The FCIAC has consistently been very strong in the fall sports of field hockey and girls’ soccer and the most recent state coaches polls in those sports confirm that is the case once again this fall.
Ridgefield and Staples are ranked first and second, respectively, as the FCIAC has three teams ranked among the top four in the most recent state coaches girls soccer Class LL-L top 10 poll which was released Sept. 25.
New Canaan shares the No. 1 ranking with Newtown as the FCIAC also has three of the top four teams in the current Field Hockey Coaches Top 10 Poll which was released Sept. 24. Wilton and Darien are ranked third and fourth, respectively.
There are four FCIAC teams among the top eight in the state coaches girls soccer Top 10.
Glastonbury is ranked third while New Canaan is No. 4 as that third FCIAC team ranked among the top four. Southington, Guilford and Suffield are ranked 5-7.
St. Joseph is No. 8 as that fourth FCIAC team among the top eight. The Top 10 is completed by South Windsor and Newington.
Brien McMahon received the 12th most points in the polling as the only FCIAC team among the five teams in the “Others receiving votes” category.
The perennially-powerful Ridgefield girls soccer program, the defending FCIAC and Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL state champion, received three of the five first-place votes to secure No. 1 in the coaches Top 10 poll while second-ranked Staples and third-ranked Glastonbuury each received one first-place vote.
Seventh-seeded Ridgefield defeated fifth-seeded Staples, 1-0, last Nov. 18 in the state Class LL championship game six days after Staples beat top-seeded Glastonbury, 1-0, in the semifinals.
The FCIAC had five of the eight teams in the quarterfinal round of last year’s Class LL tourney as 11th-seeded Wilton, 13th-seeded Trumbull and 18th-seeded Darien joined Ridgefield and Staples in the quarterfinals.
Ridgefield has won three of the previous four FCIAC championships since 2016.
This year’s Ridgefield Tigers will play the other three FCIAC teams in the Top 10 within a four-game span from Oct. 7-18. They host New Canaan on Oct. 7 in a rematch of last year’s FCIAC championship match, play at Staples on Oct. 16 and two days later the Tigers host St. Joseph on Oct. 18.
Staples visits St. Joseph on Oct. 21 and hosts New Canaan on Oct. 25. St. Joseph travels to New Canaan on Oct. 11.
In this most recent Field Hockey Coaches Top 10 Poll, New Canaan may have received just one of the eight first-place votes compared to the four first-place votes which Newtown garnered but both teams totaled 128 polling points to share the top ranking. They both had 5-0 records when the voting took place.
Wilton (4-1) had 116 points to get the No. 3 ranking while Darien (4-0) received the other three first-place votes and 107 points to get ranked No. 4.
Guilford, Amity, Immaculate and North Branford are ranked 4-8.
Norwalk (4-0) is ranked ninth as the fourth FCIAC team among the top nine. East Lyme completed the No. 10.
Staples received the 12th most points in the polling and Greenwich got the 13th most as they are the two FCIAC teams among the seven total in the “Others receiving votes” category.
Staples has the opportunity to be a Class L state champion for the fourth consecutive year. The Wreckers began their three-year title run when they shared the Class L crown with Darien when the two fellow conference members played to a double-overtime scoreless tie in the 2016 final.
Staples defeated Darien, 1-0, in a state championship rematch the following year and last year the second-seeded Wreckers defended their title with a 2-0 victory over top-seeded Cheshire in the CIAC Class L Field Hockey Tournament final.
Staples advanced to last year’s state Class L final with a 2-1 semifinal overtime victory over sixth-seeded Darien.
Darien has beaten Staples in the previous two FCIAC tournament finals as coach Mo Minicus’ Blue Wave defended its conference crown with a 2-1 victory over Staples.
Darien, currently ranked fourth in the state, was impressive in a 3-1 victory at Staples on Sept. 18.
New Canaan was set to host No. 3 Wilton on Sept. 27. The top-ranked Rams will host Darien on Oct. 18.
Darien has won eight FCIAC championships in the previous 12 seasons from 2007-18 under Minicus and is looking to three-peat this year.