Eye On The CIAC

Eye On The CIAC

The fall regular season is officially winding down in the majority of the sports, and this past week even featured some championship action in cross country. Those results will be covered elsewhere, but this edition of Eye on the CIAC will focus on results for those teams trying to fight their way into the CIAC postseason with the regular season starting to conclude (we didn’t delve into league championships in this edition, but fans can check out the Leagues section  of CIACsports.com for links to league websites).

Girls Volleyball:

  • A 3-1 win over East Haven on Monday secured a postseason berth for Guilford in the class L postseason. The victory moved the team to 8-10 on the year with two matches still on the schedule and the win was the second in three matches for the Indians with the loss being a 3-2 decision to Foran.
  • Woodstock Academy raised its record to 8-10 and clinched a postseason berth on Monday with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Ledyard. With two matches remaining, Woodstock will try to keep its strong recent play going as the team has won six of its last eight after the 3-2 victory.
  • A 3-0 win over Daniel Hand moved Sacred Heart Academy’s within shouting distance of a spot in the class L postseason. With one match remaining in the regular season, the team is sitting at .412 with a 7-10 record, and will face Sheehan on Thursday try to capture a spot in the pairings.
  • It took until the final match of the regular season, but a 3-0 win over Wilbur Cross for West Haven secured the team’s place in the class LL girls volleyball postseason. West Haven finishes the regular season at 8-12 and halted a two-game slide with the win that locked up the team’s postseason berth. Leah Morrissey finished with 9 digs and 12 assists for West Haven in the victory.
  • Needing a win in its final match of the regular season, Brien McMahon got what it needed with a 3-0 triumph over Trinity Catholic on Friday to earn qualification for the class LL postseason. The team finishes with an 8-11 record, good for a .421 winning percentage, and the win snapped a two-game slide that had put the team’s postseason hopes in jeopardy.

Football:

  • Another weekend, another Connecticut high school football record broken, this time with West Haven Head Coach Ed McCarthy earning his 322nd victory in his team’s road victory over Hamden. The win makes him the winningest high school football coach in Connecticut history after he tied the previous mark last week. His career record stands at 322-112-9 in 43 seasons and the win improved West Haven to 6-1 on the season.
  • After a lopsided loss to open the season, defending class L champions Daniel Hand ran its winning streak to six with a thrilling 44-41 victory Shelton this past weekend. A 29-yard field goal with 24 seconds left by Hand’s Tyler Phan provided the winning margin, and the Tigers held on with an interception in the end zone on the final play of the game to seal the victory.
  • Trumbull and Wilton engaged in a thrilling contest on Saturday with Trumbull pulling out the 32-28 win on a late touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Roberts that answered a late scoring drive from Wilton. The win bumped Trumbull up several spots in the class LL playoff rankings and has the team at 6-1 while Wilton dropped the heartbreaker despite 331 rushing yards from Brett Phillips.
  • The tightest game of the weekend took place in the Eastern part of the state with Waterford getting a touchdown run with less than two minutes left to earn a one-point win over Windham. Seth Hoagland scored on a two-yard run with 1:42 left in the contest, and his brother Spencer knocked home the extra point to clinch a 22-21 win for Waterford, which brought its record to 3-4 with the triumph.
  • The Darien defense came up big at the end to win a defensive battle in a 19-14 victory over Ridgefield. Darien opened up a 12-0 lead, and then held off the visitors to claim its sixth victory of the season against only one loss while Ridgefield is at 5-2 after the loss. Myles Ridder anchored Darien’s defense and also rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown in the victory.
  • Bullard Havens Tech claimed a second-straight win to continue its streaky season, this time capturing a 36-30 win over O’Brien Tech. Chris McNamara scored four rushing touchdowns to lead the team offensively, producing scoring runs of 2, 8, 36, and 11 and Justin Banks’ 9-yard interception return for a score late in the game provided the winning margin as the Tigers raised their record to 4-3.

