Wave Field Hockey Tops Rams, Advances to 5th Straight FCIAC Championship


Darien Athletic Foundation

Darien’s Morgan Massey drubbing the ball in a game vs. Danbury

Braden Schenck, Writer

On a picture-perfect night from Jack Casagrande Field on the campus of Brien McMahon, it was the 2022 FCIAC Field Hockey Semifinals.

Darien, who entered the tournament as the one seed after a perfect regular season, took on New Canaan. The Rams entered as the four seed and looked to return to the FCIAC championship and dethrone the Wave.

These two foes met in last year’s title match, but fast forward a year, and only one will advance, and the other will leave empty-handed.

The first quarter was nothing short of well-played. A total of zero shots on goal from the teams combined. It showed that the Rams came to play, and maybe Darien’s offensive power hit a stop. A power that managed to score 113 goals in the prior 17 games.

Midway in the second quarter, Darien took a shot as Ryan Hapgood had a hole and sent a shot on Ellie Rosen. The ball went wide right, but this was the first opportunity for the Wave’s offense.

Darien would make their one error on the defense all night with 2:45 left in the second quarter.

Darien, who was playing the tight man-to-man defense all game, only allowed one shot all night. That came when Izzy Schuh dribbled the ball into the circle and pulled Darby out of the crease. She sent the centering pass to Taylor Cloud, who had the wide-open cage. But a hard pass overshot Cloud’s stick and went out of play. The one-timer worked to perfection, except the ball was never received on the other end.

The Rams looked to rebound with some penalty corners, but yet again, the Wave defense prevailed and kept the match scoreless.

At the half, the score was tied 0-0. It was the first time all season that the Wave was kept at bay for the first 30 minutes, and the Rams were fired up.

Moving towards the end of the third quarter, Ashley Stockdale would get a look.

Stockdale brought the ball into the circle and took the backhanded sweep shot. The ball had some great air on it but was wide of the cage. The Darien offense kept firing as they outshot the Rams 11-1 in the match.

At the end of three, the match remained scoreless, it was a mirror image of the 2021 FCIAC championship, which took until double overtime for the lone goal to be scored.

Just four minutes into the fourth quarter, Raina Johns sent a strong pass from the thirty into the circle. The ball was a deflection by Hapgood and skipped its way past Rosen for the score. A ball that traveled 30 yards in a matter of seconds caught Rosen looking and gave Darien the first lead of the night.

New Canaan called their timeout looking to slow the Darien offense. The timeout from head coach Meghan Cunningham did not work as Darien surged out of the huddle, grabbing the interception and possession.

This time it was Blake Wilks, the Cornell-bound field hockey player. Wilks took the ball to the ten-yard line before winding up the stick for the back-handed sweep shot. A shot that has been so iconic and so effective for Wilks all season. She connected with the ball and rocketed it past Rosen for the score. It would be the icing on the cake as Darien won this match 2-0 over New Canaan.

A strong defensive effort from the Wave made sure to keep New Canaan at bay all night. Except for that one open player in the first half, Darien played a perfect field hockey match.

The Wave advances to 18-0 on the season as well to Thursday’s FCIAC Championship Match against the third-seeded Staples Wreckers.

This is the fifth year in a row that Darien head coach Mo Minicus and the Wave have managed to make the title match. And Thursday night back at Casagrande Field, the Darien Blue Wave Field Hockey team will look to win its fifth straight and fifteenth all-time FCIAC champions trophy. That game will start at 7 pm and can be live-streamed on DAF Media.




NEW CANAAN 0 0 0 0 — 0

DARIEN 0 0 0 2 — 2

Scoring: D – Ryan Hapgood, Blake Wilks.

Goalkeepers: NC – Ellie Rosen 9 saves; D – Lindsay Darby 1 save.

Records: New Canaan 14-4; Darien 18-0.