FCIAC girls lacrosse teams sweep top five spots in CT coaches poll

This special season the Darien girls’ lacrosse team has going includes the Blue Wave consistently winning impressively and maintaining its No. 1 ranking in the current state and national polls heading into the FCIAC tournament.

The upper half of the Connecticut Girls Lacrosse Coaches Top 10 Poll consists of all FCIAC teams ranked 1-5.

The state poll was released May 16. All the Top 10 teams have the same rankings they had in the previous May 9 poll.

Darien was the unanimous choice for No. 1 as the undefeated Blue Wave, which improved to 15-0 with Monday’s 20-8 home victory over Greenwich, received a first-place vote from all 12 of the voting coaches and the maximum 120 polling points.

All the coaches voted New Canaan (12-2) at No. 2, Wilton (12-2) at No. 3, Greenwich (9-3) at No. 4, and Ridgefield (12-3) at No. 5. New Canaan received 108 points, Wilton had 96, Greenwich got 84, and Ridgefield 60.

Last week Greenwich and Ridgefield exchanged rankings from the poll two weeks ago. Greenwich’s Cardinals leapfrogged over Ridgefield up to No. 4, due in large part to their 11-4 victory at home over Ridgefield on May 4.

Newtown had an unbeaten 15-0 record at the time of the voting for the current state poll and is ranked sixth. Cheshire (11-3) is No. 7 and followed by Weston (14-1), East Lyme (13-1), and Guilford (9-5).

Greenwich coach Tara Clough, New Canaan coach Kristin Woods, and Wilton coach Meredith Meyran are the three FCIAC coaches who vote on the state coaches’ poll.

Darien is also ranked No. 1 and the FCIAC has three teams among the top 10 in the Nike/USA Lacrosse High School Rankings National Girls’ Top 25 which was released May 16. New Canaan and Wilton are ranked ninth and 10th, respectively.

The quarterfinals of the 2023 FCIAC Girls Lacrosse Tournament begin Thursday, May 18, at the home fields of the four highest-seeded teams.

Top-seeded Darien hosts No. 8 Stamford at 4 p.m., No. 2 New Canaan hosts No. 7 Fairfield Ludlowe, fifth-seeded Ridgefield visits fourth-seeded Greenwich at 5:30 p.m., and No. 3 Wilton hosts No. 6 Staples at 7 p.m.

The semifinals and championship game will be at Greenwich High School.

The Monday semifinal doubleheader on May 22 will begin at 6 o’clock with the first game and the second game is scheduled for 8 p.m. The team with the highest remaining seed will have the choice of game time.

The FCIAC championship game is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, at 6 p.m.

Darien had an 8-0 record in the FCIAC West Division girls’ lacrosse standings and was followed by New Canaan (7-1), Wilton (6-2), Greenwich (5-3), Ridgefield (4-4), and Staples (3-5).

New Canaan’s Rams secured the second seed in the FCIAC tourney when they defeated Wilton, 13-6, at home on May 11. That result affected the current national poll. Wilton was ranked eighth and New Canaan was 12th in the previous poll which was released May 9. New Canaan vaulted up three spots to No. 9 and Wilton dropped down two spots to No. 10 in the current Nike/USA Lacrosse High School Rankings National Girls’ Top 25.

Fairfield Ludlowe led the FCIAC East Division with its 8-2 record.

Last year was a double crown year for New Canaan as Coach Woods’ Rams won a pair of close games over Darien in the championship games of the FCIAC and state Class L tournaments to become the logical choice for the No. 1 ranking in the final state poll.

New Canaan rallied back from an 8-6 deficit in the second half and the defending champion Rams scored the game’s last four goals to win their second consecutive conference championship with a 10-8 victory. Second-seeded New Canaan defeated third-seeded Wilton, 15-6, and top-seeded Darien beat fourth-seeded Ridgefield, 16-8, in the semifinals of the 2022 FCIAC tournament.

Third-seeded New Canaan and top-seeded Darien both won their first three games in the state Class L tournament to set up a postseason rematch in the state championship showdown and New Canaan won that one by a goal, 14-13.

All four teams in the state Class L semifinal doubleheader were FCIAC teams – the same teams in the final four of the FCIAC tournament. New Canaan advanced with a 19-11 victory over 10th-seeded Ridgefield in the first game, and Darien advanced to the state final with a 13-3 victory over fourth-seeded Wilton.

One noteworthy milestone which has enhanced this special season for Darien. The Blue Wave defeated host Massapequa (N.Y.), 17-7, on May 9 to give its coach Lisa Lindley her 500th career victory. Lindley has an amazing .849 winning percentage and a 501-89 career record after Monday’s 20-8 victory at home over Greenwich.

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