Photo by Jim Stout/MaxPreps.com

Trinity College-bound senior attackman Ben Preston and Darien host Ridgefield in the teams’ first meeting since the 2009 season, when Ridgefield beat Darien twice, including in the FCIAC title game.

Back in the not too distant past, I used to get a chuckle when news colleagues would “gear up” for what they considered to be an extraordinarily annual event known as Election Day.

“In sports,” I would invariably tell them, “every day is Election Day.”

If that’s true, then yesterday, especially so.

After all, yesterday was seedings day, with playoff matchups unveiled in downstate New York. If you weren’t following along the way, it was quite an eventful one. You can get a quick recap by clicking here.

And, as always, you can all the seeds from throughout the nation’s No. 1 hotbed for lacrosse, the Hudson Valley/Long Island/Connecticut, by checking msgvarsity.com 24/7.

Tomorrow, opening-round games will be played.

But today, there are still a handful of regular-season games, including a couple of highly anticipated ones.

The DHS Stadium Field at Darien High School will be one of today’s hotspots in the region, despite what is expected to be another dreary day weather-wise, with a 90 percent chance of rain, including some heavy rain. (For the updated forecast, click here.)

That’s where Darien, regarded as the odds-on favorite to win the FCIAC, will host red-hot Ridgefield.

The teams last met in 2009 as Ridgefield pulled out a 7-6 overtime win over the Blue Wave for its first-ever FCIAC title. The Tigers also downed Darien during the ’09 regular season.

This year, Darien is unbeaten in FCIAC play. Ridgefield, meanwhile, has won four straight and pulled off a Section 1 trifecta, winning border battles against Yorktown, Somers and John Jay.

It promises to be an interesting game, and an interesting FCIAC Tournament. But then again, that’s a pretty safe prediction as four teams have taken the conference title since 2007. (Scroll down for the info on that.)

Speaking of Darien, Ben Preston (pictured above) was one of our “Players to Watch” in the playoffs and Ridgefield one of our postseason “Teams to Watch” on yesterday’s tristate lax segment on MSG Varsity’s “High School SportsDesk” show. We also take a look at Kevin Cousin’s big win at Somers, Rye’s Christian Bonaventura, Sachem North’s George Raum and more.

In case you missed it last night at 6 p.m., you can check out the five-minute segment by clicking here.

If you’re in the Connecticut area, the Ridgefield-Darien game is not a “no-brainer” to attend. That’s because two of the top programs in the Northeast, Deerfield (Mass.) and Salisbury collide at Salisbury, in another 4:30 p.m. game.

Decisions, decisions.

Also of note today, Fairfield Prep, which lost a 7-6 decision to a Chaminade team that has beaten St. Anthony’s twice this season, visits St. A’s.

And Hackley, which is 16-1, plays at Riverdale Country Day (12-3).

Here’s today’s rundown:

Sayville at Miller Place, 4 p.m.
Joel Barlow at New Fairfield at Rebel Turf, 4 p.m.
Newtown at Masuk, 4 p.m.
Freeport at Calhoun, 4:15 p.m.
Burke Catholic at Albertus Magnus, 4:15 p.m.
Ridgefield at Darien, 4:30 p.m.
Northfield Mount Hebron at Westminster, 4:30 p.m.
Loomis Chaffee at Choate, 4:30 p.m.
Hotchkiss at Trinity-Pawling, 4:30 p.m.
Hackley at Riverdale Country Day, 4:30 p.m.
Fairfield Prep at St. Anthony’s, 4:30 p.m.
Deerfield at Salisbury, 4:30 p.m.
Edgemont at Westlake, 4:30 p.m.
Brunswick at Kent, 4:30 p.m.
Keio at Putnam Valley, 4:30 p.m.
Long Beach at Farmingdale, 4:30 p.m.
Shoreham-Wading River at Elwood-John Glenn, 4:30 p.m.
Eastport/South Manor at Kings Park, 4:30 p.m.
North Shore at Friends Academy, 4:30 p.m.
Warwick at Saugerties, 4:30 p.m.
Valley Central at Wallkill, 4:30 p.m.
Minisink Valley at O’Neill, 4:30 p.m.
Newburgh Free Academy at Millbrook, 4:30 p.m.
New Paltz at Pine Bush at Pine Bush Elementary, 4:30 p.m.
Mineola at Locust Valley, 4:30 p.m.
Island Trees at Seaford, 4:30 p.m.
Oceanside at Syosset, 5 p.m.
Brien McMahon at Glastonbury, 5 p.m.
Trumbull at Greenwich, 5 p.m.
Hempstead at Port Washington, 5 p.m.
Notre Dame-Fairfield at Pomperaug, 7 p.m.
Amity at Fairfield Ludlowe at Taft Field, 7 p.m.
Red Hook vs. Kingston at Dietz Stadium, 7:15 p.m.

