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Sunday, October 22 High School Sports

Fiore helps Darien edge Staples

DARIEN — The Darien girls soccer team has proved it could play with any team in the FCIAC, but was missing that one signature win at this point in the season.

That win came Monday as the Blue Wave downed Staples 1-0 at home.

Darien moved to 9-2-1 on the season, while the Wreckers fell to 9-3.

“To come out against one of the best teams in the league and get a win is huge for the girls,” Darien coach Leigh Parsons said. “It shows what we can do on our day, and it shows their character that when the going got tough we really stepped up.”

Darien played on its heels for much of the first half, but got on the board just two minutes into the second when senior captain Katie Ramsay corralled a loose ball in the middle of the field before dashing toward the net and finishing with a beautiful chip shot.

“To get that little cushion, that little breath of fresh air, it’s huge,” Parsons said. “It was very important to know that we were in control of the game.”

For the final few minutes, however, it was Staples that was in control, attacking the box and earning several corners.

The Blue Wave defense starred in those moments, featuring a bicycle-kick stop from defender Emily DeNunzio and several frantic saves from keeper Christine Fiore.

“That was stressful,” Fiore laughed. “I just wanted to get everything away; I didn’t care if it went out of bounds or towards their goalie. Just get everything as far away as possible.”

As a second-year starter, Fiore relied on her experience in those high-intensity moments.

“Especially playing last year, coming into this year I have a lot more confidence,” said Fiore, who has eight shutouts on the season. “I can stay relaxed in situations like that.”

When the final buzzer sounded and the teams left the field, Staples coach Barry Beattie instructed his team to keep their heads up, as they had nothing to be ashamed of.

“The frustrating thing isn’t the performance, it’s the result,” Beattie said. “We had more chances; they just had that moment of brilliance from Katie Ramsay with a top-class finish. So I told them, ‘Don’t be disappointed with the performance, just the result.’”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Christine Fiore, Darien. The senior goalkeeper was brilliant Monday, recording 12 saves. Her biggest moment came late in the second half on a diving block of a wicked curving shot headed for the right post.

“She made some really good saves,” Parsons said. “Sometimes she makes saves that are really hard look really easy. You can look and say besides the diving one she wasn’t too troubled, but she makes it look that way and that’s how good she is.”

LUCKY BREAK

Late in the first half, Staples’ Erin Lynch collided with a Darien player while both were going for a header and split her head wide open. Fortunately, she was all smiles on the sideline and walked away under her own power to go to the hospital where she got over 20 stitches over her eyebrow.

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“She had a nasty gash but no concussion,” Beattie said. “In hindsight, we’re happy about that.”

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

DARIEN 1, STAPLES 0

STAPLES 0 0—0

DARIEN 0 1—1

Records: Staples 9-3; Darien 9-2-1. Goals: D—Katie Ramsay. Goalies: S—Anna Sivinski (4 saves); D—Christine Fiore (12). Shots: S—15; D—6.

Anthony E. Parelli|Sports Writer, Sports Editor

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