Girls Lacrosse

Rams Jumping Back From Quarantine Right Into Showdown With Darien

New Canaan’s Dillyn Patten takes a shot against Darien goaltender Shea Dolce in the 2019 FCIAC championship. (Mark Conrad)

Every coach is afraid of “the call.” That is the way Ridgefield boys lacrosse coach Roy Colsey phrased it last night after his team’s loss to Darien. It is when the cellphone rings, the name of a sports administrator is on the caller ID and you fear the news that your team will be forced into quarantine for two weeks due to COVID-19.

Just about every coach this spring has mentioned it in postgame interviews.

Kristin Woods unfortunately knows about the call.

The coach of the New Canaan girls lacrosse team received it two weeks ago: one of her players caught the virus and the Rams had to go into quarantine for two weeks. While there is no ideal time to be sidelined for a fortnight, New Canaan has been put in a particularly unenviable situation.

The Rams will practice today for the first time (of course the forecast is for rain). That will be the lone preparation for their opening game tomorrow, against Darien. Both teams are considered the overwhelming favorites for the FCIAC title.

“It will be obviously a very challenging game,” Woods said. “We did get a lot of practice in before we got quarantined. I’m amazed how much the kids have picked up in such a short amount of time. I have a great group of senior leadership. We have 15 seniors on the team. And quite a few juniors.”

Woods said the team has been in constant contact over Zoom to maintain bonding and held virtual workouts to maintain fitness and skills as best as possible.

The players were back in school on Monday but per CIAC rules had to sit out 14 days before returning to play.

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Darien, which has won the last eight FCIAC titles, is off to a 3-0 start, highlighted by a 10-5 win over Wilton.

The Rams have a strong team, led by Dillyn Patten and Hollis Mulry on attack, sisters Kaleigh and McKenna Harden at midfield and Claire Mahoney in goal.

In order to get a complete schedule in — one non-league game has been cancelled — the Rams will play 14 times in 31 days.

Woods said she and her players right now are enjoying the anticipation of returning to the field and opening up against the opponent they most like to face.

“I’m just looking forward to being together, Woods said. “Zoom is great and all but it’s just not the same. I think the kids are ready and excited to play and go have some fun.”