN 6 11 -- 17

Scoring: G -- Emily Johnson 4 g; Carolyn Paletta 2 g, Emma Christie, Megan Collins;Sophie Waine; Anne Dunser 1 a; D -- Emily Stein 6 g; Hollis Perticone 2 g; Mariah Matheis 2 g; Dillon Schoen 2 g, 1 a; Kristy Gilbert 1 g; Taylor Hardison 2 g, 5 a; Anna Moorhead 1 g; Jena Fritts 1 g. Goalies: G -- Kylie Ginsburg (10 saves); D -- Caylee Waters (8 saves). Records: Greenwich 11-2; Darien 12-1.

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