Darien holds off rival New Canaan 3-2 in Class L field hockey playoffs

Darien’s Lindsey Olson, left, and New Canaan’s Marlee Smith battle for possession during a Class L field hockey playoff game on Wednesday in Darien. — Dave Stewart photo

With the memory of a six-goal loss to rival Darien not too far in the rearview mirror, it would’ve been relatively easy for the New Canaan field hockey team to call it a day when the Blue Wave scored three early goals in their state tournament clash on Wednesday.

Instead, the Rams attempted to rewrite the script.

New Canaan scored a goal in each half but the comeback bid ultimately fell short as the Wave took a 3-2 victory in a first-round Class L playoff thriller at Darien High School.

“They had nothing to lose,” Darien head coach Mo Minicus said. “They were on fire, they stepped up, they had a fast pace and a great game plan. As is typical when you’re winning and the other team starts to steal momentum and score goals, it’s the natural swing that we were trying to stop and regroup.”

Darien’s offense was led by senior co-captain Shea van den Broek, who scored twice and now has five goals in the last three playoff games. Molly Hellman also hit the back of the cage, and senior co-captains Katie Elders and Bridget Mahoney had assists.

In the end, it was the Wave’s transition strikes which were the difference.

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