Wave Falls in Opener to Defending FCIAC Champs Norwalk


Darien keeper Tommy Branca punts the ball (photo taken by Austin Kipphut)

The 2022 Darien Blue Wave Boys Soccer team opened up the campaign by hosting the defending FCIAC champion Norwalk Bears for a Thursday Afternoon clash at the Center Oval.

It was a back-and-forth battle from the start. Both teams had their fair share of opportunities, but it was the Bears who bested the Wave 1-0.

Darien had an early opportunity in the 9th minute with senior Trevor Pegg sprinting up the wing and connecting with an open Ryan Roderick, but a wide finish did not convert to a goal.

The first half was a well-played defensive battle and as a result, was a scoreless tie heading into the halftime huddle.

Darien’s keeper Tommy Branca made 7 saves in the loss including a couple of big stopped shots from Dylan Thomas in the 42nd minute and then in the 48th from Jack Gerardi, however in the 49th minute things would change.

A goal kick from Marcos Pena found the senior Thomas who sent a beautiful through ball to Bears senior captain Luke Ingber who struck the ball just past the outreach of Branca to the back of the net, putting Norwalk up 1-0. The Bears’ defense would continue to dominate and after 80 minutes shut out the Blue Wave.

Darien had many looks, including a great ball from James Kennedy in the 66th minute and a free kick in the middle in the 76th minute from Bobby Whittaker. They were both to no avail as a beautiful performance from Norwalk’s senior goalkeeper Marcos Pena resulted in 11 saves and 0 Darien goals.

“They just had the edge, they scored a good goal and exposed us a little bit in some places but we could see them one or two times more” Darien head coach Jon Bradley told reporters after the game.

The Blue Wave was chosen to be the favorites in the FCIAC for 2022 but this loss starts them off on the wrong footing. The Wave will travel to Westhill on Saturday looking for their first win of the season against the Vikings.




NORWALK 0 1 — 1

DARIEN 0 0 — 0

Scoring: N – Luke Ingber (49′).

Goalkeepers: N – Marcos Pena 11 saves; D – Tommy Branca 7 saves.

Records: Norwalk 1-0-0; Darien 0-1-0