Finally, be sure to weigh in by voting in our latest poll.

To vote, go to the right panel of this page. Then, just scroll past the “New Comments” and “Popular” tabs and click on “Poll,” and then cast your vote from the choices available, or write in your choice if it’s not listed.

You can reach us by email at info@laxlessons.com.

Recent FCIAC champions

The FCIAC has had different champions every year since 2007. Here’s a look at the result of each year’s title game:

2007 New Canaan (5-4 over Darien)

2008 Darien (13-9 over Ridgefield)

2009 Ridgefield (7-6 OT over Darien)

2010 Greenwich (5-4 over New Canaan)

Weather Forecast
Click here for today’s weather and a look at the three days ahead.

NCAA tournament schedule
For a rundown of scores and schedules for the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments, click here.

Put those cell phones to good use
Be sure, as always, to weigh in with info/thoughts/scores on games you attend. And don’t forget to put those mobile phones to good use in providing in-game updates, gang. If it’s easier, you may also send your updates to info@laxlessons.com.

LAXLESSONS Links

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Lombardi on Lacrosse, 5/17 segment: Playoff preview: teams, players to watch

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Posted In: Fairfield lacrosse, fciac, Gameday, Section 1, Section 11, Section 8, Section 9, SWC lacrosse

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45 Responses to “Gameday Wednesday, 5/18: Ridgefield, Darien set to square off; Salisbury hosts Deerfield; Fairfield Prep visits St. Anthony's”

  1. Lax Novice says:

    Hopefully the potential for lightning won’t prevent this slate of games from being cancelled, there aren’t many days to reschedule with the post-season dead ahead.

    The game I’m most interested in isn’t going to be that close, however. I’m looking for Darien to close out an undefeated league regular season by dominating Ridgefield in all phases of the game at DHS Stadium. Let’s call it 14-5 for the Blue Wave. And if the Tigers try to run with the Wave instead of slowing it down to play 6-on-6, it might be worse, New Fairfield-style.

    On another note, the Wilton 7-5 win at home over Yorktown closes the books on the FCIAC-Section 1 unofficial StateLine Series, which for 2011 wound up FCIAC 10, Section One 3. Hopefully the real benefit of playing these games will show up in the post-season, getting out of one’s comfort zone to play challenging non-league games almost always pays dividends during the most important part of the season.

    • Blue White says:

      I like that you got the jump on Copps Hill.

      I wonder if either Brameier or Colsey will be cracking the whip in this game. In all likelihood they will, Wave by 3.

      • Lax Novice says:

        This isn’t going to be a win-at-all-costs contest today, but I’d expect both coaches to have high expectations for their respective game plans to be executed as well as possible. Coach B has preached intensity from Day 1 and after a relatively light week he’ll not be happy if there’s any sloppy play on either offense or defense, regardless of the weather. Coach Colsey has a different challenge, he’s up against one of the few teams that he can’t out run-n-gun, so they have to make a choice if they are going to go against their instinct and play a ball-possession game 6 X 6 or stay true to what they do best and take their chances going up and down the field. Either way it’ll take a lot of things to go right for the Tigers and a lot of things to go wrong for the Wave for this game to be close in the 2nd half.

  2. Copps Hills says:

    Ridgefield accounts for three of the 10-3 vs Section 1!!!

    Who’s got next???

    The Blue Grave!

    Ridgefield 8, Darien 6

    • Old Growth says:

      Depends on which Ridgefield team shows up today. They need to play mistake free and win more than 50% faceoffs to keep the game close.

      Darien 11
      Ridgefield 9

    • Lax Novice says:

      We don’t hear you now, do we?

      • Copps Hills says:

        Hear this – the season comes down to the FCIACs not the regular season. I would think anyone who follows Darien would (painfully) realize this by now.

        Thanks for playing!

        • Lax Novice says:

          And next week the season will come down to the States, not the FCIACs or the regular season?

          Good luck tomorrow against McMahon. I’d recommend showing up for the start of that game, instead of waiting until the game was over like you did on Wednesday. It’d be nice not to have you one-and-done like last year.

          • gwich fan says:

            “season coming down to the states”… Kind of how it felt in Darien the last two seasons so I guess you’d know right?

    • Tiger Town says:

      LET’S GO FIELD!!!

  3. slacrosse says:

    Hear Rye will play Harrison and not Ossining on TH.

