Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Wolcott football's 3-0 start by the numbers

Wolcott football improved to 3-0 on the season last Friday with a convincing 55-15 win over Woodland at Joe Monroe Field on the campus of Wolcott High School.
Senior Nate Filippone ran eight times for 157 yards and a touchdown in the rout. Junior Mike Pastore carried 10 times for 85 yards and three scores while senior Chris Giuggio rushed 10 times for 70 yards and a touchdown. Junior Raymond Iorio ran six times for 40 yards and two touchdowns. 
The Eagles travel to Naugatuck Friday for a pivotal NVL Iron Division contest against the Greyhounds (7 p.m. kickoff). Here's Wolcott football's 3-0 start by the numbers, courtesy of their MaxPreps page:

4-0: If Wolcott beats Naugatuck Friday night, it will be 4-0 for the fourth time in the past six seasons. The best start was 7-0 back in 2012.
352: Yards rushing for the Eagles against Woodland, their top amount for the season.
381: Total number of yards for leading rusher Filippone.
6: Total touchdowns for Filippone, which leads the team.
275.3: Yards rushing per game for Wolcott.
225: Yards passing for senior Robert Griffin.
138: Points scored by Wolcott.
41: Points allowed by Wolcott.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Former Eastern standout Root having major impact with Post volleyball

When looking for a college to play volleyball at, Bristol Eastern's Brianna Root wanted the opportunity to continue as a setter.
Post University in Waterbury gave Root that chance, and the former Lancer standout has taken advantage of it. Root was named Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Rookie of the Week after some strong performances.
Root averages 10.67 assists per set, which leads the CACC. During the week of 9/21-9/27, Root tallied 113 assists, 35 digs and four service aces. Root's high-water mark for the week was 43 assists in a 3-1 loss to Wilmington University (Delaware) on Saturday.
The 43 assists aren't even close to her best total. That came in a 3-2 win over Southern New Hampshire University on Sept. 15, Root had an incredible 61 assists. That mark is the best for a Post setter since 2005.
Root's 583 assists are 128 more than her nearest competitor in the CACC, and that total is good for sixth in all of Division II women's volleyball.
Root isn't just a setter for Post. She put up a season-high 17 digs in a 3-0 win over Felician College (New Jersey) on Wednesday and is third on the team in that category with 143. Root is also third on the team in service aces with 12.
Root was named to the CACC honor roll during the week of 9/14-9/20. She has been a major contributor to the success of Post volleyball this season. The Eagles are 10-5 and 3-1 in the CACC entering tonight's match at Nyack College (New York).
Root is majoring in Sports Management/Communication and Media Studies, according to her roster bio.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

"A trip down 69"

Today, I am starting a weekly wrap-up called "A trip down '69'". It will be a roundup of things that happened in sports in the past week in Bristol, Wolcott and Waterbury. Look for this new weekly post on Sundays.
We'll start the inaugural trip down 69 off in Waterbury.

Crosby boys soccer continues to shine
The Bulldogs improved to 5-1 on Friday with a 4-1 win over Kennedy at West Side Middle School. Crosby has won five straight matches since a 3-1 defeat against St. Paul Catholic on Sept. 12. That was the season opener, and the Bulldogs have certainly gone in the right direction since then. Crosby hosts Oxford on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m.

Kaynor Tech boys soccer on a winning streak
The Panthers picked up their third straight win by defeating O'Brien Tech of Ansonia 7-1 at home on Friday afternoon. Jon Monteiro, a sophomore, had a hat trick in the victory as Kaynor improved to 3-2. Monteiro, Ruben Martinez, Jacques Fortier and Steven Murillo all scored for the Panthers in a 6-1 victory over Vinal Tech of Middletown on Wednesday. On Monday, Ervin Lara scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Sacred Heart. The win was the first for coach Mike Dorchinsky. The Panthers head to New Britain tomorrow for a 3:45 match against Goodwin Tech.

Panthers also winning on cross country courses
Kaynor's girls squad improved to 3-0 on the season with a win over University on Wednesday. The Panthers controlled eight of the top nine places in the convincing victory. Kaynor hosts Bullard Havens Tech of Bridgeport on Tuesday at 3:45 at Black Rock State Park in Watertown.

