Round of Applause
Quinnipiac-Yale hockey headlines the state’s sport slate again this Friday night in New Haven. If you haven’t caught on by now, the two regular-season games between these teams every year have become the best annual sporting events in Connecticut. This week, the Bobcats are ranked No. 4 in the country while Yale is ranked No. 13. Both teams are jockeying for positioning not only in ECAC Hockey, but also in the NCAA tournament. Quinnipiac is battling for a No. 1 seed while Yale is just trying to make it back into the field. The last time these teams played was back in November, which ended in a 3-3 tie up in Hamden. I’ll be covering the game at Ingalls Rink, and I think the place is sold out, but luckily you can watch it live at 7 p.m. on CPTV Sports. I may even pop on the screen during intermission!
Chorus of Boos
Sochi stinks. They built a piece of garbage of a halfpipe, which made one of the best snowboarders in the world in Danny Davis wipe out in the flat bottom — that never, ever happens to those guys — and was an embarrassment to the Olympics. Thick fog rolls in over the cross country course because it’s 60 degrees outside — Sochi is a Russian summer resort, if you didn’t know — and the stories of unfinished rooms in the village and other items around the grounds are so very fitting of these Olympics. Making it all worse is the fact that Team USA had a pretty awful first week of the Games. There’s been plenty of choking in snowboarding and skiing, and the speed skating team is the worst the Americans have brought in a long time. Oh well.
Naugatuck boys soccer senior captain Adam Branco reached out to us this week to tell us about the all-state banquet he and teammate Ygor Silva recently attended. It reminded us that we never gave shout-outs to the local all-state athletes from the fall season, so we ought to do that. Here’s the list we have (if we’ve accidentally forgotten someone, please let us know; these lists are usually pretty hard to track down):
Alexya Alves: One of the best players in the history of Naugatuck’s girls soccer program finished her career with 56 goals and was named the NVL’s top senior. She helped the ‘Hounds reach the league final.
Adam Branco: Branco led the ‘Hounds to their first NVL title since 2009 by scoring a school-record 33 goals. He finished his stellar career with 84 goals and earned All-New England honors for his efforts.
Bryan Coney: Naugatuck’s secondary was a reliable part of its defense all season thanks in part to Coney, a junior. A regular threat to make an interception and a hard hit, he also caught 13 touchdown passes.
Levi Fancher: Arguably the best linebacker in the NVL last season was Fancher, who became the school’s all-time leading tackler and sacker. The senior recorded 137 tackles and 10.5 sacks in helping Woodland to the Class S final.
Jake Laliberte: The rock of Woodland’s offensive line was Laliberte, the Hawks’ right guard. The junior paved the way for one of the most prolific offensive seasons in school history, including 1,586 rushing yards by Sean McAllen.
Brianna Pacileo: Woodland’s first state championship since 2005 came thanks in large part to Pacileo’s work on the volleyball court. The Class M tournament MVP spiked 21 kills to lead the Hawks over Foran in her final game.
Ygor Silva: Another one of Naugy’s soccer studs, Silva led the NVL with 25 assists in helping the Greyhounds reach the Class L quarterfinals. Silva has one season remaining with Naugatuck.
Word from the Woods
Woodland was scheduled for two meets at the end of last week against Northwestern and Wilby, but results were not reported for either competition. The Hawks hosted Kennedy on Wednesday no results for the three meets were reported as of this post. The Hawks will conclude the regular season Feb. 20 against Masuk. The Naugatuck Valley League competition begins March 4.
Naugatuck lost its second Naugatuck Valley League meet of the season Saturday in a 98-70 defeat at Torrington. The Red Raiders swept every event during the competitive portion of the meet before the Greyhounds took the 400-yard freestyle relay in an exhibition with the team of Michael Cocchiola, Martin Lippai, Marcus Cruz and John Dean. Cruz (200 IM), Dean (50 free), Daniel Cacchillio (100 butterfly) and Omari Solomon (100 backstroke) earned second-place finishes. Naugy fell to 5-2 in the NVL and 5-5 overall with the loss. The ‘Hounds were scheduled to face Cheshire on Tuesday, but no results were reported as of this post. Naugy will visit Watertown on Tuesday and Kennedy on Wednesday as the regular season winds down.