Round of Applause
The Red Sox-Tigers series has been fantastic through three games. Pardon me for being a guy who still enjoys pitchers’ duels, but these games have been extraordinarily exciting and for the most part very well played. Sure, it’s easy for a Sox fan to scream at the guys who are striking out more than the nerdy high school kid trying to find a prom date (that kid may or may not have been me) but at some point you have to tip your cap to some absolutely filthy pitching by the Tigers. But the Red Sox pitchers have been just as good. John Lackey’s performance in Game 3 was worth every dollar he’s been paid by the team over the years and the bullpen guys made massive pitches against a few of the best hitters in baseball to get out of jams. October is the best.
Quinnipiac hockey returns to the area this weekend for the Bobcats’ home opener Saturday night. They split their first series of the season last weekend all the way up in Alaska, and now they will host a fellow 2013 Frozen Four team in UMass-Lowell this Saturday evening. Lowell is ranked No. 9 in the second USCHO.com poll while Quinnipiac is ranked No. 14 (defending national champion Yale is tied in the No. 7 spot, but the Bulldogs don’t start the season until later this month). See you at the rink, guys. (Seriously, try it. You have to be there to really develop a liking for hockey.)
The NVL-SWC Challenge headlines this week’s local sports slate. Kudos to the men who got together to make this great idea happen, and this Thursday and Friday we will get to enjoy some great matchups. Thursday night is the much-anticipated matchup between Ansonia and Masuk, and Friday night is loaded with great games including Naugatuck-Bunnell, Woodland-Pomperaug, Wolcott-Newtown, Seymour-Oxford, Derby-Bethel and others. You’re missing all the fun if you don’t head out, but you can at least listen to our broadcast of the Naugy game on 1320 WATR.
Word from the Woods
After winning two of three in the middle of the season, the Woodland boys soccer team finds itself in another slump with three straight losses. The Hawks suffered a 4-0 shutout at the hands of Torrington last Tuesday and fell in an 8-5 barnburner with Kennedy the following day. James Yacavone scored a career-high four goals against the Eagles, and Thomas Bethin tacked on the other goal. Brandon Ocetnik stopped 12 shots in the game. Woodland finished the tough week Friday with a 3-2 loss at St. Paul. The Hawks (2-10-1) will host Seymour on Wednesday before playing their final road game Friday at Watertown. Woodland will host its senior night Monday against Wolcott at 6 p.m.
The Woodland girls continued their hot streak this week with a pair of shutout victories over St. Paul and Seymour. In a 4-0 victory over the Falcons last Friday, Hailey Borris and Savannah Aviz each scored two goals and Erika Tyrrell made four saves. The Hawks followed up with a 2-0 win over Seymour on Tuesday. Jess Rodrigues and Shae Geary knocked in goals for Woodland off assists by Borris and Gillian Hotchkiss, and Tyrrell stopped two shots. The Hawks (9-2-1) are 6-0-1 in their last seven games and are still within striking distance of the Naugatuck Valley League Brass Division title with a 6-0-1 division mark. They will host Oxford on Wednesday before their most important regular-season match of the year Friday against Watertown in a game that will likely determine the division title. Woodland will also play at Wolcott on Monday and host its senior night Oct. 23 against Naugatuck.
The Hawks improved to 4-5-1 on the season with a 90-84 win over St. Paul on Tuesday. Event winners for Woodland included the 200-yard medley relay team (Sarah Bryden, Maria Carranza, Brianna Christiano, Chloe Ariola), Emma Sardinskas (200 freestyle), Lauren Lombardo (diving) and Christiano (100 butterfly). The victory came the meet after Woodland suffered a 96-82 loss at Sacred Heart last Friday. Event winners for the Hawks in that meet included Lombardo (diving), Christiano (100 fly), Bryden (100 backstroke), Carranza (100 breaststroke) and the 400 free relay team (Anna Boris, Tatianna Lynn, Sara Fowler, Bryden). The Hawks will host Sheehan on Friday for their senior day before visiting Kennedy on Tuesday in the regular-season finale.
Naugatuck kept alive its perfect season this week with three more wins, including an impressive 2-0 victory Tuesday over a St. Paul team that entered with only one loss. In the game against the Falcons, Adam Branco scored an early goal on an assist by Dan Silva and Ygor Silva cleaned up a rebound on a direct kick midway through the second half for the insurance. Naugy’s defense only allowed three shots on goal, all of which were saved by Fez Pereira. That victory came after a 4-0 win over Kennedy on Friday, when Fernando Branco, Adam Branco, Dan Silva and Felipe Dutra all scored goals. Naugatuck can clinch the NVL Copper Division championship with a win Thursday over Holy Cross on the Greyhounds’ senior night. Naugy will conclude the regular season Monday against Wilby.
The Greyhounds won three games over the last week by a 10-0 aggregate to make a strong late-season push. Naugatuck knocked off Sacred Heart 7-0 last Wednesday before earning a crucial 2-0 win over NVL Copper Division foe Torrington on Friday. Naugy also notched a 1-0 win over St. Paul on Tuesday. Against the Hearts, Alexya Alves recorded a hat trick, Angelina Piccirillo scored twice and Sara Marques and Emma Colucci notched a goal each. Kelly Koslosky, Sandra Dinis and Kyla Magalhaes all chipped in with assists. The following night against Torrington, Koslosky and Magalhaes scored goals. Marques was the hero of Naugy’s win over St. Paul, tallying the winner off an assist by Alves with 10 minutes remaining. The Greyhounds (8-4) lead the NVL Copper Division with a 4-1 record and will play a crucial divisional game Saturday at Holy Cross. Naugy will visit Weston on Wednesday before the ‘Hounds host their senior night Monday against Ansonia.
Naugy was scheduled to visit Masuk on Tuesday, but no results were reported as of this post. The Greyhounds will compete at Torrington on Friday and will take on St. Paul and Wilby in a tri-meet Monday in Waterbury.