    • Lax Novice says:

      That’s what it says on the MSG Varsity page, Harrison at Rye 4:30 tomorrow. Nothing like your biggest rival to get the playoffs started. I don’t think that’s a bad thing either, your intensity level will be right where you want it along with having the best team. That’s a winning combination.

      • slacrosse says:

        Always like to beat Harrison as in tomorrow. But no “rivalry” in lax.

        The REAL rivalry is in football where Rye won an incredible game in the last seconds this past season thanks in large part to our Qback,Brian Pickup (senior end and # 24 lax pole) and Garrett Chapman (senior end and #9 lax middie).

  4. ricky says:

    Section C Lax,

    JFK beat Croton 12-11 last game of the season.
    JFK has won 6 out of last 7 games
    JFK has the best coach in Section 1 and one of the top coaches in the State.
    Pville clearly more talented but don’t think it will be like playing Keio, Briacliff, or Westlake.

    • ReLAX says:

      You beat croton by a goal in a home game & you’re home again so I guess you’re hoping to get bye em tomorrow. You’re right Pville is better than KC & although you mention 3 bad teams KC also split w/ Haldane & got swept by N Salem, so you’re not A powerhouse C team. Guess it’s because you’re on the 1 seed side of the draw, but Bville & BH also are both much better & a coach is only as good as his players. So ReLAX

      • Papa John says:

        ReLax you didnt even think Kennedy had a lax team 2 years ago and now you talking about them the Sav’s must be doing something right!

        • ReLAX says:

          I knew they had a team it was on the news that the former JJ coach was there. Ricky was wrong about 6 of the last 7 it was 5 of 7 & the losses were to N Salem a (9-7) team & Haldane (8-8) I was responding to Ricky’s comment. It never crossed my mind to talk about KC. Maybe you’ll end up w/ a split w/ Croton too like you had w/ Haldane

  5. PV parent says:

    PV over Keio 16-2.

    • ReLAX says:

      Congrats & Good Luck vs Bville. Mike Quick predicts them to be going upstate, representing downstate according to what he said on a Quick:60 last night, guess he’s picking the ville over LI!! PV has a chance to shock the State w/ an upset. Bville’s got an easy path to the finals w/ Dobbs @ the 3 seed. At least your program knows what it’s like to win the section. That’s something to build on. It would be funny to call PV a sleeper, but they are!!

  6. CT Lax says:

    Hotchkiss 10, Trinity-Pawling 9 OT

    • ReLAX says:

      Tough yr for TP 5 one goal losses 2 of them 10-9 in OT to Avon & Hotchkiss. They also had 2 two goal losses one early to Loyola-Blakefield fr MD & recently a 2 goal loss to Millbrook. I watched TP play Brunswick on Mon. Although, they were down 8-3 @ half they fought back to 11-9 & lost 13-10. They have talent but lack depth. They play a very tough sched & should adjust that if they can next yr.

  7. Joe Lombardi says:

    Darien 7-5-2-3 = 17

    Ridgefield 2-0-4-4 = 10


    Darien scoring:

    Case Matheis 4-2

    Richard Gregory 4-1

    Ben Preston 4-0

    Graham Maybell 3-0

    Bobby Weaver 2-1

    Eric Parnon 0-2

    Baylis Treen 0-1


    Ridgefield scoring:

    Bucknavage 3-1

    Scala 3-1

    Wilkinson 3-1

    Riley 1-0

    Goalie saves:

    Darien:

    Dylan Torey 9

    Ridgefield:

    Winne 8

    Records:

    Darien 11-0 FCIAC 14-2 overall
    Ridgefield 12-4 overall

  8. Ride the Wave says:

    Impressive job by Darien in tough weather conditions. Now the run to the FCIAC begins!

  9. Blue White says:

    12-2 at half?

    • Lax Novice says:

      Indeed, then a lengthy lightning and thunderstorm delay, the 2nd half started about 6:10pm and they managed to get the game in. Not much not to like about Darien today, other than some impatience and brutal decision-making in the 4th quarter which allowed Ridgefield to make the final score somewhat respectible. Give the Tigers credit for showing some heart in the 2nd half under some awful weather conditions.

      • Big Easy says:

        Fair assessment novice…Darien’s transition game is excellent. Weather brutal…play OK for the conditions…let the FCIAC’s begin….good luck to all.

        • laxr says:

          I actually thought that Darien was terrible in unsettled situations today…they probably left half a dozen easy fast break goals on the field today with bad passes and untimely drops.

      • factcheck says:

        But on the whole it looks like these Tigers are afraid of the water!!

