Darien coach Jeff Brameier
(Photo by Jim Stout/MaxPreps.com)
For months, FCIAC fans have known this moment would arrive.
Though it nearly did not (thanks to an inspired effort by New Canaan in the FCIAC semifinals), Ridgefield and Darien will indeed be meeting for the FCIAC title.
Though there has been plenty of drama and plenty of injuries, too it’s a matchup we pretty much could have penciled in almost a year ago to the date.
So here we are.
When the teams met during the regular season, an energized Ridgefield team met a Darien team though dynastic decimated by key injuries. Leading returning scorer Nikki Dysenchuk and one of the region’s top defensemen, Corey Caputo, were sidelined.
So, it should hardly come as a surprise that many were predicting a one-sided Ridgefield win.
I didn’t buy that. Darien’s tradition, coaching and intangibles could not be overlooked. I projected a 9-7 Ridgefield win. Ridgefield won 8-7 in overtime.
Now, conventional wisdom has Darien as the clear favorite today. The Blue Wave are peaking. Ridgefield, meanwhile, seemingly hit its stride in midseason. Now, key Tigers such as John Mirra, Colin Scott and Duncan Morrissey have been saddled with injuries.
So this should be Darien’s day, right?
But I have never been one to buy into conventional wisdom as my prediction in the first matchup attests.
Yes, Darien could and probably should win tonight. But I want to go on record as saying there’s just as good a chance that very well could not happen.
Just as I did in the regular-season meeting when I thought what most viewed as a rout would be a nail-biter.
It should be very interesting. Be sure to check back for updates.
FCIAC (Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference)
Ridgefield 7, Darien 6 (OT)
SWC (South-West Conference)
Newtown 9, New Fairfield 8
Championship Week officially began yesterday with the Southern Connecticut Conference final:
Fairfield Prep 10, Cheshire 6
Be sure to weigh in with your thoughts, post your comments and predictions, and check back for live scoring updates.
Reach Joe Lombardi at email@example.com.