Girls Lacrosse

Girls Lacrosse 2016: Darien Eyes Fifth Straight Title, But Obstacles Abound

Logan Book will play an even bigger role as Darien attempts to continue its title runs.

Logan Book will play an even bigger role as Darien attempts to continue its title runs.

Darien has won seven of the last 10 FCIAC titles — including the past four — interrupted only by Wilton, the only other school to rule the league since Greenwich in 2003. The Blue Wave are again the favorites and the Warriors should be a much bigger factor in this year’s race, while other contenders like New Canaan, Ridgefield, Staples and the Cardinals ensure that the quality of the sport remains at its customary high level.

The Favorite

Darien. The Blue Wave seniors speak proudly of graduating as part of a class that wins four league and state titles, a lofty accomplishment in any sport, let alone one as competitive as lacrosse. Will it happen? Darien is hit hard every year by graduation losses, this time more heavily than others. Right now this looks like another skilled group only lacking in marquee value. Kaeleigh Morrill and Laura Murphy lead the attack, Chandler Kirby and Katie Cronin are two more in a long line of great midfielders the program has produced, and Daphne Budd anchors the defense. There is even a unique storyline, with renowned field hockey and ice hockey scorer Georgia Cassidy trying her hand for the first time at goaltender.

The Contenders

New Canaan. The Rams have a Class M title to defend, but are also motivated by what might have been after losing a second-half lead and the FCIAC championship game to Darien in overtime. Attack Catherine Granito has her last go-round as one of the era’s top three-sport female athletes, while middie Sami Stewart is a dominant complement. There is plenty of talent with Kylie Murphy up front, Campbell Armstrong at midfield and Mia Carroll on defense.

Video: The Ruden Report FCIAC Girls Lacrosse Preview Show

Ridgefield. Kaitlyn McMullan is a dynamic scorer for a talented Tigers team that features Kimmy Weinstock at midfield and Maddie Burns in goal.

Staples. Is this the year the Wreckers break through after being on the cusp? The personnel is there, with a strong midfield led by Colleen Bannon, Olivia Troy and Megan Johnson, and Alexa Moro in goal.

Greenwich's Katie Harford (left) and Darien's Katie Cronin are two of the FCIAC's top returning players.

Greenwich’s Katie Harford (left) and Darien’s Katie Cronin are two of the FCIAC’s top returning players.

The Sleeper

Greenwich: The Cardinals lost a lot to graduation but hope to maintain their customary high level of play. Sloane Caan is the leader of the defense, with Maggie O’Gorman at midfield and Paige Mautner on the attack.

Wilton. The Warriors have 21 varsity players returning and will be a threat to make the leap back into contention. They have a great 1-2 punch in middie Paisley Eagan and Eva Greco on attack, plus experience all over the field.

25 To Watch

Campbell Armstrong, New Canaan

Colleen Bannon, Staples

Daphne Budd, Darien

Maddie Burns, Ridgefield

New Canaan's Catherine Granito will again be among the conference's top goal scorers.

New Canaan’s Catherine Granito will again be among the conference’s top goal scorers.

Sloane Caan, Greenwich

Katie Cronin, Darien

Emily Demaso, Fairfield Ludlowe

Paisley Eagan, Wilton

Catherine Granito, New Canaan

Eva Greco, Wilton

Megan Johnson, Staples

Chandler Kirby, Darien

Emma Lesko, Darien

Paige Mautner, Greenwich

Laura Murphy, Darien

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Alexa Moro, Staples

Kayleigh Morrill, Darien

Kylie Murphy, New Canaan

Ally Myers, Ridgefield

Maggie O’Gorman, Greenwich

Danielle Reisert, Danbury

Regan Steed, Fairfield Ludlowe

Sami Stewart, New Canaan

Olivia Troy, Staples

Kimmy Weinstock, Ridgefield

The Lineups

Danbury: M Holly Rivers, A Victoria Eanniello, D Naia Isabelle, M Danielle Reisert, D Marin Wiltse, M Krissy Bogolawski, A Faith Watson.