Wolcott girls volleyball gets to .500
It's been an up-and-down season so far, but the Eagles evened their record at 3-3 with a 3-0 win over Berkshire League foe Northwestern on Friday at home. Wolcott also owns 3-0 wins over Watertown and Wilby so far this season. The Eagles host Naugatuck on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Bristol Eastern girls volleyball at it again
The Lancers stayed unbeaten at 5-0 with a tough 3-2 home win over Glastonbury on Thursday. Eastern hadn't been challenged in its first four matches (3-0 wins over Rocky Hill, Middletown, New Britain and Newington), but the Tomahawks were a different story. Glastonbury tied the match at 2-2 with a 25-23 win in Game 4, but Eastern responded with a 15-5 fifth game to come out with the victory. Senior Angela Daley provided a big effort with 11 kills and six aces. Fellow senior Megan Gettings had 12 kills. Junior Jessica Kenney passed out 32 assists while senior Bailey Wyrebek tallied eight digs. Eastern's next match is tomorrow at 5:15 p.m. at Plainville.
Bristol Central also doing well on the court
The Rams defeated East Hartford 3-0 on Friday to improve to 5-1 on the season. The only loss for Central came the night before, when Newington took a 3-0 win at Bristol Central High School. Before that, the Rams ripped off four straight wins over Maloney, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield and New Britain. Central looks to keep its winning ways going tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Middletown.

That's it for this week. If you have a suggestion for next Sunday's post, please feel free to send it to me or Tweet it at me @sportsonct69.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

TAKING A LOOK: Bristol Central football

Jeff Papazian is two games into his second season as Bristol Central's head football coach, and there are some things to like about his 1-1 squad.
"We like the energy, we like the enthusiasm, we like the competitiveness our guys have played with," Papazian said after practice earlier this week at the school.
It's a youthful energy and enthusiasm for the Rams, who start five sophomores -- Isaiah Miller (WR/DB), Mike Guzman (OL/LB), Dathan Hickey (CB), Alex Lape (OL/DL) and Gabe Updegraff (OL/DL). Central is either very experienced or very green, depending on the position, according to Papazian. There are a bunch of sophomores who play both ways.
"We're throwing our young kids in the fire, and they're getting a lot of time on top of it," Papazian said.
There's also the steady leadership of seniors Josh Moxam (four-year starter), Krzysztof Nizielski (three-year starter) and Noah Cruz (two-year starter). Cruz has assumed a leadership role since he joined the team last year following his transfer from Xavier High School in Middletown.
Papazian knows what he will get from seniors like Moxam, Nizielski and Cruz, but the play of his sophomores is big as Central moves forward through the season.
"They're learning, and their development over the course of the season will be key for us," Papazian said.
The Rams began the year with a hard-fought 26-12 loss at Muzzy Field to Windsor, which won the Class L-Small state championship last season. Miller put Central ahead 6-0 on a 29-yard touchdown run, but the Warriors scored 20 straight points for a 20-6 lead. Cruz scored from a yard out to pull the Rams to within 20-12, but it wasn't meant to be as the Warriors added a late score.
Central beat South Windsor 33-8 last Saturday at Muzzy in an ugly, penalty-ridden contest.
"After Saturday, we need to clean up our penalties, and we need to have a little better focus, both in practice and in games," Papazian said.
Papazian said that is on both players and coaches.
"We all need to be better Monday through Thursday," Papazian said.
On the plus side, Cruz, a dual threat to run and pass, ran for three scores, including two in the first half. Junior running back Luis Medina had two rushing touchdowns.
Papazian was actually happier with the overall effort from his team in the Windsor game.
"If we can get that Week 1 team to keep showing up, we should be competitive," Papazian said.
Central hits the road for the first time this season tomorrow when it goes to Falcon Field in Meriden to take on Platt. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. The Rams then return home on Oct. 2 for a game against CCC contender Wethersfield at 7 p.m. at Muzzy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

