When Jeff Brameier scouted St. Anthony’s offense, the Darien coach saw a mirror image of his own group.
That means the vaunted Blue Wave defense had plenty of practice.
“The key thing is our guys have to go against our guys every day,” Brameier said. “Arden has to go against [Kevin] Lindley and Logan [McGovern] every day. Their offense is very similar to our six. I just think our defense is more experienced.”
The defense, led by Arden Cohen, stifled St. Anthony’s and Lindley paced the offense in a 9-4 win in South Huntington Thursday night.
Darien (11-0), ranked No. 1 in the Tri-State by News 12 Varsity, extended its winning streak to 42 straight games and beat the Friars for a second straight year.
Cohen, a Notre-Dame bound senior, locked up highly touted freshman Brennan O’Neil, limiting the Penn State-commit to one goal and one assist.
“My teammates helped me out a lot,” Cohen said. “Whenever his back was to the ball, they just doubled and threw a few nice checks on him. Everyone was talking really nicely as well. That was awesome.”
Quinn Fay, Jake Biesler and Nick Percarpio were disruptive and Ryan Cornell made nine saves to limit No. 6 St. Anthony’s (7-3) to its lowest goal total since a 7-3 loss to Delbarton on April 6, 2013.
Darien held the Friars scoreless for a little more than 27 minutes until O’Neil’s diving attempt from the side of the cage with 8:02 left in the fourth to cut the St. Anthony’s deficit to 9-3.
“It’s great to have the best defenseman in the country on our team,” Lindley said of Cohen. “It’s such an asset and Ryan Cornell is the brick wall and won’t let anything in. It’s really the foundation of our team.”
Lindley, the Loyola-bound senior, scored five of his team’s first six goals and finished with six overall, to pace the Blue Wave offense.
Logan McGovern, a junior bound for Bryant, had one goal and three assists and Jack Joyce and Riley Stewart added one goal apiece for Darien, which scored seven straight goals to break open a game tied at 2 after one quarter.
The win was especially satisfying for Lindley, who has seen the Blue Wave struggle in the annual showdown of perennial powerhouses.
“Sophomore year I lost to them and last year it was a bad game overall and we won miraculously,” Lindley said. “For the first time I can say we had control of the game so I’m a happy camper.”
Brameier proudly proclaimed a sweep of New York state opposition after wins over Yorktown, Niskayuna, Manhasset and St. Anthony’s and turns his focus on closing out the regular season against in-state foes.
With the book not yet closed on the 2017 season, Brameier isn’t ready to put this year’s team in the Darien ring of honor. But there’s no doubt where the Cohen-led defense stands.
“It’s as good defensively as any team we’ve had,” Brameier said.