Overtime with Kyle Brennan
Round of Applause
The Naugatuck Valley League football season is only four weeks old and I’ve already had more fun this fall than in the last two combined. We’re seeing tremendous, down-to-the-last-possession games every week — something we didn’t see nearly enough over the last few seasons. The two teams around here are awfully good, too, so if you’re looking to get back on the high school football bandwagon, now is the time. Thanks to all of you who were among the 2,000 fans who turned out to Woodland last Friday night to see the phenomenal contest between the Hawks and Naugatuck. Y’all should keep up that effort for the rest of the season, because it will be a fun one.
Word from the Woods
Woodland kept pace in the Naugatuck Valley League race with a pair of 3-2 victories over the last week. Last Friday, the Hawks squeezed out an overtime victory over Ansonia. Hailey Borris scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, while Gillian Hotchkiss also netted a goal. Erika Tyrrell saved six shots in the game. On Tuesday, Woodland outlasted Torrington thanks to first-half goals by Megan Lynch and Jess Rodrigues and a second-half penalty kick by Shae Geary. The Hawks trailed 1-0 to start the game before reeling off three straight goals. Tyrrell only needed to make two saves in the game. Woodland (7-2-1) will host five of their last six regular-season games, beginning Friday against St. Paul and continuing Tuesday against Seymour.
The Hawks (11-1) knocked off Holy Cross, 3-1, last Friday rallying after dropping the first game. Brianna Pacileo tallied 18 kills and two aces, Abbey Rosato tacked on eight kills and seven blocks, Anna Khalid had five blocks and three kills, Samantha Lee added 27 assists and 12 digs, Hannah Deegan contributed 14 digs and six aces and Rachel Starkey posted 18 digs and three aces. On Tuesday, Woodland breezed past Wilby in a 3-0 sweep. Pacileo led the team with nine kills and four aces while Lee added 18 assists and six aces. Khalid had six kills and Starkey tacked on five aces. The Hawks fell for the first time this season, 3-1, at Naugatuck on Thursday. Woodland will host Ansonia on Friday.
The Woodland girls (13-0) completed their first undefeated season to capture their first NVL Brass Division title since 2009 with a sweep of Torrington and Kennedy on Tuesday. Hawks took the top four spots in the girls race, as Mary Sardinskas won in a time of 20 minutes flat. Clara Drozdowski (second, 20:04), Steph Kiley (third, 20:21) and Kelsey Mitchell (fourth, 20:46) finished close behind, while Bianca Poehailos (sixth, 21:41), Carly Giusto (ninth, 22:43) and Angie Rosato (10th, 23:36) rounded out Woodland’s top-10 presence. The Woodland boys (11-3) split the meet Tuesday, beating Kennedy but losing to Torrington. Jeff Giusto (fourth, 17:21) was the Hawks’ top finisher while Dean Conway (eighth, 18:08), Brian Sardinskas (ninth, 18:11) and Zack Noreika (10th, 18:16) also placed among the top 10. Woodland will prepare for the NVL championships Oct. 16 in Watertown.
After suffering their first loss in nearly a month last Friday against Seymour, the Greyhounds (12-2) rebounded to sweep St. Paul on Tuesday. Stef Barry led the way with 22 assists and five aces, while Ashley Whitney (four kills, two blocks), Kait Barry (four kills), Kayla Rotatori (three kills) and Ana Castelao (three kills) all got in on the attack. The ‘Hounds defeated previously unbeaten Woodland on Thursday, 3-1. They’ll take a trip Friday to Torrington, which dealt Naugy its first loss of the season on opening night.
The Naugatuck boys (11-1) and girls (9-3) both solidified their NVL Copper Division championships Tuesday at a five-team meet in Watertown. The boys beat Wolcott, Derby and St. Paul but were narrowly edged by unbeaten Watertown. Dan Schumacher was Naugy’s top finisher, placing third in 16:19. Brody Hale (fourth, 16:41), Graden Beasley (fifth, 16:59) and Tyler Hayward (sixth, 17:21) rounded out the Greyhounds’ presence in the top 10. The Naugy girls earned victories over Derby and St. Paul but dropped decisions to Watertown and Wolcott. Madison Beasley won the race in 19:57 but she was the only Greyhound in the top 10. Naugy will compete in Saturday’s Nonnewaug Invitational as a tuneup to the NVL championships Oct. 16.