St. Paul girls soccer gets hat trick from freshman in first win of season

St. Paul girls soccer took the momentum they had from a spirited 4-4 tie against Holy Cross last Thursday and turned it into their first win of the season on Tuesday.
Freshman Julia Dess tallied three goals in a 3-0 Falcon victory over visiting Torrington on a cool evening at St. Paul Catholic High School. With the win, St. Paul improved to 1-1-1 on the young season.
St. Paul freshman Julia Dess with one
of her three goals against Torrington on Tuesday.
Falcons head coach Jim Husbands has been telling Dess to shoot more, and she did on Tuesday to her team's benefit.
Dess is one of two freshmen -- the other being Addison Davis -- who start for Husbands. Four other freshmen, Emma Cretella, Carolyn DelDebbio, Isabella Griffin and Catherine Ciampi, come off the bench.
"They all played significant minutes today, and they've been playing significant minutes," Husbands said.
Those freshmen are learning the St. Paul way on the fly against a difficult schedule. The Falcons began the season on the road against Oxford and lost 2-0. St. Paul followed that up with falling behind Holy Cross 3-1 last Thursday. The Falcons appeared to be headed to a second straight loss but instead rallied and forged a 4-4 tie.
"To all of us, it was a victory," Husbands said.
St. Paul played its home opener Tuesday evening against Torrington, and Dess delighted an enthusiastic crowd with a goal just 4:10 in. Just under 12 minutes later, Dess was at it again with her second goal. Dess added her third and final goal with 36:36 remaining in the match.
St. Paul's Addison Davis (3) and Catherine Ciampi (24)
turn up the defensive pressure.
Husbands thought his team's defense was good against Torrington. The defense included the likes of Sydney Palma, Naomi Wells, Ciampi, Alexa Morneault and Michelle Misiti.
"They played well," Husbands said.
Sophomore Alessandra Milardo recorded her first varsity shutout.
"She's solid back there, she gives us good leadership out there," Milardo said.
St. Paul got its first win Tuesday, but it's not done with the gauntlet yet. Friday evening brings a trip to perennial power Naugatuck. Husbands said his team could have been playing well and end up 0-4 through the first four games because of the competition. The Falcons are 1-1-1 and coming off of a good win entering the Naugatuck match.
"We're just getting a little better, a little better," Husbands said.

Photos from St. Paul girls soccer against Torrington

Here are some photos I took during Tuesday evening's St. Paul girls soccer match against Torrington at St. Paul Catholic High School. The Falcons won 3-0 behind a hat trick from freshman Julia Dess.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A satisfying tie for Bristol Eastern boys soccer

Every competitive coach wants to win, there's no doubt about it.
Sometimes, however, a tie can be very satisfying for a soccer coach. Bristol Eastern boys soccer and head coach Bill Sweet experienced that feeling on Monday night when they came away from their match against Wethersfield at home with a scoreless deadlock.
Bristol Eastern talks it over at halftime on Monday night.
The teams played 90 minutes, including two, five-minute mandatory overtime periods, and neither team could break through.
The Lancers entered the match at 2-1, but were coming off of a disappointing 1-0 loss at New Britain. On the other side were the Eagles, who came in with a 3-0 record and hadn't been scored upon while tallying 10 goals of their own.
On paper, it looked like a Wethersfield win. Instead, Eastern outwilled its opponent, and if it wasn't for an incredible save by Eagle senior keeper Jimmy Slaton on a Mitch Roy header with 1:15 left in the second half, the Lancers would have been celebrating a 1-0 victory.
"Nobody has scored on them, but we had a chance to," Sweet said. "To be honest with you, I thought we were the better team in the second half and in overtime. In the first half, they had the better of it."
Senior captain and defender Darin Mar was tasked with shutting down junior Lukas Szymecki, and he did so, with help from his teammate at times.
"I thought we negated Lukas up front," Sweet said. "Darin was just outstanding."
A few other players in particular stood out for Sweet. One was the senior midfielder Roy, who put pressure on Wethersfield's defense with some strong runs.
"He's come on, he had a good game against New Britain the other day," Sweet said.
Another was senior Jared Rokosa, a captain and midfielder/forward.
"He came back to the ball, won the ball and distributed it," Sweet said.
Bristol Eastern's Jeremy Mosieur (26), Joey Lombardi (8)
and Shane Caggiano (6) create a wall on a direct kick attempt by Wethersfield.

When junior Gian Constantiello left with an injury, Rokosa switched back to sweeper, where he played last year. Rokosa was up to the challenge.
Tom Tefoe, just a sophomore, has been progressing in goal.
"Tommy did just enough in the goal," Sweet said. "He's a sophomore, he's coming along."
Sweet said he played about 20 guys, including some younger players.
Don't be deceived, Sweet wanted a win on Monday.
"I thought we should have won it in the second half or overtime," Sweet said he told his team.
Sweet, however, was pleased about the effort from his team.
"We got good play from everybody," Sweet said.
Eastern stands at 2-1-1 after the tie against Wethersfield. The Lancers play Hall on Friday at 3:45 p.m. at the Bristol Soccer Club on Emmett Street.

