Replacing boys lacrosse standout, No. 1 Darien goalies Cameron Weibel, Carter Hagen make big stops in win over No. 2 Ridgefield

DARIEN — In 2019 and 2021, Darien’s boys lacrosse team had a pretty good idea who their man was in net. Andy Demopouolos helped the Blue Wave to a state championship as a sophomore and an FCIAC title as a senior.

It’s the nature of high school sports, Blue Wave coach Jeff Brameier said, that teams always have to replace those kinds of players. The top-ranked Blue Wave may have their men.

Against a dinged but still dangerous team on Tuesday, Darien senior Cameron Weibel made three saves in each of the first three quarters to help the No. 1 Blue Wave to a 15-9 win over No. 2 Ridgefield.

“He’s a senior. He got the nod,” Brameier said. “The two kids (along with sophomore Carter Hagen), they’re battling each other through the preseason. We’ve only had three games.”

The first was a handy FCIAC win over McMahon, but the second was a battle Saturday between two nationally ranked teams on Long Island at Chaminade. Darien won 15-12, Weibel had a good first half, and it earned him the start on Tuesday.

Weibel is listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, which are coincidentally Demopoulos’ vitals on the roster at Brown, where he’s a freshman.

“I thought he played pretty well,” Brameier said. “He gives up some shots I don’t like, but, you know, he’s also big body in there. He makes a lot of body saves.”

Hagen made five saves in the fourth quarter and drew praise from Brameier as well.

Darien (3-0) was ranked sixth by USA Lacrosse Magazine and eighth by Inside Lacrosse in their most recent national rankings. Ridgefield (3-1) was 14th and 17th, respectively.

The score was, early in the second quarter, 3-3; Ridgefield goalie Matt Shepard made six first-quarter saves to help keep it close. With Tighe Cummiskey dominating on faceoffs, the Blue Wave poured out seven more goals — sophomore Brady Pokorny scored four goals in the second quarter, then added a fifth off the second-half faceoff — to open up a six-goal lead by halftime.

“We just were doing stupid stuff at the beginning,” Brameier said.

And, as Brameier noted, the Tigers were without a lot of key players, and that wouldn’t be easy for Darien, either.

In an opening win over No. 3 Fairfield Prep, Ridgefield had a lot of familiar names on the field. A lot of those names were on the bench Tuesday: By game’s end, about half of Ridgefield’s starting lineup was out injured.

The defense was decimated, including 2021 GameTimeCT Player of the Year Kai Prohaszka on the sideline in his jersey but in a baseball cap. Midfielder Luke Winkler was injured early in the third quarter.

Tigers coach Roy Colsey said he can’t talk about injuries, even characterizing them as short term or long term.

“I’m not making any excuses,” Colsey said. “We had 10 guys on the field. They had 10 guys on the field. And they were better than us. That’s it.”

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Senior attackman Matt Minicus had eight points for Darien, two goals and six assists.

QUOTABLE

“This is our tough stretch,” Colsey said, dropping the Bill Belichick “we’re on to Manhasset” (on Thursday night at home) line. “We’ve got a lot of questions, so we’ve got to find some answers.”

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; @fornabaioctp

DARIEN 15, RIDGEFIELD 9

RIDGEFIELD2 2 1 4— 9

DARIEN2 8 3 2—15

Records: Ridgefield 3-1; Darien 3-0. Scoring: R—Ryan Colsey 1 goal 2 assists, Chris Reinhardt 2g, Declan Tobin 2g, Desmond Couri 2g, Kyle Colsey 1g, C.J. Lauretani 1g, Luke Winkler 1a; D—Matt Minicus 2g 6a, Brady Pokorny 5g, Joe Cesare 2g 3a, Christian Alliegro 2g 1a, Finn Pokorny 1g, Riley Strub 1g, Luke Cesare 1g, Porter Barnett 1a, Tighe Cummiskey 1a, Morgan Ruppenstein 1a, Jeremiah Stafford 1a. Goalies: R—Matt Shepard; D—Cameron Weibel (9 saves), Carter Hagen (5)..