Round of Applause
The Naugatuck Valley League football season is only three 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.
Pat Krakowski was selected as the Republican-American’s Red Zone Hall of Fame inductee for Woodland this Wednesday. I had the privilege of writing a profile about him in Wednesday’s newspaper and writing plenty more for our Red Zone website. Krakowski was everything a high school football player should be: tough, smart, respectful and hard-working. There were a lot of great players on those championship teams in 2004 and 2005, but everyone agrees that Krakowski was the best of the bunch. For those of you so inclined, make sure to check out the extra content in the Red Zone, which includes highlights from Woodland’s 2004 wins over Ansonia, Seymour, Hartford Public and Holy Cross, and interviews with coaches and players about all the biggest moments in program history.
On the Air, On the Web
The Woodland-Naugatuck football game could be an all-time classic. For those of you who can’t make it but want to keep track of the game, you can listen to the broadcast on 1320 WATR-AM (and www.watr.com) with Steve Gesseck, Bob Sagendorf and me live from Woodland at 6:20 p.m. Those of you in the Twittersphere can follow me (@kylebrennan1) and my partner at the NVL Football Blog (@NVLFootball) for live updates. But nothing beats watching the game with your own eyes.
Naugatuck remained perfect in the Naugatuck Valley League on Tuesday with a 4-1 win over Seymour on the Veterans Field turf. Adam Branco continued to drive his season scoring total skyward with two more goals, while Fernando Branco and Ygor Silva each tacked on a goal and an assist. Fez Pereira stopped three shots for Naugy, which improved to 8-0 on the season. The Greyhounds will visit Watertown on Friday night before hosting a nonconference challenge against Pomperaug on Saturday evening. Naugy stays home Monday to take on Wilby.
After suffering three one-goal losses in their first six games, the ‘Hounds have bounced back to post a pair of NVL shutouts in a row. Naugy blanked Wolcott 2-0 last Friday and posted another clean sheet Tuesday in a 3-0 win at Seymour. Kelly Koslosky notched both goals against the Eagles, and Alexya Alves recorded a hat trick to beat the Wildcats. Koslosky, Sarah Marques and Angelina Piccirillo assisted Alves on her goals while Cailah Baranowski only needed to make two saves to preserve the goose egg. The Greyhounds (5-3) will host Watertown on Friday night and Sacred Heart on Wednesday evening.
The Greyhounds remained one of the hottest teams in the NVL with a 3-1 win over Wolcott on Tuesday night. Since losing a 3-1 decision to Torrington on opening night, the ‘Hounds have won 10 straight matches, including seven in the NVL. Setter Stef Barry led the way against the Eagles with 26 assists, nine digs and three kills. Ashley Whitney added five digs, four blocks and two kills, while Kara Klimaszewski contributed 22 assists and three aces. Kayla Rotatori was the leading attacker with seven kills and two blocks, and Kait Barry added 15 digs and four kills. Naugatuck kept its winning streak alive Thursday with a 3-0 win at Terryville. The Greyhounds return home Friday to face Seymour and Tuesday at St. Paul.
Naugy continued its strong start to the season with a tight, 87-81 win over Seymour last Friday. Event winners for the Greyhounds included Rachel Fox (200 free), Erica Spino (100 butterfly), Elizabeth Walsh (500 free), Cara Rotatori (100 backstroke) and the 400 free relay team (Barbara Martins, Fox, Madison Wilson, Rotatori). The ‘Hounds continue their all-road schedule Friday at Woodland.
Word from the Woods
The Woodland boys earned their first victory of the season last Friday with a 3-2 overtime win against Sacred Heart. Steve Kazalunas scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in the second overtime period to propel the Hawks to victory. Woodland played catch-up all game and finally tied the game at 1-all with less than 3 minutes to play in regulation on a penalty kick by James Yacavone. Sacred Heart took a lead in the first 10-minute overtime period, but Kazalunas tied the score with a header to start the second frame. He tacked on the game-winner with 5 minutes remaining in extra time. Brandon Ocetnik saved seven shots for the Hawks. Woodland couldn’t make it two in a row Tuesday with a 7-2 loss to Watertown. Matt Spofford and Thomas Bethin scored in that game, and AJ Oliveira made 10 stops. Woodland (1-7-1) will host Ansonia on Friday and Torrington on Monday.
The Hawks achieved the first of many team goals this season Tuesday night by recording their eighth win in a 3-0 sweep of Crosby. That victory officially qualified Woodland for a return trip to the Class M state tournament — which was never really in doubt. The Hawks dominated the Bulldogs, winning the games 25-9, 25-6 and 25-20. Brianna Pacileo led the charge with 12 kills, nine aces and six digs, while Samantha Lee added 27 assists, six digs and three aces. Hannah Deegan also tacked on eight kills for Woodland (8-0), which has only dropped one game (to Kennedy) since beating Ansonia 3-2 on opening night. The Hawks notched win number nine were Wednesday with a 2-0 victory at East Haven. Woodland will visit Holy Cross on Friday and returns home Tuesday to face Wilby.
Woodland dropped below .500 on the season last Friday with a 97-86 loss to league powerhouse Watertown. The Hawks won two events on the night: Lauren Lombardo earned a victory in the diving competition with 152.85 points, and the 400-yard freestyle relay team of Brianna Christiano, Anna Boris, Tatianna Lynn and Sara Fowler won their race in 4 minutes, 29.74 seconds. Woodland rebounded Tuesday with a win over Wilby to even its record at 3-3. The Hawks will host rival Naugatuck on Friday and stay home next Wednesday to take on Seymour.