Wave Outlasts the Weather and Tigers For 4 Straight


Darien junior Blake Wilks striking the ball in a 2021 match (photo courtesy of DAF)

Braden Schenck, Writer

The Darien Field Hockey team opened their week by taking a trip to Ridgefield High School’s Tiger Hollow Stadium. Darien entered the match at 3-0 by outscoring opponents 24-0 entering play. They would be tasked with the Ridgefield Tigers who lead the FCIAC at 4-0 on the young season.

Darien would get their first opportunity of the match in just the 7th minute. Ashley Stockdale would transition the ball over to junior Blake Wilks with the backhanded sweep shot but was stopped by the blocker of Ridgefield goaltender Bella Crowley. Darien would dominate the shots on goal stat all afternoon tallying 14 total shots on goal for the match compared to Ridgefield’s 0. The Tigers went the full 60 minutes of play with only 2 penalty corners and 0 shots on goal! A huge testament to Darien’s lockdown defense all season which has now gone 4 matches without giving up a score.

Darien would pepper Crowley again 10 minutes in with a penalty corner in which the Wave would get shots from Wilks and Kate Bock, but Crowley made 2 more big stops. Crowley would be met with the same situation just seconds into the 2nd quarter and again made a pair of saves keeping the match scoreless.

With a minute remaining before the half, Darien had another crucial penalty corner. Benoit inserted to Wilks, she took a strong shot on net but was denied by Crawley. Raina Johns tried her luck on the deflection and was also rejected. But the third time was the charm as Wilks would get the rebound and send a line drive ball to the back of the cage. 1-0 Blue Wave heading into the half.

Coming out of the half was something neither side wanted, a strike of lighting putting the match in a weather delay. With many uncertainties with the negativity-looking forecasts and pouring rain, the continuation of the match was looking unlikely. But Tiger Hollow never fails to amaze as the sun appeared, a rainbow formed and play was resumed.

The Wave and Tigers would play to a scoreless third quarter before Darien would turn the accelerator on in the 4th.

Another penalty corner was inserted by Benoit, and a shot from Stockdale deflected by Bock was finished by Kaci Benoit giving Darien a 2-0 lead. A true masterpiece from the Wave.

A minute later Darien would find themselves in the striking circle again as Ashley Stockdale would shoot a pass over to Blake Wilks who had a wide-open net, as she guided the ball into the cage for her second of the match and Darien’s 3rd.

The Wave would come out of Ridgefield with a 3-0 win extending the win streak to 4 and the goal differential to 27-0. The Wave will play a trio of road games over the next two weeks traveling to Guilford on Thursday, Staples next Tuesday, and Brien McMahon next Friday. With this win, Darien will continue to climb the FCIAC standings and joins Wilton as the only undefeated squads left in the conference.




DARIEN 0 1 0 2 — 3

RIDGEFIELD 0 0 0 0 — 0

Scoring: D – Blake Wilks (2), Kaci Benoit

Goalkeepers: D – Lindsey Darby 0 saves; R – Bella Crowley 11 saves.

Records: Darien 4-0; Ridgefield 3-1