GREENWICH -- If someone did not look at the scoreboard and just tried to determine the winner of the Darien and Greenwich girls lacrosse game by simply judging the reaction of the teams coming off the field, they may have guessed Greenwich was the winner.
Greenwich was not the winner.
The reason behind the mixed reactions after the contest was a second half which saw the Cardinals outscore the Wave 10-4 after trailing 13-5 at the intermission.
Darien coach Lisa Lindley was glad to walk out with a win, but said there were obvious areas of concern.
"Greenwich played well but our defense was awful today," Lindley said. "I think it was the worst game this year we played defensively. We had to make some adjustments, and luckily we scored two more than they did."
Greenwich --which lost to Darien in last year's Class L championship -- came out intent to stand toe-to-toe with the two-time defending FCIAC champions, jumping out to a 5-1 lead six minutes into the game.
The early charge was led by Carolyn Paletta, who was in on every score, tallying three goals and two assists during the run.
Paletta scored six goals on the afternoon to lead the Cardinals.
Greenwich (4-4, 4-2 FCIAC) stuck to its game plan and was pleased with the result despite not picking up the win
"Our team just needed the boost," GHS coach Caitlin Keane said. "Playing Darien, we were prepared for it, we wanted to play well and our whole goal was not necessarily to win. It was to come off, be proud of ourselves and know that we played the best that we could. And if it didn't come out as a victory we could take that and work toward it the next time we see them. You saw after the game they were as happy as if they had won because this is what we wanted."
Darien (9-1, 7-0 FCIAC) ran off 12 straight goals to close the first half, led by five tallies from Dillon Schoen.
Schoen finished with seven goals for the day and said after the slow start the Blue Wave were able to control draws and get into an offensive rhythm.
"I think we came out a little flat and we just wanted to get into our groove and get the draws," Schoen said. "Whoever was getting the draws was scoring the goals, so we thought that would be the key thing to getting the lead and it worked. We aren't very satisfied with this win because it just wasn't clean and was way too close."
Greenwich went on a 6-0 run to open the second half, getting within 13-11, but could never get closer than two the rest of the way before Darien was able to win a late draw and run out the clock.
Darien 17, Greenwich 15
DARIEN 13 4--17
GREENWICH 5 10--15
Scoring: D--Dillon Schoen 7g, 1a; Mariah Matheis 3g, 1a; Emily Stein 2g; Gabby Noto 1g; Caroline Benitez 2g. G--Hannah Koorbusch 3g; Carolyn Paletta 6g, 3a; Maddy Graves 1g; Grace Paletta 2g; Paige Mautner 2g; Natalie Paletta 1g.Read Full Article
Goalies: D--Kyra Gardner 15 saves; G--Kylie Ginsberg 8 saves
Records: D 9-1, 7-0 FCIAC; G--4-4, 4-2 FCIAC