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Darien Lacrosse Stuns New Canaan, Moves to Final

DARIEN, Conn. – For the first 15 minutes of Monday’s rain-soaked girls lacrosse conference semifinal, scoring was at a premium between archrivals Darien and New Canaan. But after trailing 2-1, the Blue Wave exploded for six goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half.

Brynn Gasparino led Darien with five goals as the Blue Wave scored a stunning 15-9 win over previously unbeaten New Canaan. Darien will play for a record 14th conference championship Friday against Greenwich.

Taylor Hardison capped Darien’s frenzied first half with a goal with one second remaining to put the Blue Wave up 7-3 at the half. Darien extended its lead to 10-3 before New Canaan answered.

Darien neutralized New Canaan’s double-threat of Sarah Mannelly and Olivia Hompe, holding the pair to a combined three goals. It was a huge victory over a duo that usually combine for at least 10 scores. The Rams scored three goals in garbage time, but it was far too late to mount a comeback.

Hardison was all over the field for Darien, finishing with four goals and three assists. Kristen Gilbert added a hat trick for the Blue Wave, while Emily Stein, Dillon Schoen, Charlett Stevenson and Jenna Fritts all added a goal each.

Fourth-seeded Darien takes on third-ranked Greenwich in the conference championship at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk on Friday at 4 p.m.

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