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Darien Girls Slip and Slide to Playoff Berth

DARIEN, Conn. – The Darien High School girls soccer team knew what it had to do on Thursday afternoon. It could hope for Staples loss later that night. But the girls wanted to control their own destiny and score as soon as possible.

They didn’t have to wait long. Just 10 minutes into the contest against Wilton, Mareike Bravo headed in a bounding ball sent in by Dillon Schoen. Darien then had to hold off the Warriors for 70 more minutes on an increasingly slick field in a freezing, driving drizzle.

Catie Dee added an insurance goal for the Blue Wave with 5:43 to play in the game off a free kick from Ellie Bennett. As the final seconds ticked off, the Darien players rushed the field to celebrate a 2-0 victory that rocketed them to the fifth seed in the conference tournament.

“We did not want to leave this up to chance. We knew we just had to just finish the game off,” Bravo said. “Staples is a good team and we figure they will win.”

Bravo was right, as Staples blanked Stamford 4-0 later on Thursday night. A loss would have eliminated the Blue Wave.

Just last week, playoff hopes looked dim for the Darien High School girls soccer team. The Blue Wave blew a 4-1 lead against top-ranked St. Joseph and was simply outplayed by Greenwich in a 2-0 loss.

A three-game winning streak to end the regular season changed all that. Darien went from outsider to outranking three other teams in the conference playoffs.

Now, the Blue Wave will get a shot at revenge when Darien travels to Greenwich on Saturday in the opening round of the conference tournament.

Bravo said the momentum of the last three wins could be a huge push for the Blue Wave entering the conference playoffs.

“I think we’ll do really well,” She said. “I think a lot of teams underestimate us. We’re ready.”

Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for the latest MSC-Fairfield County sports coverage. Like The Daily Darien on Facebook .

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