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Darien Field Hockey Title Streak Ends in Semis

DARIEN, Conn. – The Darien High School field hockey team returned to the scene of the crime on Thursday night where its 93-game unbeaten streak was snapped exactly two weeks before. Playing at New Canaan High School, a neutral site, for the Class M semifinals, Darien was stunned again.

The Blue Wave erased a 2-0 halftime deficit, but Wilton’s Valentina Tudisco scored with 3:19 left in overtime. Wilton ended Darien’s chances for a fifth-straight state championship.

“We don’t like this field anymore,” Darien head coach Mo Minicus joked after the game. “I’m so proud of the fight the girls have. To come from behind against Lakeland and Rye and Wilton in the regular season and then down 2-0 tonight is just amazing. I’m sad it didn’t go their way tonight because of the way they came back.”

Lilly Cassidy cut the lead to 2-1 halfway through the second half. Galen Rohn was awarded a penalty shot with just over five minutes to play, but was denied by Wilton keeper Lizette Roman-Johnson. Kat Huber came right back and netted the equalizer about two minutes later to force overtime.

Momentum seemed to be on Darien’s side entering the extra period. For a brief moment it looked like the Blue Wave caught the break it needed. Hollis Perticone snuck behind a defender for a breakaway and passed to her teammate, Cassidy, for a great one-time opportunity. Cassidy took it, but Roman-Johnson somehow got a leg on the shot and dove on the ball when Cassidy tried to collect the rebound.

Tudisco scored on the very next Wilton possession, ending what would be considered a very impressive season by just about any other field hockey program. And it was impressive for a team that returned just one starter from last season.

“The girls really far exceeded any expectations we had for them this season,” Minicus said. “They were brand new varsity players and for them to finish with the record they did is just amazing.”

Darien finishes the season at 20-2, including playoffs, and will start the 2012 season looking to start a brand new winning streak.

Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for the latest Main Street Connect coverage of Fairfield County sports. Like The Daily Darien on Facebook .

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