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Wednesday, November 22 High School Sports

Darien shuts out rival New Canaan

DARIEN — Coming into Thursday’s contest, the Darien and New Canaan boys soccer teams were in similar situations.

Both were near the bottom at the standings, but felt they had been more competitive than their records indicated. Both were coming off satisfying 1-0 wins — Darien over Staples and New Canaan over Brien McMahon.

In the end, it was Darien that was able to ride the momentum with a 3-0 home win over the Rams.

“Overall, we’re not as bad as our results dictated,” Darien coach Jon Bradley said. “I told them the mentality has to change. The other day we were as good as Staples and I think we were the better team today and deserved to win. You have to have a different mentality now, there’s four games left, you never give up until the numbers dictate you’re out of it.”

Darien (2-8-2) got two goals midway through the first half within two minutes of each other off the foot of senior captain Blake Sommi.

“We finally started getting more composed under the ball and are gaining our confidence as a team,” Sommi said of the mini-win streak. “We had a pretty rough start to the season obviously, but we’re trying to make a late run to the post season.”

In the second half, New Canaan had a chance to swing momentum with 30 minutes to play, but Darien goalie David Volz made a diving save. The ensuing corner resulted in a penalty kick for the Rams, Volz again came up big, diving to his right to stymie the chance.

“The penalty save was great,” Bradley said. “I thought the penalty was a little bit harsh, but when they’re given, they’re given and it was a great save down to his right-hand side and it gave us confidence after that.”

Darien iced the game with six minutes to play on William Dickson’s tally.

“They deserved it honestly,” New Canaan coach Rich Sutherland said. “It wasn’t a spectacle, it wasn’t really a good game, we made a couple mistakes and they punished us in the first half. We had a couple of chances that I think were easier than the goals they scored, but we couldn’t take advantage and they did.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Sommi, Darien. The senior’s two goals in a two-minute span in the first half set the tone for the contest.

“The first one, the ball popped out off a corner so I came in and did a lefty volley, got a pretty good spot on the finish,” Sommi said. “The second one was a pretty long free kick and the ball got clipped in, so I went up for the header and got it over the keeper.”

LAST CHANCE

Neither team is where it wants to be at this point of the season, but for the seniors this was the final opportunity to beat their biggest rival.

“It’s awesome,” Sommi said of finishing the rivalry win a win. “Especially senior year, last time stepping on the soccer field against these boys — it’s great to get such a good result.”

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“In the second half, we missed the penalty and that changes the game really,” Sutherland said. “We score that, I think we’re back in the game and then their keeper makes an excellent save as well.”

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

DARIEN 3, NEW CANAAN 0

NEW CANAAN 0 0—0

DARIEN 2 1—3

Records: New Canaan 2-8-2; Darien 2-8-2. Goals: D—Blake Sommi 2, William Dickson. Assists: D—Will Henry Harmon 2, Charles Sears. Goalies: NC—Jack Richardson (5 saves); D—David Volz (7), Reilly Warble (2). Shots: NC—10; D—9.

Anthony E. Parelli|Sports Writer, Sports Editor

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