Field Hockey:

  • After an overtime win last Friday, Westhill continued a push towards the postseason with a 3-0 win over cross-town rival Stamford on Monday. Friday’s overtime win snapped a four-game slide that had the team’s postseason hopes in jeopardy, but the Vikings have rebounded and now boast a .433 winning percentage with one game remaining on the schedule.
  • With a third win in three matches, Southington is making a late push for the postseason. The latest win was a 1-0 lockdown of Lyman Hall on Tuesday, raising the team’s winning percentage to .393 with two road games still on the schedule. Val Szmurlo made seven saves to preserve the third-straight shutout for the Lady Knights.
  • Masuk did what it had to do in its final two matches, capped by a 1-0 win over Watertown, to finish the season 6-8-1-1 and earn its spot in the postseason pairings. The team knocked off Weston and Watertown each 1-0 in its final two matches to insure its place in the postseason.
  • Fitch bolstered its postseason chances with a 3-0 road win over Windham on Thursday, raising its winning percentage to the qualifying .400 mark with one game still on the schedule. The win raised the team to 5-8-2 on the season and the Falcons are trying to bounce back from a five-game winless streak late in the season to earn qualification.

Boys Soccer:

  • Fairfield Ludlowe continued one of the strongest years in program history Monday with a win on the road against conference foe Staples. A second-half tally from Billy Donatuti provided the winning margin in the 2-1 victory.
  • Stafford earned a dramatic 2-1 overtime victory over East Windsor on Tuesday to significantly bolster its postseason chances. The team now sits with a .393 winning percentage with a pair of regular season contests remaining. It continued the trend in a season of close games for the Bulldogs who have five ties on their ledger for the year, and six other games decided by one goal.
  • A 0-0 draw was enough to clinch a berth in the class L postseason for Woodstock Academy as it closed out its regular season with a mark of 6-9-1. The final result came against Killingly with Conor Hanlon making five saves for Woodstock to earn its fourth shutout of the season.
  • After seeing Woodstock earn a postseason berth with a draw against them the previous day, Killingly stamped its own ticket to the postseason on the strength of a 3-0 victory Putnam. It was the team’s first win in four matches but it brought its record to 5-8-3 to close the season and has its winning percentage at .406 to rest above the .400 qualifying mark.
  • A 1-1 draw was enough to secure Coventry’s position in the field for the class S tournament coming up next week. The Patriots have a .433 winning percentage with a mark of 5-7-3 after the 1-1 draw with South Windsor on Friday, which was enough to insure the spot with just one regular season match still on the schedule. Coventry has gone 3-1-1 over its final five to make a late push for the postseason.

Girls Swimming:

  • Bristol Central collected its first victory of the season on Tuesday, claiming an 89-77 triumph over Middletown. The Rams entered the meet winless in its first nine outings but got strong performances from its three seniors Ileish Burney, Melissa Jalbert and Elizabeth Pond all honored on senior night, and then closed the competition by winning the 400 freestyle relay.
  • New Fairfield enjoyed a highly-successful senior night as the six seniors powered the team to a 92-77 victory over rival New Milford. Though it was senior night, juniors Aislinn O’Connor and Aya Andos each won a pair of events to help the Rebels to the victory which improved the team’s record to 6-5.
  • East Lyme continued its unbeaten regular season with a convincing 109-77 victory over Wethersfield. East Lyme took the top three positions in the diving to help earn the victory, and also got wins in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke from Ugne Kirvelevicius to improve to 14-0 on the year.
  • Another unbeaten team posted an impressive victory during the week as Sacred Heart improved to 12-0 with a 89-75 win over now 8-3 Torrington. Abby Walsh won both of the sprints to help pace her team to the victory.

Girls Soccer:

  • Wolcott earned a victory to secure a spot in the CIAC postseason on Monday, besting Woodland 2-0 to raise its record to 6-8-1 with one match to play. Allyson Hickey and Morgan Gigliotti both scored for the Eagles as the team followed up a key 0-0 draw against Seymour last week with the victory. The team overcame a six-game slide in the middle of the season and has since gone 3-2-1.
  • With three matches remaining, Maloney needed at worst two wins and a tie to fight into the class L tournament pairings. It started the stretch with exactly the result it needed, claiming a 3-2 win over Bristol Central on Monday. Victoria Dehnal had 13 saves in the match and Briana Burt had a hand in all three goals.
  • Southington will be taking place in the class LL postseason thanks to a season-ending win over New Britain on Wednesday night. The 3-1 win raised the team’s record to 5-8-3 overall, giving the Lady Knights a .406 winning percentage to close the season. The season-ending win halted a six-match winless streak the team had been on over the final month.
  • Hamden got precisely what it needed in its regular season finale to punch its ticket to the class LL postseason. The Green Dragons did just enough with a 1-0 victory over Wilbur Cross/Hillhouse/Career to close the season at 6-9-1, good for a .406 winning percentage. The team earned a tie and two wins in its final three games to reach the .400 mark.
  • After a 2-0 victory over Shepaug Valley on Saturday, Northwestern is looking for a furious finish to the regular season to reach the CIAC postseason. Saturday’s victory raised its record to 5-9 with two games remaining this week. The Highlanders will need at least one win and a tie in its final two games to reach the .400 mark and compete in the CIAC tournament.