  10. Laxfan6000 says:

    St. Anthony’s beats FPrep 13-4. St. A’s clear bench in 4th quarter

    • Lax Novice says:

      Prep improved over last year’s result, which was not only a 14-1 loss but was on TV for everyone to see. Nonetheless they remain pretty much a lock for a Connecticut Class L semifinal at the very least.

    • ReLAX says:

      Since, CT bloggers keep track of the Sect.1 vs CT record.; How’d they end up vs the LI teams, work backwards fr this St Ants FP game

      • laxr says:

        Pretty poor. 3-8 from what I can tell (although to be fair losing to St. A’s, Chaminade, Ward Melville, and Manhasset isn’t indicative of playing LI as a whole). The FCIAC was 1-3, with the lone win being Darien’s victory over St. Anthony’s 9-8 in OT (Friars up 3-0 just over a minute in, and 5-2 after one. Darien storms back in second half, and briefly takes lead until St. A’s ties it w/ 1.8 seconds left. Darien scores in OT). The FCIAC losses were: Wilton to St. A’s 10-6 (heard it was reasonably competitive), Darien to Manhasset 10-7 (all Set first half, all Darien second half – until the Indians notch two late insurance goals to clinch it), and Greenwich to Ward Melville 11-5 (one goal game at the half, Melville pours it on in half 2)

        • Lax Novice says:

          Great summary. What that tells you is just how far ahead Sec 8 and 11 are over Section 1, although we pretty much knew that already.

          • slacrosse says:

            Yeah, it really is old news that LI dominates Section 1 (and CT–only public high schools)), with certain wins over LI on an exception basis. This season would rank as follows, inc upper NYS:

            LI
            Upper NY State
            CT
            Section 1

          • Lax Novice says:

            Darien beat Niskayuna, which qualifies as upstate, so maybe Conn. can get moved up one notch.

          • slacrosse says:

            True and good win but cant give it to ya based on 1 game. So it’s just my opinion that on the whole UNYS would rank above. FCIAC should get some more games with those teams. Section 1 has played Nisky, Penn Yan , Carthage, Shenendahowa, maybe others. Importantly I’m also basing my opinion on figuring in traditional upstate power houses, inc. but not limited to, West Gennesee, Jamesville DeWitt (crushed Garden City last season), etc. I think Darien of course would be very competitive with those teams.

          • P&G says:

            Very old news…

            There are 41 class A, 39 class B, and 15 class C/D teams on the Island playing lax. 105 in total.

            Compared to 13 class B, 15 class B, and 22 class C/D teams playing in Section 1 (50 in total).

            Given that Section 1 has less as well as relatively smaller high schools, along with the fact that many of the 50 in section 1 are programs less than 20 years old it is no suprise.

            A given year, a given team sure – but it’s comparing apples to oranges.

          • slacrosse says:

            Thx. Helpful as always.

            To your point about about “in a given yr…..” ’07 Jay team among the top tier in the country.

          • ReLAX says:

            Slacrosse simply put NY Lax is & always has been better than CT. They might be able to say that CT is better than a section of NY but state vs state it’s NO CONTEST..uh oh he didn’t lol

  11. Joe Lombardi says:

    FCIAC seedings were just decided tonight.

    They are as follows:

    1. Darien
    2. Greenwich
    3. Ridgefield
    4. New Canaan
    5. Wilton
    6. Brien McMahon
    7. Staples
    8. Fairfield-Ludlowe

    Saturday, May 21st

    1 v 8 Fairfield Ludlowe @ Darien 1pm
    2 v 7 Staples @ Greenwich time TBD
    3 v 6 Brien McMahon @ Ridgefield 2pm
    4 v 5 Wilton @ New Canaan time TBD
    _______________________________________

  12. slacrosse says:

    Section 1 Administrators:

    Please look at the Ct play-off structure/seedings. Starts with a formula ending up with COACHES (CANT seed their own teams) making “reality” adjustments to seedings to avoid having premature matches like the Jay/Rye quarterfinals.

    On the whole I trust the coaches. They and every objective fan and player know how to do this “right”.

    • Lax Novice says:

      It seems to work well here on the league level with 8 teams. The Connecticut States work much like Section 1 does though, on a strict points system with no subjectiveness for strength of schedule, for example. Last year Darien wound up as the #2 seed to #1 New Fairfield for the same reasons people in Westchester get upset about seedings. That’s why I say it doesn’t really matter. Its a tournament where the idea is to win the tournament and all the hand-wringing over seedings is essentially meaningless. Rye would have to beat John Jay to win the section anyway, so who cares what round they are in? Somebody would be unhappy no matter what system you used.

      Good luck against Harrison later on.

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