After their 17-goal-first-round victory , and knowing that they were playing a fellow FCIAC contender, the Blue Wave had to know that Saturdays game would be tougher than their last. Still, as a No. 2 seed taking on a No. 7-seed in front of a loud home crowd, one wouldnt expect Darien to have to dig deep through the final minute. Visiting Wilton made them do just that, but the Blue Wave managed to hang on for a 10-9 victory in the Class M quarterfinals.
The Warriors came out strong, scoring two goals in the first 3:13 of the game before Darien coach Jeff Brameier called a time out to calm down his team. After that, the Wave put up a run of six unanswered goals, spanning the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second. Wilton regained its form for the remainder of the second quarter, pulling to within one a few minutes before the break. But then Dariens Case Matheis gave his team an insurance goal with just under 12 seconds in the half, making it 8-6 at intermission.
The second half, the game fell into a familiar pattern. Wilton would score to bring their deficit to one, and the Blue Wave followed with a goal of its own to keep control. Both teams played aggressive defense, and those volleys were hard to come by. Senior Jonathan Andrews made the ending especially thrilling, scoring with 25.2 seconds left in the game to cut the Warriors deficit to 10-9. But the Blue Wave won the resulting face-off and managed to keep possession as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
Despite the hot, humid weather, Brameier was happy with his teams ability to play the full 48 minutes. I just think we have a lot of depth, he said. It was anybodys game [in the fourth quarter]. Weve got some talent, and some heart.
The Blue Wave advances to the Class M semifinals Tuesday evening against third-seeded New Canaan, at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. The Rams beat Daniel Hand 10-5 Saturday afternoon.
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