You all may remember this. The original story was retracted, but was entirely believable, given the quality and quantity of players coming out of Fairfield County, Conn. and other areas of the country with the wealth and infrastructure to develop student-athletes.

This includes the two teams playing at 2 p.m. today in the Connecticut Class LL final, New Canaan (Conn.) and Darien (Conn.). It’s the latest installation of the Route 124 Derby featuring these two long-time neighbors in what is currently the nation’s best rivalry.

The two sides have played each other twice already this season. In the regular-season matchup April 25, the teams played to a 5-5 tie. On May 22nd, New Canaan beat Darien by a score of 7-2, winning its third FCIAC championship in the last four years.

But this game, featuring the No. 3 and No. 6 teams in the Top 10, feels different somehow. Darien, last year’s national No. 1 side, has played extremely well in non-league contests, but has found the job of replacing nearly two dozen seniors from last year’s team a trying task.

Darien got here thanks to a fourth-quarter comeback over Greenwich (Conn.), and has a record of 15-4-1. The team is led by senior Sadie Stafford and goalie Hope Shoudel, who tends to come through in key situations. Sophomore Anna Von Kennel is also a player to watch because of her fluid play in the attack and midfield.

New Canaan reached the championship game with a win over Wilton (Conn.) in the semifinal round, and carries a record of 19-1-1 into this afternoon’s contest. They will be paced by attacker Lexie Tully, goalie Ceci Patterson, and midfielder Devon Russell.

This contest marks the fourth time that the Route 124 Derby has occurred in the state championship in the last five years. It should be another classic.


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