Whittaker’s Late Goal Marches Darien to FCIAC Championship


Braden Schenck, Writer

Tuesday night at Fairfield Ludlowe’s Taft Field, the Darien Boys Soccer team was taking on the Norwalk Bears with a trip to the FCIAC championship on the line.

Darien fell to the Bears 1-0 in the regular season and was looking to avenge the loss and advance to their first FCIAC title match since 2015.

The Wave came in as the three seed, taking on the second-seeded Norwalk. The squad was on a mission to try and pull off the upset and make history.

The Wave struck first when an own goal set piece went against the Bears, and it found its way past Marcos Pena for the Darien score. Trevor Pegg was credited with the goal on the free kick as Darien took the lead 1-0.

Fast forwarding, to the 15th minute of play. Norwalk’s Dylan Thomas fought off the slide tackles and took a shot beating Tommy Branca for the score. Thomas assisted the lone goal vs. Darien in the regular season and once again let the heroics shine by tying the match at one.

In the 29th minute of play, Darien’s Bobby Whittaker came streaking down the field for yet another opportunity. This time it would be the senior keeper Pena making a magnificent save, robbing Whittaker.

The feeling stuck with Bobby, as on his next look, he made a nice move, went to the right side, took a shot, and scored. Whittaker would give Darien the 2-1 advantage heading into the half with a beautiful goal in the 32nd minute of play.

A defensive battle in the second half kept it 2-1 Wave up until the 77th minute of play.

Norwalk’s Luke Ingber rifled a shot from about 20 yards out going to the top left corner of the net, beating a diving Branca. Ingber got the equalizer and tied the match right back at 2. Ingber was the one that finished for the lone goal in the regular season meeting and kept his Bears in this one.

With 1:30 left on the scoreboard, Whittaker got another look. Driving down the near side, the defender pushes him away. Whittaker took the shot off the deflection of a sliding Bears defender. To the near post and in. Pena was unable to make the save, and Whittaker scored his second goal of the game with nearly seconds left on the clock.

The clock hit zeros, and Darien would celebrate victoriously.

The postseason is when heroes are born, and Bobby Whittaker showed just that. Scoring an amazing goal with under 90 seconds left to play propelled Darien to the 3-2 victory at Taft Field.

For only the second time in Blue Wave boys’ soccer history, Darien is going to an FCIAC title match. 2015 was the last time the Wave played at such a high stake. They fell to Fairfield Ludlowe and came up empty-handed.

But Thursday night, at Testa Field on the campus of Norwalk High School. The Darien Blue Wave will take on the top-seeded Trumbull Eagles at 7 pm for an FCIAC title. Trumbull took down Greenwich 6-1 in the semifinals and has been hot all season.

The Wave will look to ride this momentum into the big game on Thursday and look to take home the first-ever title in Blue Wave Boys Soccer History.

DAF Media will have the live stream for Darien and Trumbull on Thursday from Norwalk High. This is a crucial game for Darien as this senior-heavy team looks to end the FCIAC season on a bang.




DARIEN 2 1 — 3

NORWALK 1 1 — 2

Scoring: D – Trevor Pegg (4′); N – Dylan Thomas (15′); D – Bobby Whittaker (32′); N – Luke Ingber (77′); D – Bobby Whittaker (79′).

Records: Darien 11-4-2; Norwalk 13-1-3