Critics of the Darien High School girls lacrosse team who said it was too young to contend in 2011 needed only to look at the scorebook at the end of Saturday's state championship game. With only five seniors on the team, freshman Dillon Schoen stole the spotlight, scoring five times in what head coach Lisa Lindley called a "gutsy, amazing performance."
It was all en route to a dominating, 15-5, win over Daniel Hand High School and a Class M state title. In the end, youth turned out to be Darien's strongest aspect, bringing home its fourth state championship in five years.
"This is just the beginning. I'm not going to stop for the next three years," Schoen said. "I love stepping up in situations like this. I wasn't nervous at all. We were confident and just wanted to pile on the goals."
Darien capped a dominant run in the state tournament, in which it outscored opponents, 68-18. Seven Blue Wave players scored, as Darien piled on the goals in the second half.
For the first 10 minutes, Hand kept pace with Darien, taking a 1-0 lead with 18:45 left in the first half. But the Tigers soon discovered there was a reason Darien had scored at least 17 goals in six of their last seven games.
Darien scored four times in less than three minutes, and Hand never recovered. The Tigers pulled within 5-3 with seven minutes left in the first, but that would be as close as it got. Darien scored six straight goals to put the game out of reach.
"We really came prepared in this [tournament]. The out-of-state games really got us ready," said Ellie Bullit, one of the few Darien seniors. "We knew we were better than our record because we played some tough Long Island teams."
Aside from Schoen, Bullit netted a hat trick while Taylor Hardison and Emily Stein each scored twice. Jenna Frits and Claire Lincoln also knotted one goal each.
Darien completes its championship season at 14-7 and is loaded with talent for another run in 2012.
What do you think of Darien's dominant run to the championship with only five seniors on the team? Start the discussion below!
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