Wave Plays Perfect Second Half to Mount Comeback Win Over New Canaan

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Michael McCormack (DHS '25)

Darien Boys Lacrosse celebrating a goal against arch rival New Canaan in 2023

Braden Schenck, Writer

From a rainy Darien High School Stadium Field, the epic rivalry between Darien and New Canaan renewed on the lacrosse field.

In 2022 it was the Rams who got off to a hot start and didn’t look back as they took down the Wave for their first win in the rivalry since 2015. That loss left a sour taste in the Wave’s mouth, and Jeff Brameier’s squad was hungry for some revenge in the 2023 renewal.

This game was a Wave Strong Community Game for Blue Wave Boys Lacrosse, and DHS players Mac McGahren, Brady Pokorny, Cian LeVine, Paul Bremer, and Jake Wilson addressed the crowd before the game.

Darien lacrosse players senior Jake Wilson, junior Brady Pokorny, senior Cian LeVine, senior Paul Bremer and senior Mac McGahren addressing the crowd prior to the 2023 Wave Strong game (Michael McCormack)

As fans trickled into the rainy stadium, the first faceoff was underway. New Canaan won the opening faceoff and quickly set up the offense.

And 27 seconds in Doster Crowell was left wide open and off an assist from Max Lowe sent the ball past Hagen to put the Rams up 1-0.

Some flashbacks to the 2022 meeting in which Cam Wietfeldt won the opening faceoff for New Canaan and took it to the house en route to an 11-10 Rams win.

New Canaan was not done in the first minute as New Canaan won another faceoff and went back to work. Ryan Connelly buried a shot down low on Hagen, and now 60 seconds in New Canaan led 2-0 over the Wave.

New Canaan’s Matt Salmini scored on a bounce shot, and the Rams extended the lead to 3-0 in the early going.

The Wave finally had an answer as off a faceoff violation Briggs McGuckin took the shot and scored on Busby to put the Wave on the board cutting the lead down to 3-1.

Darien senior attack Dylan DeRiso scoring a goal against arch rival New Canaan from the DHS Stadium Field (Michael McCormack)

8:10 on the clock, Dylan DeRiso wrapped the ball around and went top corner for the Wave score to bring the game back to a one-goal game.

Off a New Canaan turnover, Steven Olvany set up Brady Pokorny and pulled off a nice spin move to make the score 5-3 at the end of the first quarter. New Canaan won the first quarter although Darien still had a lot of time left to play.

New Canaan grabbed another goal from Crowell to start the second quarter and it put the Rams up 6-3.

A few minutes later Brady Pokorny started his dodge, shooting behind his back, and he scored on Busby. Another highlight reel play from the junior captain, and this converted on the Darien man-up to cut the lead down to 6-4.

3:30 to go before halftime, Jeff Brameier took his final timeout to set up the offense. Out of the timeout, Porter Barnett fed the lefty Brady Pokorny, who from a distance let it fly and sniped the corner for the Blue Wave goal and push the game back to 6-5 New Canaan at halftime.

Junior attack man Brady Pokorny on the offense in a 2023 win over the New Canaan Rams (Michael McCormack)

With 24 minutes to play, it was either team’s game, and Darien had cut it down to a one-goal game.

Parter Barnett was left wide open in the third quarter, and on the man up Barnett took advantage and scored for the equalizer to make it 6-6 with 8:43 to go in the third.

The Rams kept with the looks, but Carter Hagen stood his ground and made save after save, forcing turnover after turnover on the New Canaan offense.

Off a good stand from the Darien D, Morgan Ruppenstein restarted the ball and took it into the attacking zone, handing it off to the freshman Max McBride, he found his time and room and scored to give Darien their first lead of the contest at 7-6 with 2:43 left in the third.┬áDarien capitalized on New Canaan’s error and now is playing with a lead.

Elliott Lancaster added another in transition, and going coast to coast Lancaster scored to end the third quarter with an 8-6 Darien lead.

Darien goalie Carter Hagen and defender Jake Wilson playing defense in a win over New Canaan (Michael McCormack)

The Wave held New Canaan scoreless in the third quarter and used that to take a multi-goal lead.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Porter Barnett scored Darien’s sixth unanswered with a one-timer goal and gained a 9-6 lead for Darien.

Brady Pokorny and Asa Beach added two more on back-to-back Wave possessions. Just like that, it was 11-6 Darien. The Wave had managed to score 8 unanswered and had kept New Canaan off the scoreboard since early in the second quarter.

Doster Crowell broke the NC silence as he scored his 4th in the game with a minute to play, but that wasn’t enough as Darien would get the best of the Rams but the final of 11-7.

A truly perfect 2nd half by the Darien Brie Wave as they outscored New Canaan 6-1 in the 2nd half, and the defense behind goalie Carter Hagen kept the Rams scoreless for 25 minutes in the game.

A big win for Darien that keeps them in the top three of FCIAC standings and moves them to 7-4 on the season.

Darien welcomes the Wilton Warriors on Thursday for a showdown with the #24 team in the country. But for now, Darien will cherish this win over their arch-rival.

 

DARIEN 11,

NEW CANAAN 7

 

New Canaan 5 1 0 1 – 7

Darien 3 2 3 3 – 11

Goals:

New Canaan: Doster Crowell 4g; Ryan Connelly 1g; Matt Salmini 1g.

Darien: Brady Pokorny 3g, 2a; Dylan DeRiso 2g; Porter Barnett 2g; Briggs McGuckin 1g; Max McBride 1g; Elliott Lancaster 1g; Asa Beach 1g.

Goalies: NC – Holden Busby 6 saves; D – Carter Hagen – 10 saves.

Records: New Canaan 9-3 (4-1 FCIAC); Darien 7-4 (4-1 FCIAC)