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Blue Wave show they've lost very little. Team dominant again despite graduation losses from national power

Posted Saturday, April 28, 2007 by Bob Greeney, Stamford Advocate

DARIEN - During the last few years Darien has become one of the elite high school boys lacrosse programs in the country.

The Blue Wave finished fifth in the final laxpower.com national polls after the 2005 and '06 seasons - a two-year run in which they went 44-1 while winning conference and state championships in each of those years.

But there were some excellent players who graduated last year and seemingly holes to fill this year.

Consequently, there might be some doubt as to whether this Darien team could maintain the high standard set by the previous two teams.

The Blue Wave went a long way to removing those doubts by rolling to a dominant 17-6 victory over Yorktown (N.Y.) yesterday at Darien High School.

"We played well. We really did a nice job," Darien coach Jeff Brameier said. "Obviously, the score dictates that we controlled either side of the ball. We were very dominant on the defensive end. We were very physical. We didn't give them many scoring chances and we really capitalized on our own scoring opportunities."

Colin Delaney scored five goals, Mike Ryan netted three goals while Sam Spillane and Nick Heitz each had two goals and three assists to lead Darien's potent offense.

John Ranagan had three goals and an assist to lead Yorktown.

The Blue Wave improved to 2-1 while Yorktown's young team, coming off an impressive 17-2 victory over future Darien opponent Mahopac (N.Y.), dropped to 4-1.

Yesterday's dominant performance occurred a week after Darien gave fellow national power Georgetown Prep a serious challenge before Georgetown Prep rallied for a 9-8 victory. Georgetown Prep was second in last year's final national poll.

"That was a tough loss against Georgetown Prep," Spillane said. "I felt we could've won that game. I feel like we're one of the best teams in the country and that we can play with anyone in the country. We definitely wanted to come out today and take it out on Yorktown. We came out fast and we came out hard. We definitely wanted to make a statement. Making a statement was big for us today and I think we did that. Everybody played well."

"We were all pretty upset with that loss to Georgetown Prep," Delaney said. "Everybody thought we'd be lucky to lose by six goals or less. I thought we had a chance to win that game. Everybody's been doubting us, saying we didn't have as much on offense. We lost a lot on offense, some All-Americans from last year. Sam's our only returning All-American. Our defense has been great and our offense is coming along."

New starting goalie Jameson Love had nine saves and received ample defensive support.

Alex Yackery, Tim Clinton, Corey Caputo, John Haire, Kevin Joy and Jon Schoen were solid in denying Yorktown scoring opportunities when Darien was in man-down situations.

Schoen finished off a fast break during the first of Darien's two key scoring spurts, while Joy scooped up a ground ball and fired in a goal during the second big spurt.

After Ranagan tied it at 1-1 with 9:01 remaining in the first quarter, the Blue Wave broke it open with seven unanswered goals during a span of 10:05.

Delaney gave them a 2-1 lead with the first of his five unassisted goals with 7:15 left in the first quarter to begin the spurt.

Yackery forced a turnover, he sent Schoen into transition along the left sideline, Schoen cut toward the middle and fired it in with his long pole to give Darien a 4-1 lead with one minute left in the initial period.

John Bolton scored his second goal of the game on an assist from Heitz to give Darien a 7-1 lead with 9:18 left in the second quarter.

Eight seconds later it was 8-1 after a play as swift and pretty as could be. Delaney won the faceoff, passed it to Yackery on the left side, Yackery made a quick pass to Bolton, and Bolton swiftly assisted Heitz to finish off that pivotal run of seven straight goals.

Yorktown's Cornhuskers made things interesting when they reeled off three goals within a span of 1:40 to cut their deficit to 8-4 by halftime.

But then the Blue Wave broke it open with their second spurt as they outscored Yorktown 6-1 in the third quarter. Tyler Foley scored his goal during this spurt.

If the Blue Wave players came out with a chip on their shoulders, one reason for that was their coaching staff got their minds on that mindset.

"We got on their cases this week in practice," Brameier said. "We felt there was a little bit too much of patting themselves on the back after what they might have thought was a moral victory against Georgetown Prep. Yeah, we played them tough, but we didn't win. We've got to step up

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