New Canaan girls soccer earns bragging rights over Darien
Published 12:02 pm, Wednesday, September 23, 2015
NEW CANAAN — The intensity was worthy of a New Canaan vs. Darien rivalry matchup.
It was an 80-minute roller-coaster ride Friday at New Canaan’s Conner Field with the Rams’ girls soccer team emerging with a hard-fought 1-0 triumph over Darien.
“I’m pleased with the girls. They got the result they deserved,” New Canaan coach Kirk Bamford said. “It’s always a huge game when the opponent is Darien. These contests always have a special edge to them.”
New Canaan seized the momentum early, which ultimately resulted in sophomore Braeden Dial’s goal off a cross from fellow sophomore Julia Ozimek with 26:38 remaining in the first half.
Facing a deficit, Darien raised its level in search of the equalizer.
The Blue Wave dominated the final 20 minutes before intermission. Darien shot wide, had shots fly over the crossbar and unfortunately had a high ball go over Donovan only to ricochet off the left post out and of harm’s way with 7:32 left in the first half.
“We were in New Canaan’s end those last 20 minutes,” Darien coach Leigh Parsons said. “The ball off the post was just unlucky.”
Darien’s offense continued to test New Canaan’s defense through the opening 25 minutes of the second half. But Donovan was equal to the task.
New Canaan managed to play keep away most of the final 15 minutes and received one more visit from Lady Luck.
Darien scored off a corner kick with :59.3 seconds to go but the goal was disallowed due to a hand ball.
“It was a day where I’m sure our team feels very frustrated,” Darien’s Parsons said. “But there are a lot of things our girls should be proud of. And a lot of good things to carry forward into the rest of the season. Since it’s only the third game of the season, we’re still sorting out some style of play issues and some execution issues. It will get better but sometimes we’re overthinking instead of just reacting out there.”
The contest left both teams at 2-1 overall.
Both New Canaan and Darien look to take a step forward after the Rams reached the 2014 Class L quarterfinals while Darien was ousted in the Class LL second round by eventual 2014 state champion and No. 1 seed Glastonbury.
“I give lots of credit to Darien. They created all kinds of problems today. But we held on,” New Canaan’s Bamford said. “Our defense buckled down when it needed to. The ball off the post is always a big play in a 1-0 contest. I feel we’re moving in the right direction. I’m happy with the work ethic. They are embracing my philosophy. We’ve scored seven goals in three games. I hope to see more to come.”
NEW CANAAN 1, DARIEN 0
DARIEN 0 0 — 0
NEW CANAAN 1 0 — 1
Records: Darien (2-1, 2-1 league); New Canaan (2-1, 2-1 league)
Goals: NC — Braeden Dial. Assists: NC — Julia Ozimek. Goalies: D — Kate Fiore (10 saves). NC — Katie Donovan (11 saves).