Bristol Central boys soccer has something to build upon

Bristol Central boys soccer fell behind Conard 3-0 early in the second half of Monday afternoon's match at Bristol Central High School.
The Rams could have simply wilted and allowed themselves to be pulverized by the Chieftains, but instead they fought back. Almost all the way back.
Fecundo Ramos delivers a corner kick for Bristol Central.
Zach "Ziggy" Aldieri and Fecundo Ramos scored goals for Central to pull the home side to within 3-2. The Rams kept the pressure on the Chieftains and had a chance to tie in the final minutes but couldn't convert. Conard went back to West Hartford with a 3-2 win while Central checked into its own locker room with an 0-4 record.
The Rams played well in the second half, but it takes two good halves to come away with a victory.
"The first half defense," coach Bruce Mazzochi said. "Again, we were just real, real porous. In the second half, we certainly played really well, the communication was there."
Team defense was much better, and that allowed Central to turn up the pressure offensively on Conard.
"If we play our game, which is possessing the ball, and if we play our game, use the angles of the field, you'll spread them out," Mazzochi said.
Steve Bemke throws the ball in for Bristol Central.
By spreading the field, the Rams were able to create more chances. Mazzochi moved Jason Sarmiento and Aldieri up front with Mike Lemke, and he also switched Ramos to center midfielder. The changes seemed to help as Central was able to create more opportunities in the second half.
"The second half, it was something to build on," Mazzochi said.
The Rams have three days off to work on things before their next match, which is Friday at home against Newington at 3:45 p.m.

Photos from Bristol Eastern boys soccer match against Wethersfield

Here are some photos I took during Bristol Eastern boys soccer's match on Monday night against Wethersfield at Bristol Eastern High School. The Lancers would have liked to win, but they'll take the 0-0 tie they fought for against the Eagles. Eastern's record stands at 2-1-1.

Photos from Bristol Central boys soccer match against Conard

Here are photos I took during Monday afternoon's Bristol Central boys soccer match against Conard at Bristol Central High School. The Rams gave a valiant effort in the second half, but were turned away by the Chieftains by the score of 3-2. Central dropped to 0-4 on the young season.
Look for a post about this match later tonight.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Photos from Bristol Eastern-Farmington football

Here are photos I took during Friday night's Bristol Eastern football game against Farmington at Bristol Eastern High School. The Lancers lost 38-20 and dropped to 0-2 on the season. The Indians improved to 1-1.

Bristol Eastern-Farmington football

Bristol Eastern football jumped out to a 12-3 lead during Friday night's CCC game at Bristol Eastern High School.
Bristol Eastern's offense lines up
against Farmington's defense.
The Lancers had scored on their opening drive of the game, then saw Josh Sampson get around the corner for a score from a yard out with 10:52 left in the second quarter.
Eastern looked to be in control, but Farmington had other ideas. The Indians scored 21 straight points for a 24-12 lead with 9:35 left in the third quarter. 
The Lancers got to within 24-20 early in the fourth quarter, but the Indians pulled away for a 38-20 victory. Farmington improved to 1-1 while Eastern dropped to 0-2.
The Lancers had their chances, but shot themselves in the foot too often.
"We have to make sure there's one opponent when we play the game," Eastern head coach Paul Philippon said. "We can't beat ourselves."
Give Farmington some of the credit. The Indians did make some big plays. Sean Dunleavy had a long catch and run for a touchdown to pull Farmington to within 12-10. An interception gave the Indians got field position, and Brian Buono ran 19 yards for a 17-12 lead, which the visitors took into the half.
Bristol Eastern head coach Paul Philippon and the Lancer sideline
look on during Friday's 38-20 loss to Farmington.
Farmington had the momentum entering the second half, and upped its lead to 24-12 when Buono scored from seven yards out with 9:35 left in the third quarter. 
Eastern drove inside Farmington's 5 with just over three minutes left in the quarter, but a fumble gave the ball back to the Indians.
The Lancers did pull to 24-20 on Sampson's one-yard touchdown run and Edgar Hernandez's subsequent conversion run with 8:39 left in the fourth quarter. The Indians responded with a big kickoff return from Alexis Walter. Michael Popilizio snuck in from a yard out for a 31-20 lead, then Buono added a 23-yard score with 1:17 left for the game's final score. Dunleavy made all five of his extra points, and he also added a 32-yard field goal.

The Lancers have work to do after an 0-2 start, but Philippon has seen improvement.
"All we want them to do is show up and work hard, and they're doing that," Philippon said.
The next step is cutting out self-inflicted wounds. Given the double-wing offense that the Lancers run, they can't afford penalties or turnovers, which kill drives.
Eastern will need to play really well next Friday when it hosts Wethersfield at 7 p.m.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Photos from St. Paul-Wilby

Here are photos I took at the St. Paul-Wilby football game on Friday afternoon at Ray Snyder Sr. Field. The Falcons won 38-0 to improve to 1-1 on the season. The Wildcats dropped to 0-2.