TRUMBULL -- There has simply been no stopping this Wave.
The Darien boys lacrosse team blasted St. Joseph 18-3 in its first road game of the season Tuesday, remaining undefeated on the young season at 7-0. Blue Wave attacks Colin Minicus and Jack Kniffin each netted four goals over the game's first 27 minutes, as Peter Lindley collected a hat trick. The Cadets (4-3, 2-3 FCIAC) could only muster two goals in the second quarter, before notching a third score against Darien back-ups in the final moments.
"We scouted them and we saw some things," said Darien coach Jeff Brameier, whose team is 5-0 in league play. "We did very well causing pressure and turnovers. The faceoffs were a huge advantage to us today. And then some of our back-ups did a good job in that third and fourth quarter."
Wave juniors Andrew Pugliese and John Sommi combined to win 18-of-25 face-offs, setting up a cluster of Darien scores at the beginning each half. Before four minutes passed, Lindley scored twice to help his team race out to a stunningly quick 3-0 lead. Then, Kniffin picked up the eventual gamewinner with 5:33 left in the opening quarter on an assist from Ian Burgoyne. Minicus, Burgoyne and Owen Koorbusch also added goals before halftime.
While St. Joseph attacks Mike Sudora and Travis Yoguez managed to temporarily trim their early deficit with consecutive scores, the Cadets failed to sustain any success against the Blue Wave defense.
"They never really threatened," Braimeier said. "They got a couple of good outside shots. One shot we just laid off of. But from the start of the second half, we finally converted a lot of fast breaks."
Armed with a 10-2 edge after the intermission, Darien ripped off four goals in a 57-second span. Nic Tuzinkiewicz and Will Hamnerick both got on the board for the first time, sandwiching a Minicus unassisted effort. Following another Kniffin goal, Minicus tallied his fourth and final score, which quickly drew a St. Joseph timeout at the 9:26 mark of the third frame.
"They were able to create some transitional goals ... and that was it," Cadets coach Joe Izzo said. "Now the kids didn't quit. They played hard against a very good team. But you have to limit your mistakes. We are still trying to be more consistent."
From that point on, the clock ran as the Darien second-stringers battled St. Joseph during a strengthening rainfall. Sudora found the back of the net again in the waning moments, beating back-up netminder Robbie Juterbock. However, the score was swiftly answered by Wave senior Matt Vossler with seconds left.
Izzo, having witnessed Darien operate on his home turf for 48 minutes, was left with little doubt as to the legitimacy of its undefeated start.
"You're looking at probably one of the top-tier teams in the entire country."
The Blue Wave will next put its untarnished record on the line Thursday at Danbury, while the Cadets travel to Fairfield Warde.
Darien 18, ST. JOSEPH 3
DARIEN 5 5 6 2--18
ST. JOSEPH 0 2 0 1--3
Records: Darien 7-0, 5-0 FCIAC, St. Joseph 4-3, 2-3 FCIAC. Scoring: D--Colin Minicus 4 goals, 1 assist, Jack Kniffin 4g, 1a, Peter Lindley 3 g, 1a, Will Hamernick 1 g, 2a, Owen Koorbusch 1g, 1a, Ian Burgoyne 1g, 1a, Harry Gillespie 1g, 1a, Nic Tuzinkiewicz 1g, Tim Lochtefeld 1g, Matt Vossler 1g, Christian Trifone 1a, Goose Bolton 1a, Kyle Cornell 1a; SJ-- Mike Sudora 2 goals, Travis Yoguez 1g, Josiah Wilson 1 assist, Mike Brennan 1a, Jeff Marcantonio 1a; Goalies: D--Phil Huffard (7 saves), Robbie Juterbock (1); SJ--Mike Braddick (15). Shots: D--37; SJ--11.