YORKTOWN HEIGHTS – Following her team’s win over John Jay on Tuesday, Yorktown head coach Ellen Mager knew that the Huskers would need to step up defensively against Darien on Saturday.
Yorktown did just that, mostly keeping the potent offense of the 14-time Connecticut state champions in check, but in the end, a lack of ball possession cost the Huskers in a 12-9 loss.
“I thought turnovers was the Achilles’ heel today, and that was a little disappointing,” Mager said. “It was a tough matchup, and we didn’t make enough plays to win the game.”
Darien held a 4-2 lead midway through the first half, but Yorktown got consecutive goals from Casey Duff, Katie Comerford and then Duff again to take a 5-4 lead at the 9:14 mark.
It would be the only time Yorktown would lead; 40 seconds later, Chandler Kirby evened the score on a strong cut to the middle, and goals from Kaeleigh Morill and Laura Murphy put Darien up 7-5 at halftime.
“I’m very happy with coming into Yorktown and coming out with a quality win because they are very good,” Darien head coach Lisa Lindley said. “I love playing Yorktown because Ellen is a great coach; I know they are going to be well-coached and its going to be a quality game. Win or lose, I will play them every year.”
The loss was Yorktown’s first of the season after getting out of the gate 2-0.
“Our defense, we communicated a lot better compared to our two other games, especially against an offensive team like Darien,” senior midfielder Ashley Stilo said. “The little mistakes that we made throughout the game caught up to us in the end.”
Yorktown and Darien are programs that are familiar with one another. Though Saturday’s game was the first regular-season game between the two since 2007, the programs have scrimmaged against each other regularly.
“It makes us better to play a team like that; Darien is a ranked team, they are amazing,” Stilo said. “I think we have the skill and capability to beat anybody. We just have to clean up our little mistakes.”
Player of the game: Katie Cronin, Darien. The senior midfielder and Duke commit showed off her skill and speed, scoring a team-high four goals on six shot attempts.
Turning point: Fifty-six seconds into the second half, Yorktown cut Darien’s lead to 7-6 on a sharp-angle goal from Comerford. Two minutes later, Darien’s Susie Ropp capitalized on a Yorktown turnover to make it 8-6, and the Blue Wave extended the lead to 10-6 on goals from Emma Jaques and Cronin.
Stat line: Comerford led Yorktown with four goals, Michelle Seger had two goals and an assist, Casey Duff scored twice, Rilea Fusco had a goal and an assist while Julia Cook and Caroline Garti each had an assist. … For Darien, Murphy had three goals and Ropp scored twice.
Quotable: “The kids all want to be better players and they want to be a better team, so having the opportunity to go against high-level players helps them get better and helps us get better,” Mager said. “I wish we could have played a little better and make some noise for Section 1, but we didn’t come through and we’re going to learn from our mistakes.”