Locked in a 1-1 tie in the second half of her team's game with Staples, Darien girls soccer midfielder Dillon Schoen prepared to take a free kick about 35 yards from goal in front of the Darien bench.
Unsure of whether to go for the long shot or cross the ball into the box towards her teammates, Schoen turned to the bench asked the coaching staff what she do.
"I asked if I should shoot it or go for the cross; hit it towards the back post," Schoen said. "(Head coach Leigh Parsons) said whatever you feel comfortable with. So I just hit it towards the goal. I guess I got lucky; it must have caught a big wind or something right over the keeper's hands."
Schoen's phenomenal strike was part of a four-goal outburst in the second half that propelled Darien to a 4-1 win over Staples on Friday afternoon at Loeffler field. The win keeps Darien in second place in the conference with two games left, while Staples fell out of the playoff places with the loss.
After lofting the ball high over Staples goalie Mary Bennewitz, Schoen turned back to the bench in complete disbelief.
"I was shocked," Schoen said. "I didn't even believe it went in because that's never happened. It was really cool."
Gea Mitas converted an early penalty to give Staples the lead after Darien was fouled for a hand ball in the box. The Wreckers controlled the first half and had looks at the goal to extend the lead, but couldn't convert those looks into quality shots.
"We had some chances, we just need to get the shot off we need the create something more dangerous to challenge the keeper," Staples coach Heather Driscoll said. "We got into dangerous areas but didn't have the final product."
The Blue Wave attack woke up with force in the second half. Darien scored on its first three shots on target in a 10-minute span. Morgan Sawitsky scored twice, including the tying goal less than four minutes into the second half. Staples had little room to operate as the Blue Wave piled on the pressure.
"I think we ran out of energy a little bit," Driscoll said. "Darien came out firing after being frustrated in the first half. It put us on our heels. They put us under pressure and we couldn't catch our breath and get into a rhythm."
Driscoll conceded Staples' FCIAC chances are slim following the defeat. The Wreckers need wins against Westhill (Monday) and Trinity Catholic (Thursday) to have any chance of qualifying.
"We are probably out of FCIAC's after this one," Driscoll said. "But to put us in better seeding for the state tournament and for our confidence; if we can beat Westhill Monday that would be big for our confidence."