Wave Strikes Early in Win Over Wreckers


Darien’s Kaci Benoit striking the ball past a Staples defender (photo courtesy of DAF)

Braden Schenck, Writer

One of the greatest rivalries in CT High School Field Hockey opened another chapter on Tuesday. The Darien Blue Wave (5-0) took the trip to Ginny Parker Field for a clash with the Staples Wreckers (4-1). The teams met twice in the 2021 campaign featuring a meeting in the regular season and in the FCIAC Semi-Finals both were taken by the Blue Wave.

This clash of powerhouses saw the Blue Wave with the majority of the offensive opportunities early on. Only two and a half minutes into play Darien would have some early penalty corners. Junior Ashley Stockdale inserted to the top to Johns, a pass over to Benoit, and then found its way back to Stockdale. A shot stopped by Staples goalkeeper Alexia Ninios was rebounded on a wide-open cage to Stockdale, who sent it home for the first score.

Moving along to the ending of the first, the Wreckers had their luck at a penalty corner. Junior Charlotte Strange with the insert, connected to sophomore Sophia Fidalgo, velocity put into the shot, but it missed the cage wide by inches. The Wave breathed a sigh of relief. That was one of 14 penalty corner opportunities the Wreckers saw on Tuesday. They were unable to convert on all of them.

Early in the second quarter, the Wave held the 1-0 advantage. That was until junior Tori Stockdale sent the pass to Blake Wilks, who took it into the attacking 25, past 3 defenders, and a shot on goal that beat Ninios. Wilks who is just a junior is committed to the admissions process at Cornell to play field hockey for the Big Red.

In the third quarter, the Wreckers had their best looks for a goal, a sequence in the 7th minute of the 3rd quarter saw shots from Emma Nahon, Emma Larit, and Nahon again, however, Darien net miner Lindsey Darby prevailed and made 3 big saves.

The Wave tacted on another when late in the 4th quarter, sophomore Hope Hapgood checked into the match in the place of her sister Ryan. A Wilks shot on goal found the ricochet right to the stick of Hope, who stroked the ball through the five-hole of Ninios for the icing on the top score.

The Wave would come out of Westport with the win moving to 6-0 on the season and grabbing their 5th shutout. Darien has outscored opponents 36-2 and figures to be a contender for the FCIAC and State playoffs.

Lindsey Darby and the defense were the MVP of this match. Darby made 10 big saves and pitched the shutout of the Wreckers, the first time since 2015 that the Wave accomplished such feat. Seniors Morgan Massey, Chi-an Daugavietis, and Raina Johns were all key in that defensive effort forcing the Wreckers to minimal looks.

“We were able to communicate really well, and it was big being able to talk with my defense to stop those balls in the middle,” Darien goalkeeper Lindsey Darby said after the match on the defensive success Tuesday.

Thus far the Blue Wave has been close to perfect with the perfect record, big-time goal numbers, and airtight defense. The girls will travel to Brien McMahon on Thursday for a meeting with the Senators at Casagrande Field. This will be the first time since the 2021 FCIAC Championship OT thriller that the Wave will play on that same field.

One week from today on October the 4th, the team has another marquee match when the 5-0 Wilton Warriors come to Stadium Field. This is the highly anticipated rematch of the CIAC Semi-Final match a year ago in which the Warriors upset Darien in the shootout.




DARIEN 1 1 0 1 — 3

STAPLES 0 0 0 0 — 0

Scoring: D – Ashley Stockdale, Blake Wilks, Hope Hapgood

Goalkeepers: D – Lindsey Darby 10 saves; S – Alexia Ninios 6 saves.

Records: Darien 6-0; Staples 4-2