RANKINGS WATCH
Each Monday we take a look at any major movement in the top-10 of the CIAC Tournament Rankings for those sports where it is provided (rankings and records are based on results reported through the CIAC on-line reporting system). This late in the season there is rarely major changes in the rankings from week-to-week, but with the state tournaments rapidly approaching, the tournament rankings are a great reference to see where your favorite team is positioned (rankings can be found here under the fall sports tab).

  • Not a lot of changes in the girls volleyball rankings this week, with three of the four teams retaining their top positions. The biggest changes came in class S where there was a shake-up at the bottom portion with East Hampton jumping up two spots to eighth and then two new teams at the nine and 10 positions. Foran is also a new team in M as the squad came from outside the top-10 to seventh in the biggest move in that class. Farmington assumed the top spot in L while Ledyard and Platt each dropped a few spots for the biggest moves in the rankings. Glastonbury was the big riser in LL with the team moving up from 10th to sixth while there was a reshuffling in the top half with Fairfield Ludlowe falling from second to fifth.
  • Valley Regional/Old Lyme and Capital/Classical/Achievement both assumed positions atop its respective classes in the football standings this week, with the teams now leading in M and S respectively. Class S saw some shifting with the new leaders rising from third to first and Northwest Catholic making a move from ninth to sixth. Valley Regional/Old Lyme moved up one spot to assume the top spot in M while Stonington and Foran debuted in the bottom half of the top-10 and L also saw changes near the bottom as Naugatuck rose from 10th to eighth. Trumbull’s tight win brought them from 10th to seventh in class LL and Hall came from outside the top-10 to eighth, while teams moved up one spot in the top-5 as Shelton fell to ninth from second.
  • Not many changes with just a few games left in the regular season in boys soccer, with Bolton’s jump from fifth to second in class S while Classical Magnet also made a three-spot jump right behind them. The only significant change in M was Tolland jumping from outside the top-10 to seventh while in L, Berlin rose two spots to also sit in seventh place. Fairfield Ludlowe and Newtown both rose two positions in LL with Fairfield Ludlowe now fifth and Newtown sitting in seventh, and Staples is still in the top-10 at the 10th spot after dropping from fifth.
  • New Canaan surged into the top-10 in the class L field hockey rankings in by-far the biggest move of the week. The team was outside the top-10 last week, and is now sixth in the class and Simsbury also moved up from sixth to fourth. Avon moved three spots in the M rankings, rising from seventh to fourth and East Lyme jumped two spots and is now seventh. Canton was another team to break into the top-10 in class S as it made an appearance at eighth, while Granby Memorial and Northwest Catholic both improved two places and are now seventh and fourth respectively.
  • RHAM rose three spots to assume first place in the L rankings for one of the biggest changes in girls soccer, while the other class leaders remained the same.  Branford also moved up in L, climbing from fifth to third. Watertown made a three-place move in M and is now fourth, and Haddam-Killingworth was also a three-position riser and is now sixth. Coginchaug made a move in S to jump from sixth to third and Bolton followed them up two positions and is now fifth. Class LL remained virtually identical to last week with only New Milford moving up two spots to eighth shifting the top-10.
CIAC On TV & The Web
Championship season kicked off this past weekend and you have an opportunity to check out the CIAC Cross Country Championship action On-Demand on the NFHS Network. The coverage will continue this week with the State Open meet which will take place on Friday beginning at 2 p.m. and will also be available on the NFHS Network. In addition, CPTV Sports will continue its coverage of the high school sports season with volleyball, boys soccer and football action. Today features the first airing of a boys soccer clash between Old Saybrook and Hale Ray, as well as the final broadcast of the volleyball contest between Woodland and Seymour. On the gridiron the network will show Oxford facing off with Joel Barlow live on Friday and will also show the contest between Simsbury and South Windsor.

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