For the 15th Time in Program History, Darien Field Hockey Is FCIAC Champions!


Neirad Staff

The Darien Field Hockey celebrating after the FCIAC Championship win at Casagrande Field

Braden Schenck, Writer

When the final buzzer rang at Jack Casagrande Field on Thursday Night, the Blue Wave Field Hockey team celebrated as the FCIAC Field Hockey Champions.

For the 15th time in program history and 5th in a row, the Blue Wave would hoist the champions trophy.

A 3-0 victory over 3rd-seeded Staples was how Darien achieved that. Starting by blowing out 8th-seeded Ludlowe and shutting out 4th-seeded New Canaan got them to this game.

Darien came into McMahon hungry and drew first blood early on.

Just a minute into play. Blake Wilks was knocking on the doorstep. A wide-open cage saw Wilks roll a shot just wide of the net missing the goal by a matter of inches. Wilks got a second try just minutes later.

This time it was a through ball from Stockdale into the circle. Alexia Ninios came out to make the sliding stop, but Wilks was there to get the rebound, spin around, and shoot the ball. She sent a ball into the back of the cage for the first score just three minutes in!

Ninios again was peppered as she would make eight saves on the night.

Another opportunity came for the Wave came when Darien was pushing in the circle late in the second quarter, and the umpire awarded a penalty stroke to Darien.

Raina Johns took the stroke for the Wave and sent a top-shelf ball beating Ninios for the PS goal. Darien went up 2-0 in the second quarter.

The Wave kept the offense going, outshooting the Wreckers eight to zero on shots on goal in the first half.

Darien netminer Lindsey Darby would make only one save on the night when the Wreckers had three straight penalty corners in the second half, and Darby made a blocker stop.

Staples had six penalty corners all match. They came in two sets of three. The first of which Darien’s defense made back-to-back-to-back clears and the second bunch did the same, only allowing the shot on goal from Tyla Ozgen.

The Wave played a tight man-to-man defense with a hard press that Staples couldn’t seem to break all night. Darien has now outscored opponents 118-4 on the season and in big part by the high power offense and lockdown defense all year.

But Darien scored the third and final goal when Ashley Stockdale got a beautiful feed from Kaci Benoit on the insert, and Stockdale sent the sweep shot past Ninios for the score.

Darien took the lead 3-0 after this goal and watch as the defense held for the fourth quarter, and the Wave pitched another shutout.

Tears of joy for the Wave, as they sprinted out to their goalie Darby. The hard-fought season ended with an FCIAC trophy.

The game MVP went to Raina Johns for her performance at the midfield and the penalty stroke goal starting Darien’s dominance.

Darien has now won 11 of the last 14 FCIAC crowns and continues its dominance as the powerhouse of FCIAC Field Hockey.

A good win for Darien as they won their 15th FCIAC crown in program history. Darien will now shift their attention to the state tournament where they have unfinished business. Looking to avenge a shootout loss to Wilton a year ago.

Darien enters the tournament as the one seed and will play either Newtown or Stamford in the first round, the winner of Greenwich and Conard in the quarters, and would be slated to play 4th seeded New Canaan again in the semis if they make it. Until then, the Darien Field Hockey team will celebrate as FCIAC Champions!

Darien Field Hockey 2022 FCIAC Champions. The team’s celebration at McMahon’s Casagrande Field




STAPLES 0 0 0 0 — 0

DARIEN 1 1 1 0 — 3

Scoring: D – Blake Wilks, Raina Johns (Penalty Stroke), Ashley Stockdale.

Goalkeepers: S – Alexia Ninios 8 saves; D – Lindsay Darby 1 save.

Records: Staples 13-6; Darien 19-0.