NEW CANAAN, Conn. – The New Canaan field hockey team’s young and untested defense endured a trial by fire in its season opener Wednesday.
With only three returning players and a new goalie just learning the program, taking on juggernaut and archrival Darien to kick off the season was no easy task. The Blue Wave dominated throughout, blanking New Canaan, 4-0.
Rams head coach Erin Gildea is confident her team will take the lessons learned and use them throughout the season.
“There are a lot of nerves to work through in a first game, but it’s great to see what we’re made of and what we need to work on,” she said. “We didn’t let in a single goal that should have been stopped. Those were all really good, unstoppable shots.”
New Canaan’s entire back line on defense is playing the positions for the first time, and Gildea praised those players’ efforts. Courtney Cole and Molly Aaronson are two former forwards who Gildea said performed well in their new defensive spots.
New Canaan struggled to create opportunities, getting just one shot on net the entire game. The Rams received only three penalty corners and could not create chances off them, as Darien defenders swarmed in all afternoon.
Darien scored twice in the first seven minutes, setting New Canaan back on its heels early.
“We haven’t had a chance to gel and figure out where our strengths lie,” Gildea said. “I think the girls started to panic a little. Darien punishes you for little mistakes and that’s what makes them such a good team.”
New Canaan will try to get into the win column Friday when the Rams host Trumbull at 4 p.m.
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