Darien: M Chandler Kirby, M Katie Cronin, A Kayleigh Morrill, A Laura Murphy, D Daphne Budd, A Anna Stein, A Susie Ropp, M Emma Lesko, D Logan Book, G Georgia Cassidy.

Fairfield Ludlowe: M Regan Steed, M Emily Demaso, G Grace Flink, A Meghan Donahue, A/M Melissa Bucher, A/M Olivia Duramo, D Lily Stern, D Paige Wickman, D Katherine Montanez, A Ingrid Duffy, D Amanda Scram, D Katie Thornton, D Katie Owens, A Kelly Kiremidjian, M Merrit Mendenhall, A Grace Incerto.

Fairfield Warde:Jenna Kuczo, A Clare Secrets, A Amanda Orvis, A Olivia Seymour, M Libby McKenna, M Courtney Scheetz, M Sarah Adams, D Hannah Dougherty, D Caroline Ihlefeld, D Cara Bebey, D Laura Jacob, G Rebekah Snitkoff, Emma Kallenbach, Grace Dougherty, Gillian Orben.

Greenwich: D Sloane Caan, D Clare Loughran, D Emily Hopper, D Sailor Jiranek, D Olivia Hoekman, M Katie Harford, M Romy Villemure, M Maggie O’Gorman, M Ellie Lufkin, M Paige Finnegan, A Paige Mautner, A Erika Bloes, A Genevieve DeWinter, A Tate Hatter, A Emily Anderson, A Claire Eschricht, A Kate DeWinter, G Caroline Schultz, G Kat Crouchley, G Sloane Loveless.

Brien McMahon: Hannah Towey, Grace Lane, Bella Bean, Chloe Ortolano.

New Canaan: A Catherine Granito, A Kylie Murphy, A Gianna Bruno, A Brarden Dial, M Campbell Armstrong, M Sami Stewart, M Karlie Bucci, D Mia Carroll, D Ellery Baran, D Caitlin Hevesy, D Julia Ozemik.

Norwalk: Marissa Mastroianni, Maria Bellos, Emma Larchevesque, Gracie Bradley, Kaitlin Uralowich.

Ridgefield: A Kaitlyn McMullan, A Megan Hoban, A Ally Myers, A Olivia Debany, A  Cate Costigan, M Kimmy Weinstock, M Julia Zealander, M Lucie Picard, D Sarah Strange, D Courtney Carbone, D Emma Zachary, G Maddie Burns.

Stamford: A Annie Archer, A Klara Hoherchak, A Sydney Leeds, A Kelly Jagozinski, M Kaitlyn Hutter, M Caroline Ryan, M Jenn Krupa, D Carly Bennett, D Mackenzie Brown, D Erica Stietzel, D Stef Gelonesi, G Emily Newman.

Staples: A Abby Najarian, A Christine Taylor, A Julia Greenspan, M Colleen Bannon, M Olivia Troy, M Meghan Johnson, D Georgia Nicklin, D Sarah Parroter, D Anna Echihorn, G Alexa Moro, A Sam Gebicki, A Callie Keenan, A Ariana Brekke, A Claire Lonergan, M Casey Donahue, D Nicole Dienst, Ellie Fair, Sam Pacillio, Alexa Mysel, Izzy Cardillo, Kristina Ludel.

Trumbull: Sophia Picarazzi, Karina Zelaya, Erin Garrity, Jen Becker.

Westhill: A Haley Blau, A Jacket Fahey, A Caitlin Cooney, A Paige Sottosanti, M Erica Shaulson, M Grace Hansen, M Emma Jelliffe, D Brittany Martin, D Hannah Katz, D Brooklyn Conte, D Sydney Walgreen, G Anna Freeda, A Natalie Truglia, A Sam Schechter, M Isabella Petrini, D Emily Circelli, D Tessa Berlage.

Wilton: G Olivia Phelan, G Paige Brown, G Bridgette Wall, D Campbell Gulbin, D Ella Mannix, D Maddie Duffy, D Ally Disanto, D Zoe Lash, M Paisley Eagan, M Rebecca Wistreich, M Sydney Brant, A Lilla Seymour, A Eva Greco, A Margaret Smith, A Erika Bonnist.

(Teams missing did not reply to requests for information.)