Girls Soccer Retakes Possession of the Rivals Cup With Win Over Rams


Darien Athletic Department

The Darien girls soccer team celebrating after the Rivals Cup win at Dunning Field

Braden Schenck, Writer

On an overcast Thursday afternoon, the Darien girls soccer team traveled to New Canaan’s Dunning Field for the 4th edition of the Rivals Cup. The Darien boys team got the job done on Wednesday beating the Rams 4-0, and now the girls took to the pitch looking to take the sweep on the cups.

The Wave showing up to Dunning Field in their custom “Bleed Blue” t-shirts was out for blood in this one. It was a rivalry game, but for head coach Leigh Parsons it was just another game. A game in which Darien needed points as they are hot in pursuit of an FCIAC playoff spot.

A slow start saw neither team with much offense in the early goings.

In the 10th minute, a through ball to Anna Von Kennel on the wing would show off her speed as she tracked the ball down and put a shot on the net. Bella DeFelice made the stop but the rebound found its way to the boot of Colette Quinn sending the groundball on the net, it would be fielded by the Rams net miner.

With 12 minutes left on the clock in the first half Darien was awarded the corner kick. Sophomore Keely Fox went to the corner to insert the ball. Fox sent it into the scrum where Caroline Aponte would be open, raise her right foot and guide the ball with her boot sending it to the back of the net. A move that Aponte was working on in warmups resulted in a Darien goal as they went up 1-0.

In the 40th minute of play, Darien’s Kelly Holmes would take a shot that DeFelice would knock out of bounds. The referee signaled to the corner for a Darien corner kick, however, the Rams tried to stall the final ten seconds slowing the ball down and grabbing possession. The referee picked up on this and stopped the clock with 2 seconds left. Keely Fox went to the corner with only two ticks to make something happen. She sent the ball to the net, a shot that was looking to be just tipped in. Presley Sutter had a room by the far post and guided the ball into the net from Fox for the Darien score.

The clock hit zeros in the first half, and Darien was celebrating the new 2-0 lead they had heading into the half.

We have had the opportunities all season, and just have been missing that final piece to finish on the goals

— Darien assistant coach Michael Fraioli said before the match.

Darien had controlled the possession in the first half and with goals from Aponte and Sutter had the lead.

Darien’s defense would keep pushing along, and senior captain Jillian Fox would stop all six shots on goal she saw on the afternoon.

Darien’s defense had a nice showing holding New Canaan to only three corner kick opportunities, and on all three did a great job clearing the ball out of the box avoiding a New Canaan shot.

The Blue Wave defense would pitch the blank sheet for the fifth time this season and the Darien offense despite few opportunities in the second half still played a solid first 40. The Rams were missing some key players in this match with the injuries of Ella Patterson, Kate Kupchak, and Emma Finnerty, the Rams have adopted that next girl up mentality as they would lose their 8th match in this one.

Darien lost to New Canaan last year 2-1 at the Oval and lost possession of the Rivals Cup, but with this win, the coveted trophy returns to High School Lane!

This was a statement win from the Wave as now they sit only two points out of the FCIAC playoffs trailing Greenwich for the 8 spot. Darien will now shift their attention to their hard ending schedule in which they play Ridgefield (8-1-2), Wilton (5-4-2), Warde (8-2-1) and, Stamford (1-9-1) to close out the 2022 campaign.

Just like last year, it will come right down to the stretch for the Darien girls soccer team.




DARIEN 2 0 — 2

NEW CANAAN 0 0 — 0

Scoring: D – Caroline Aponte (28′); D – Presley Sutter (40′).

Goalkeepers: D – Jillian Fox 6 saves; NC – Bella DeFelice 5 saves.

Records: Darien 4-4-3; New Canaan 2-8-2