Rams drop tough one to rivals
NEW CANAAN — After an inauspicious start to the season the Darien boys soccer team seems to have turned a corner.
The Blue Wave dropped their first two contests to Trumbull and Greenwich but Tuesday defeated New Canaan 1-0 at Connor Field for their third consecutive victory.
The win followed back-to-back triumphs from last week over Brien McMahon and last year’s FCIAC and Class L champions, Ludlowe.
After being unable to score in its first two contests the Darien offense appears to have found its footing. In the mind of coach Jon Bradley, that has started with the play of the defense, which recorded its third consecutive shutout in the win.
“I think it’s more at the other end of the field,” Bradley said. “We have three clean sheets now which means you can do more at the offensive end of the field.”
The lone goal in the contest came in the 61st minute when a corner kick off by Sean Gallagher found the foot of Jason Flynn in the box where he finished into the bottom right of the net.
“It was a huge relief,” Flynn said of the goal. “Sean played a perfect ball right into the box where I could just tap it in and we’re finally getting that execution and playing well.”
Darien dominated for large portions of the contest, but was unable to capitalize on its wealth of opportunities, largely due to the play of New Canaan goalie Sam Stoner, who had seven saves in the contest.
“He made three or four excellent saves,” New Canaan coach Rich Sutherland said. “Their keeper really didn’t have much to do but he made the one big save in the game on us. Sam definitely came up big with his saves, they put us under a lot of pressure and he did what we asked him to do.”
While the Rams are off to an 0-4-1 start to the season Sutherland, hasn’t lost faith in his club.
The FCIAC is a deep league and the Rams have hung with their opponents, they just have to find a way to possess the ball more in order to create more scoring opportunities.
“I thought they worked incredibly hard,” Sutherland said of his team that has scored just two goals through the first five games of the season. “I can’t ask overly too much more from the guys that played, I think they matched what we asked them to do knowing Darien would have a lot of the ball possession.”
While soccer is one of the more tame sports in the Darien, New Canaan rivalry Bradley wants the game to get the attention it deserves, starting with a later start time instead of the 4 p.m. kickoff the teams had Tuesday.
“It’s a shame for the kids that we can’t get it resolved for it going to the evening,” Bradley said. “It’s the one game a year where we have a chance to get a really big crowd at the game.”
DARIEN 1, NEW CANAAN 0
DARIEN 0 1—1
NEW CANAAN 0 0—0
Records: Darien 3-2; New Canaan 0-4-1. Goals: D—Jason Flynn. Goalies: D—David Volz (4 saves); NC—Sam Stoner (7). Shots: D—9; NC—4.