Wave Boys Lax Completes Three Goal Comeback to Down Wilton


Michael McCormack (DHS '25)

Darien freshman Ben Bilodeau celebrating his game winning goal against the Wilton Warriors

Braden Schenck, Writer

Facing a 8-6 adversity late in the fourth quarter, the Darien Varsity Boys Lacrosse sparked a late comeback to down the Warriors of Wilton in a late-season FCIAC clash.

Goals down the stretch from Brady Pokorny, Briggs McGuckin, and the freshman Ben Bilodeau scored the game-winning goal. Off an assist from junior Briggs McGuckin with 43.1 seconds remaining, Bilodeau took the shot and scored on Blankenship to propel Darien to a 9-8 victory.

A back-and-forth battle saw the Warriors jump off to an early 1-0 lead thanks to senior Charlie Rath scoring the first goal two minutes into the contest.

Darien junior captain Brady Pokorny on the dodge in a 2023 home game against Wilton. (Michael McCormack)

The Wave followed this up with the next four goals in the game from junior Morgan Ruppenstein, Briggs McGuckin, senior Dylan DeRiso, and junior Porter Barnett put the Wave up 4-1 late in the second quarter.

The Warriors added another before the half, but Carter Hagen and the Darien D were lockdown as the Wave took a 4-2 lead into halftime.

A typical low-scoring affair between these two heated rivals was a competitive one. Last year a meeting in the FCIAC championship was won by the Wave in the final 0f 12-6 en route to their 19th all-time FCIAC title. In 2023 a meeting for first place in the FCIAC standings.

Out of the halftime break, the Wave extended the lead thanks to the freshman Max McBride netting another goal this season. The freshman on this Darien has stepped up big time and played a crucial role in building the future of Darien lacrosse.

Off the next faceoff, the FOGO Spencer Liston scored the first of his two goals in this game going low on Hagen to cut the lead down to a one-goal game. There is a reason that Liston is committed to playing lacrosse at Providence, and it is for his ability to win the faceoff and then take the offense under his wing.

Briggs McGuckin netted his second of the contest, and Darien took a 6-4 lead into the fourth and final quarter.

12 minutes to play, and this is where Wilton turned it on.

Dave Sylvester a quick goal moved it to 6-5, and then Wilton followed this up with a Spencer Liston FOGO goal for the equalizer, 6-6 with 8:30 to play.

Wilton struck again with Charlie Johnson scoring his next two shots on Hagen. 3:30 to play it was now 8-6 in favor of the Warriors. Darien getting some major Staples flashbacks in which Darien blew a 6-goal lead later in that contest.

Darien Boys Lacrosse Head Coach Jeff Brameier huddling up his team in a 2023 contest against Wilton (Michael McCormack)

Although at home, this time, Head Coach Jeff Brameier rallied his troops and sparked a fight in his Wave.

At 2:22 to play, Pokorny got the screen and went straight to the cage to score his fist of the contest and put the game back to 8-7.

McGuckin then tied the game at eight a piece with 1:34 on the clock. Darien had climbed back but needed to win a crucial faceoff with 94 seconds to play.

Leo Barbagallo stepped up to the plate against Liston who’d won every faceoff in this contest.

Barbagallo drew the whistle on Wilton, and the foul gave the Wave the ball.

This was when Bilodeau would do his thing and score the game-winning goal with just 43 seconds to play. The Wave had scored the last three goals unanswered and now controlled a 9-8 lead in this game with the Warriors.

The final buzzer rang, and Darien stormed their goalie Hagen victorious. A huge win for Darien not only fanning off the Warriors and coming back but also in the sense that Darien now has sole first place in the FCIAC standings.

At 5-1 in the conference and head-to-head wins over New Canaan and Wilton the only ways Darien losses that top seed in the FCIAC tournament is if they fall to either Greenwich or Stamford in their final FCIAC conference games or if Staples forces a two-team tie at 7-1 in conference play and the Wave would lose that head to head.

Nonetheless, there is still time left in the regular season. And Darien now shifts their attention to Mamaroneck New York on Saturday, Stamford on Monday, and traveling to Chatham, New Jersey on Thursday for the end of the regular season.


Darien 9,

Wilton 8

Wilton   1 1 2 4 – 8
Darien  2 2 2 3 – 9


W: Charlie Johnson 3g; Charlie Rath 2g; Spencer Liston 2g; Dave Sylvester 1g.

D: Briggs McGuckin 3g, 2a; Brady Pokorny 1g, 2a; Dylan DeRiso 1g; Porter Barnett 1g; Morgan Ruppenstein 1g; Max McBride 1g; Ben Bilodeau 1g.

Goalies: W – Evan Blankenship 9 saves; D – Carter Hagen 9 saves.

Records: Wilton: 8-3 (5-1 FCIAC); Darien 8-4 (5-1 FCIAC).