DARIEN — Title defense is in the works for the Darien boys lacrosse team, as it cruised to a 17-6 victory over Staples in Friday’s FCIAC quarterfinals, led by a five-goal performance from junior Colin Minicus.
After a scoreless eight minutes, the Blue Wave got things going with a goal from junior Christian Trifone. The goal sparked a quick 3-0 lead on the Wreckers to end the first period.
Momentum for Darien continued within seconds of the second period, but Staples answered quickly to cut the lead to 4-1 and remind everyone that it was still in this game.
The Blue Wave continued their hot scoring streak and dominated the possession time for the rest of the half. They headed into halftime with an 8-3 lead after a goal from junior Jack Kniffin.
DARIEN — When Ian Burgoyne took the field on opening day wearing No. 12, many just assumed it was a capricious move by a senior captain with a role that provides greater entitlement.
But there is not a fanciful bone in the Darien star’s body, and while the uniform change has been noticed, few outside the program know the story behind it.
Blue Wave coach Jeff Brameier had retired the number 23 years ago. It was last worn by a player named Wes Barton, who was diagnosed with bone cancer and missed his senior season. Barton still served as a student assistant and, more importantly, role model and inspiration.
Last fall, at the team’s organizational meeting, Brameier announced that No. 12 would become active again, given to a player that best represents Barton’s qualities. Burgoyne would be the first to wear it.
DARIEN — Perhaps no player best symbolizes the continued success of this year’s Darien girls lacrosse team than Caroline Benitez.
A year after losing captains that made up one of the best midfield lines in state history, the Blue Wave have flourished behind an adaptive lineup that makes up for what it lacks in marquee names with a versatile lineup.
Benitez is a microcosm of that restructuring, playing her third position, in part to compensate for a late-season injury last spring.
In Darien, only the names change.
Or, as New Canaan coach Kristin Woods so aptly put it after her team’s 12-9 loss to the Blue Wave earlier this month, “They don’t have down years, no matter who is on the field.”