Wave Girls Lax Tops New Canaan, Wins FCIAC Title



The 2023 FCIAC Girls Lacrosse Champion Darien High School Blue Wave after the win over New Canaan at Cardinal Stadium.

Braden Schenck, Writer

From a gloomy Greenwich High School Cardinal Stadium the Darien Varsity Girls Lacrosse team played in the 2023 FCIAC Girls Lacrosse Championship.

For the fourth year in a row Darien met arch-rival New Canaan in the title game. The last two years it has been the Rams that got the best of Darien but the Wave was looking to change course for the year of 2023.

Darien entered the tournament as the top seed with the perfect 15-0 regular season and 8-0 FCIAC record, the Wave got to the championship with a victory over Stamford in the quarters and a 16-2 win over Greenwich in the semis.

As for New Canaan, the Rams entered as the 2nd seed. 14-2 on the season with losses to Darien and St. Anthony’s (NY) to go with their 7-1 FCIAC slate. The Rams just barely survived Wilton in the semis thanks to a buzzer beater free position goal to propel New Canaan to the championship.

It was Darien and New Canaan, Wave vs. Rams, Blue vs. Red in the games biggest stage.

New Canaan got off to the hot start with goals from Caroline Underwood, Lexie Tully and Devon Russell on the first three possessions of the game. It was 3-0 New Canaan still with 21:35 to go in the first half. Darien head Coach Lisa Lindley took her first timeout to try and settle her players down as they needed a spark.

This Darien team has one of the best team chemistries among any DHS Varsity Girls teams in the history of the team, and Darien knew they needed to take this game just like they had the previous 17 and not look at it as Darien vs. New Canaan or the FCIAC Championship.

Out of the timeout, Darien started winning the draws thanks to freshman Cameron Pokorny stepping up in a big way.

The Wave won the draw out of the timeout and set up their first real offensive look of the game.

A yellow card given to New Canaan gave Darien a player up advantage and an 8-meter look for junior Kelly Holmes. Off the whistle Holmes went straight to the cage and went top shelf on Patterson for the Darien goal to cut into the Ram lead.

Darien senior captain Chloe Humphrey with control of the ball at Cardinal Stadium in the 2023 FCIAC Girls Lacrosse Championship (GametimeCT)

This free position conversion sparked the Darien offense as the Wave would go on and score on their next two possessions with senior captain Chloe Humphrey and Holmes again to tie the game back up at three a piece.

Under the twelve minute mark New Canaan broke the silence and used a cutting pass from Stella Nolan to find an open Underwood on the sweep to score a goal for New Canaan. It was Underwood’s second goal of the game as New Canaan regained the lead at 4-3.

The effects of that Darien timeout worked perfect as New Canaan went a near ten minutes without scoring and Darien was able to bring some life into their offense with a lot of time left.

Four minutes later Humphrey started her dodge at X and faked high going low to fool the New Canaan goaltender for the equalizer at four with her second of the contest. Humphrey once again stepping up in a big way with a championship trophy on the line.

Pokorny followed this up with another draw control and junior Sadie Stafford added to the sequence by burying an 8-meter shot to give Darien their first lead of the night at 5-4. And from this point on Darien would not look back.

Ryan Hapgood than intercepted a New Canaan pass on their own twenty yard line and took it all the way to the house to beat Patterson and give Darien a 6-5 lead in the ball game.

As the rain started coming down and the umbrellas came out many fans stuck it out at Cardinal Stadium. 7-5 Darien lead at halftime and stood just 25 minutes away from an FCIAC trophy which the program has not seen since 2019.

Humphrey came out of the halftime break surging by scoring two more goals within the first four minutes of the half to put her total up to five and Darien’s total up to nine with 21 minutes to play.

The Wave played hustle lacrosse for the next twenty minutes and watched as Humphrey added goal number six in the ballgame and Kelly Holmes recorded her hat trick as Darien went up 11-7 with just seconds to play.

The Wave could feel it, 2021 they fell short of an FCIAC title, 2022 they fell short of an FCIAC title but 2023 was finally the year that Darien could break through and win the FCIAC crown for the 19th time in program history.

What an accomplishment for the Darien Varsity Girls Lax team as they are finally able to overcome the hump and win it all.

Behind the game MVP Chloe Humphrey and her six goals the Wave went down and clawed all the way back en route to a 11-7 victory at Cardinal Stadium.

This 2023 Darien Girls Lacrosse team will be one to remember, never before has a Darien Girls Lacrosse team gone flawless at DHS and have a perfect season but now Lisa Lindley and co. just stand five games away from doing just that.

The girls start their states run on Friday when they host 16th seeded Amity. The team will get a rematch with New Canaan at Sacred Heart’s University Field if both teams can make it there but for now, Darien will celebrate as FCIAC champs!


Darien 11,

New Canaan 7

New Canaan 5 2 – 7
Darien 7 4 – 11

NC: Devon Russell 3g; Caroline Underwood 2g; Lexie Tully 1g; Stella Nolan 1g.

D: Chloe Humphrey 6g; Kelly Holmes 3g, 1a; Sadie Stafford 1g, 1a; Ryan Hapgood 1g.

Goalies: NC – Ceci Patterson 5 saves; D – Hope Schoudel 7 saves.