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Chloe Humphrey as a senior at Darien (Conn.) High School.

Chloe Humphrey Could Be the Best to Ever Come Through Darien (Conn.)

June 26, 2023
Dylan Butler
John Strohsacker

The numbers are staggering. Darien (Conn.) has won 20 state championships and has produced 61 All-Americans and 132 college players.

But there’s only one Chloe Humphrey.

Of all the outstanding players in Darien history, and there’s a lot of them, Humphrey is the best of them all, according to Hall of Fame coach Lisa Lindley.

“The reason I say that is she has all the intangibles,” Lindley said. “She has soft hands. She has an amazing shot. Her IQ is off the charts. She is not blazingly fast, but she’s quick and no one can cover her. You think you have her and then you don’t.”

Humphrey is the second Darien player to be named USA Lacrosse Northeast Girls’ Player of the Year (Caylee Waters, 2013) and the first to garner National Player of the Year honors in program history.

“It truly is an honor,” Humphrey said. “I think that the pride I have for this program really started from watching my sisters playing and watching Lisa on the sidelines for all these years. So, it really has motivated me throughout my entire career and that’s I think what has led to my success so far.”

Humphrey’s mother, Sarah, played lacrosse at Dartmouth. Her father, John, was a Hall of Fame basketball player at Middlebury College and her grandfather, John Otis, played baseball at Dartmouth and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers.

Chloe is the third Humphrey sister to garner All-American honors at Darien, following Nicole, who was a spark off the bench as a senior for national champion North Carolina this year, and Ashley, who set an NCAA record with 88 assists in a single season at Stanford in 2022.

“Nicole was a phenomenal athlete. She had speed. She had athleticism. She had her first step, her stick skills were good. And then Ashley is an amazing feeder, and she also developed her outside shot,” Lindley said. “If you take Ashley and you take Nicole, and you combine them, you get Chloe.”

Being the youngest of three lacrosse-playing sisters had its benefits. When Nicole and Ashley would return from camps with a new trick learned, Chloe would take to the backyard trying to perfect it.

Ashley and Chloe would watch Kayla Treanor highlights, study her moves and then work on them together.

But it was quickly learned all three Humphrey sisters couldn’t play together in the backyard.

“Someone will always go in crying or complaining that the other one hit them up,” Chloe said. “So, we definitely do it individually, but we share our love for each other. We’re just too competitive, and we can’t actually go against each other.”

While Nicole has left Chapel Hill to play at USC next year, Ashley is currently in the transfer portal. Is Chloe actively recruiting her sister?

“We have something going on, so we’ll see about that,” Chloe said. “But I’m hoping that she becomes a Tar Heel next year.”

Lindley saw glimpses of Humphrey’s potential from an early age, coaching her with the CT Grizzlies. It was at the same time when Humphrey, then a fifth grader, first started dreaming of playing at North Carolina.

“I think what people forget here is that Chloe has spent countless hours working on her craft on her own,” Lindley said. “She’s the kid who’s out in the backyard, taking 100 shots. She’s the kid on wall ball doing it like 30 minutes a day from a very young age.”

Humphrey ended up pushing herself too hard, which resulted in her being limited when she arrived at Darien. After her freshman year was canceled due to COVID-19, Humphrey dealt with injuries. She had surgery for a stress fracture in her back, hampering her next two seasons.

It wasn’t until this year, Humphrey’s senior season, that she was completely healthy and able to display her full arsenal. That started with a road game against Manhasset (N.Y.) on April 1. She had six goals and three assists in an 18-5 victory that was the first of 22 straight for the Blue Wave.

“To coach against that kid is every opposing coach’s nightmare. Her control of her stick, her ball-handling and dodge ability were top notch,” said Manhasset coach Meg Clarke, who also played at North Carolina. “She has an ability to go right-left and finish. She controls the whole offensive set. She is just a different machine, the best kid I’ve ever seen play high school lacrosse before.”

Humphrey entered the season as the top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2023 by Inside Lacrosse for the top-ranked team in the country by USA Lacrosse Magazine. The pressure, Lindley said, was on.

“I was very concerned about that, because that’s an awful lot of pressure for a young kid to feel and also to always have a good game,” Lindley said. “I think she handled it really well.”

Humphrey said she didn’t feel pressure this year because of the teammates surrounding her. That includes seven other All-Americans and 16 additional future Division I players.

“I have a line of teammates that can step up when they need to, players like Sadie Stafford who has the biggest heart I think on the field,” Humphrey said. “It’s just been so easy for me to come into these games knowing that I have teammates around me who can step up if I’m blocked off or I’m not playing my best game. So that’s been a huge confidence booster.”

But there were no bad games. Humphrey was an unstoppable force, scoring 103 goals on 144 shots — that’s 72 percent — with 38 assists. She had 30 caused turnovers, 42 ground balls and 60 draw controls.

Fittingly, Humphrey scored the state championship winner with 1:13 left in the second half as Darien knocked off rival New Canaan (Conn.) 14-13 to win the CIAC Class L title, capping the first undefeated season in program history. A day later, Humphrey graduated.

“Running to the goal, you’re like, ‘No way that’s happening.’ It’s crazy. It’s so surreal,” Humphrey said. “And I think we probably just started screaming ‘Perfect season!’ And Lisa never having experienced that before, it’s just truly an unforgettable experience. It’s an incredible feeling. And it’s just the best way to go out.”

Perfect season for what many consider a perfect player.