FCIAC teams captured five state championships during fall season

It is an annual occurrence during the fall season.

Just as one can be sure that the leaves will change color and eventually fall off of the trees during late October and early November, one can also be sure that the FCIAC will have much success and collect several state championships during the fall season’s state tournaments and state championship meets.

Such was the case once again at the end of the 2019 high school sports fall season.

There were five fall sports teams from the FCIAC which won state championships in their respective sports. The conference had a combined 69-48 record (a .590 winning percentage) in the five sports in which teams played against each other in tournaments.

The St. Joseph football team, Staples field hockey team, Trumbull girls volleyball team, New Canaan girls cross country team and Darien girls swimming and diving team all were crowned state champions.

Six conference football teams participated in the two largest football playoffs and St. Joseph won the CIAC Class L Football Playoffs with a 17-13 victory over Daniel Hand in the championship game. The Cadets defeated a pair of fellow FCIAC teams in the first two rounds – a 49-7 opening victory over Wilton and a 42-0 semifinal victory over New Canaan.

St. Joseph has won three straight state championships and each of them have been in different classes. Two seasons ago the Cadets defeated Ansonia, 42-36, in the Class S championship. They moved up one class for the 2018 season and romped to a 70-18 triumph over Berlin in the Class S final.

The FCIAC had a combined 6-5 record in both football playoffs as Darien had a 2-1 record while Greenwich and Ridgefield both lost their opening games in the Class LL playoffs.

The Staples field hockey team won its fourth consecutive state championship as the potent Wreckers outscored their opposition by an 18-5 margin in their four victories, culminating with a 4-2 victory over Darien in the championship game of the CIAC Class L Field Hockey Tournament.

Darien outscored its first three foes, 15-1, before losing to Staples in the final. The FCIAC had a combined 14-9 record from its 10 teams in the Class L field hockey tournament. Another example of the conference’s depth and strength is that ninth-seeded Norwalk had a 2-1 record, highlighted by a 1-0 victory over top-seeded Newtown in the quarterfinals.

Staples now has a combined 15-0-1 record in the last four state Class L field hockey tournaments. The 2016 Wreckers were co-champions with Darien after a scoreless tie in the championship game. Staples nipped Darien, 1-0, in the 2017 final and the 2018 Wreckers won the title with a 2-0 victory over Cheshire.

The Trumbull girls volleyball program won the first state championship in school history when it defeated Westhill, 3-0, by the scores of 25-21, 25-21, 25-20 in the CIAC Class LL final.

Trumbull and Westhill each shut out their four preceding opponents en route to the final. Their deep runs enabled the FCIAC to have an 18-11 combined record in the Class LL tournament from its 11 participants. The conference was 19-12 overall in girls volleyball as St. Joseph was 1-1 in the Class L tourney.

The FCIAC had 11 boys soccer teams participating in either the Class LL or Class L tournaments and a combined 18-11 record as Greenwich advanced to the Class LL championship game while Wilton advanced to the Class L final.

Wilton had a 4-1 record as the only conference team in the Class L tournament. The Warriors advanced to the final with a 2-1 semifinal victory over Wethersfield when they prevailed by a 4-2 margin in penalty kicks. The championship game went to double overtime and Daniel Hand defeated Wilton, 2-1.

Greenwich had a 4-1 record to lead the 10 FCIAC teams in the Class LL boys soccer tournament to a combined 14-10 record. Hall, seeded fifth, won the final with a 3-1 victory over Greenwich after the 14th-seeded Cardinals advanced with a 3-2 semifinal victory over seventh-seeded Farmington.

Staples gave a display of the conference’s strength as the Wreckers were seeded 17th and they defeated top-ranked Glastonbury, 3-2, in the second round.

All of the 11 FCIAC state playoff participants in girls soccer were in the Class LL tournament. Ridgefield and Staples both advanced to the semifinals, where they were eliminated, to lead the conference to a 12-11 combined record.

The FCIAC had state champions and several teams place high in the sports which have championship meet formats – cross country and girls swimming and diving.

New Canaan won the CIAC Class L Girls Cross Country Championships by six points over Simsbury as the conference had three teams among the top four. Wilton and Darien placed third and fourth, respectively.

Darien led a trio of three conference teams placing 1-3 while winning the CIAC Class L Girls Swimming and Diving Championships. Wilton placed second and New Canaan was third.

The Greenwich girls swimming and diving program was very strong once again – finishing runner-up in both the Class LL and State open championship meets.

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