DARIEN -- As far as the Darien boys lacrosse team is concerned, its 2014 season is as much about playing one game at a time as it is slowly erasing all of last year's disappointment. When the final horn of Saturday's tilt with the Manhasset Indians sounded, the Blue Wave had effectively killed two birds with one stellar, defensive half.
Senior goalie Phil Huffard produced a second-half shutout, leading Darien to a 7-4 win over Manhasset (N.Y.) while avenging his team's loss to the Indians a year ago. Wave attack Peter Lindley scored four goals, including three before intermission, as four of his teammates picked up an assist. After leading 4-2 late in the second quarter, Manhasset (3-5) managed only a single shot in the third frame.
"The first half was certainly a testament to our fortitude because they went up and we could've panicked a little bit," said Darien coach Jeff Brameier, whose team improved to 4-0 and came into the game ranked No. 25 in the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse National High School Rankings. "But our focus going into the season hasn't changed. We've got a lot of making up to do for last year. Today was the second opponent that beat us last year, and we wanted to avenge the loss and prove we're back in the hunt."
Once halftime closed in a 4-4 game, Blue Wave junior Andrew Pugliese won three consecutive face-offs to set up a pair of quick Darien goals. Lindley scored just 53 seconds into the new quarter, before Tim Lochtefeld doubled the Wave's edge moments later. As a result, the Indians went without possession for the first five minutes of the half and struggled to generate offense for the rest of the period.
Neither squad could muster a shot in the opening stages of the fourth quarter, until Darien's Ian Burgoyne committed a slashing penalty at the 8:05 mark. Armed with a man-advantage, the Indians at last increased their offensive pressure, only to be stonewalled by Huffard, who made back-to-back saves from point-blank range.
"We got away from what we do on offense," Manhasset coach Bill Cherry said. "We weren't as disciplined and we weren't as patient. But (Huffard) made some great saves on some real good shots."
At under five minutes to go, Wave defenseman Kyle Gifford forced an Indian turnover on the outskirts of the Darien defensive zone. Speeding through the midfield with possession, Gifford found Lochtefeld, who soon netted the final goal of the game.
"To be able to shut a team down like Manhasset for not a single goal in the entire second half, that was about as good a performance you could ask for from your defense," said Huffard, who made 11 saves on the day.
Manhasset initially took the lead 10 minutes in via a pair of unassisted goals that surpassed Lindley's opening score. However, Lindley collected two more in the half's final seven minutes, topped off by a goal with 0.2 seconds left.
Darien returns to the field on Tuesday for an FCIAC battle with Fairfield Warde at home beginning at 4 p.m.
Darien 7, Manhasset (N.Y.) 4
MANHASSET 2 2 0 0--4 Read Full Article
DARIEN 1 3 2 1--7
Records: Manhasset 3-6, Darien 4-0. Scoring: M-- Tyler Dunn 2g, Ryan Miller 1g, Charlie Malhame 1g, Matt Gavin 1 assist, Henry Griffith 1a; D--Peter Lindley 4 goals, Tim Lochtefeld 2g, Colin Minicus 1g, Ian Burgoyne 1 assist, Hudson Hamill 1a, Jack Kniffin 1a, Harry Gillespie 1a. Goalies: M--John Young (13 saves); D--Phil Huffard (11). Shots: M--23; D--26.