Staples field hockey suffers first regulation loss to Darien
Coming off a rare defeat, the Darien field hockey team needed about 30 minutes to find its groove in its match against host Staples on Monday afternoon.
It helped the Blue Wave already had a two-goal lead before they overwhelmed the Wreckers in the second half.
Five different players scored goals and goalie Kaeleigh Morrill made 10 saves as the Blue Wave downed Staples 5-1 at Ginny Parker Field. The defeat was the first in regulation against the Wreckers (6-1-0-1) this season.
"We knew Staples was going to come out and play us tough," Darien coach Mo Minicus said. "They always do and they're having a good season themselves. We're coming off a (2-0) loss to Wilton (Friday) which I would like to think woke us up a little bit."
The Wreckers had more chances and penalty corners than the visitors in the first half, but the Blue Wave (7-2) scored goals on its lone two corners to earn a 2-0 halftime advantage.
"That's always nice because you practice them so often," Minicus said. "We were happy; it was nice to be rewarded that way."
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The smooth passing and fluid movement was all over the field in the second period as the Blue Wave racked up 15 shots and seven penalty corners. The pressure eventually broke down the Wreckers defense and resulted in goals.
"I'm just very proud of how the team played together today, really trying to use our small passing game again and work together get that ball up and finish with corners and goals," Minicus said.
Morrill came up big in the first half, stopping five Wreckers shots. Staples finished the game with seven penalty corners and 15 shots, but only found the back of the cage once.
"I think they played really well," Staples coach Ashley Del Vecchio said of her team. "I felt like we had the ball a lot, we had possession. We had a lot of scoring opportunities and corners and I felt that (we) deserved to have more than one goal."
The Blue Wave struck for a pair of goals a minute apart early in the second half to seal the win. Georgia Cassidy found Marissa Baker in transition on a pinpoint pass for the first tally, and then Kyra Fitzpatrick smashed a rebound home from close range to make it 4-0.
Olivia Hoyda supplied the finishing touch with 10 minutes left when she lofted a pass from a penalty corner insert over the entire Staples defense. The pass was smashed in by Rebecca DeMaio at the far post.
"It's just a corner we practice," Minicus said. "(Hoyda) has a beautiful lift if she gets it off in time. (DeMaio) was in the right spot."
Meg Fay spoiled the shutout with a goal between Morrill's legs with less than a minute left.