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Twice was nice for Darien in 2015.
The Blue Wave won their second straight Connecticut state title, but first ever in Class M, beating Ridgefield 6-5 in the final at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk.
The Blue Wave, who trailed 4-2 at the half, held Ridgefield to one second-half goal and answered a 3-0 Ridgefield second-quarter run with a 3-0 run of their own in the third, with Christian Trifone snapping a 4-4 tie off a feed from Colin Minicus with time winding down in the period. Minicus had a goal and two assists during the run.
Darien (20-3) extended the lead to 6-4 in the fourth when defenseman Mark Evanchick scored on a spectacular overhand blast on a fastbreak. Ridgefield (17-6) pulled within a goal when Simon Mathias, who like Evanchick is bound for UPenn, scored off a Brad Alexander feed. Mathias, once again defense by Evanchick, finished with two goals and an assist.
Evanchick, Rock Stewart, Daniel Traver, Will Simpson, Robbie Arrix, Peter Doering, Nic Tuzinkiewicz, Jon Sommi and sophomore goalie Ryan Cornell (11 saves) all excelled on defense for Darien.
So who better to check in with in accessing Darien’s 2016 fortunes than senior standout Mark Evanchick?
Now, here are Mark’s perspectives on the season.
Your final varsity football season wound up being a memorable one to say the least. What were some of the moments you will remember most?
Two of the best moments from this year had to be getting a win on Thanksgiving Day against our archrival New Canaan, and finally finishing in the state championship game against Shelton. Both were impactful wins for the program and victories I’ll never forget.
What have you been doing to get ready for lacrosse season?
I have been training with a few teammates at Bluestreak Sports Training to get faster for the upcoming season, along with hitting the wall.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule looks competitive as always. (Darien) Coach (Jeff) Brameier does a great job scheduling the best out-of-state talent around.
We are looking forward to our competitive FCIAC games like Greenwich, Ridgefield and New Canaan and our out-of-state games against Niskayuna, Yorktown, Manhasset and St. Anthony’s.
In the preseason, our big play day is against Deerfield, which is a great way to start our season.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
I think Riley Stewart, Finley Collins and Jack Joyce are going to be huge contributors this upcoming season.
Finley and Riley saw a lot of time last year and have worked hard in the offseason to get ready and Jack is a sophomore who looks varsity ready
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
I think our biggest strength this year will be our offense. We have our entire starting offense returning this year with the exception of two midfielders.
Our offense is mainly composed of seniors with a lot of varsity experience, so we are looking to be very explosive.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
The FCIAC this year will be very competitive with Darien, New Canaan, Greenwich and Ridgefield all fighting for the conference title. It should be a great year in the FCIAC and we hope to come out on top.
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