Darien Topples Wilton For Brameier’s 600th Win

Jeff Brameier talks to the Darien players following his 600th win. (Matt Dewkett)

WILTON — A 600th career win for the architect of the state’s premier boys lacrosse program deserved nothing less than what Darien gave Jeff Brameier tonight.

Dominating draw controls, maximizing possessions and playing with customary flair, the Blue Wave scored nine straight goals to break a 2-2 tie and rolled to an 18-6 win over undermanned Wilton.

Brameier, the only coach in team history, at first was self deprecating about his milestone.

Darien’s Hudson Pokorny carries the ball behind the Wilton net. Pokorny finished with six goals. (Matt Dewkett)

“Thirty six years times 20 a year, you’re supposed to have 720 so I’m kind of underperforming in my eyes,” Brameier said.

Then he pivoted and added perspective.

“I’m just kidding,” Brameier said. “Its been a great run. The program started from nothing in ’84 and there’s been a lot of people who’ve contributed. Athletes and the town’s youth program that got us where we are. This is certainly an award for the program more than it is just me.”

Darien’s Sam Cragin completes a long run with a first-half goal. (Matt Dewkett)

Wilton in a sense was a fitting opponent: when Darien formed a team the Warriors and New Canaan were the dominant measuring sticks. It took Brameier eight years to win his first FCIAC title. And another five to transition the Blue Wave onto equal footing and then surpassing its two neighbors.

Brameier has now won 17 league titles — including the last five — and 13 state championships.

“I think every year, it’s a new group of kids, it’s not the same,” Brameier said. “You get some returners but you’re just trying to move the puzzle around, find little pieces and put them all together and make sure they’re competitive when we get to the tournament time. Obviously we have a great feeder system. There’s always a great class coming in and there’s a lot of kids that are sitting behind good players so they’re just waiting for their turn. This is a group that was doing that and they’re doing fine.”

Darien goaltender Andy Demopoulos guards his net. (Matt Dewkett)

Perhaps fittingly, the Blue Wave got goals from at least one player in each of the four grade classes, led by senior Hudson Pokorny’s six scores.

“Last time we wore the black uniforms we lost to Manhasset, so we wanted to get back in our groove, make a statement win,” said Pokorny, referring to last Saturday’s 10-5 setback, the only one in the team’s first seven games.

Pokorny did more than just lead the offense: it was his design that adorned the T-shirts given to all the players to commemorate Brameier’s accomplishment.

Wilton goaltender Andrew Calabrese comes way out of his net to lead an attack. (Matt Dewkett)

Michael Minicus scored three goals, while Jackson Peters and Holt Matheis added two apiece.

Matt Freeman continued his strong work on draw controls, the key to the deciding run on goals.

Dean DiNanno scored twice for Wilton, which has lost seven straight games since a season-opening win. It has been a disheartening start for the Warriors. The first four losses came by a combined five goals, two in overtime. A rash of injuries has followed.

Two days earlier, in a loss to Chaminade, the Warriors’ top player, defender Ryan Schriber, sustained a high ankle sprain. He was on the sideline tonight in a boot. It will be a few weeks at the earliest before Schriber returns.

Wilton’s Zach Rossi is defended by Darien’s Sam Cragin. (Matt Dewkett)

“We still treated it as the same thing, even with Schriber out,” Pokorny said. “In a town like Wilton, it has such a big history with lacrosse so we thought they’d be really deep and they were. We were able to still take advantage.”

The Blue Wave have four games next week and the chance to get Brameier started toward his 700th win.

“So we’re 6-1 but there’s a lot of games left to be played,” Brameier said.

Darien’s Matt Freeman carries the ball after winning a faceoff against Max Colburn. (Matt Dewkett)

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