Youth Sports Roundup: Field Hockey Champs, Shutouts and Undefeated Soccer Sides

Field Hockey

NC 7 Red Jamboree Champs

—submitted by Darleen Ferraro

Shutout! Shutout! Shutout! NC 7 Red must like the way that sounds since they, once again, claimed three more shutouts this past Saturday as they faced Westport, Trumbull and Norwalk in a jamboree hosted by Westport. This was NC 7 Red’s final weekend of playing together as a team and it couldn’t have ended in a better way.

(L to R) Back row- Coach Cari Hills, Hannah Smick, Abby Evans, Abby Richardson, Youl Na, Taylor Cloud, Ellie Parkhill, Asst. Coach Cloud. First row- Katherine O’Connell, Katherine Squillante, Avery Morawa, Shawna Ferraro, Cece Ferriera, Saige Hartsleif, Polly Parsons-Hills, Goalie- Lucy Parsons-Hills

Bright and early Saturday morning, the girls were ready for the big day that lay ahead of them. The parents, for the first time all year, were actually bundled up since temperatures had fallen overnight. The girls were warming up with jackets, gloves, sweatpants and hats. They seemed to have warmed up fast, for as soon as the game started, they were ready to play this team for the third time this season. The game started with both teams having their eye on the prize. There was a lot of passing and switching fields, but thankfully Shawna Ferraro seized an opportunity to steal the ball away from the Wreckers and shot a pass to Polly Parsons-Hills who slammed it into the net. The score was 1-0. Westport was not happy and tried to up their game by taking long shots down field. Our defensive line, Taylor Cloud, Abby Evans, Abby Richardson, Hannah Smick and Sage Hartslief were ready and on top of the ball as soon as it hit mid-field. They quickly changed the position of the play and got it back to the offensive line. Then, Katherine O’Connell shot a pass to Hills who made a shot on goal but was stopped by the Westport goalie. Youl Na was there to pick up the rebound and she crushed it quickly in the net. The score was 2-0. The girls were not slowing down, even if it was an early Saturday morning. Ferraro took the ball and stick handled around three opponents then shot a hard drive on the net but was stopped by Westport’s goalie. Hills was ready and waiting for the rebound and, like magic, shot it into the corner of the net. The score was 3-0. Katherine Squillante and Cece Ferriera were in constant motion on the offensive line passing and running with the ball. One pass made it to Avery Morawa who swiftly got the ball to the net and cracked a hard one, but the attempt was stopped by Westport’s goalie. Hungry as ever for a goal, Ferraro would not let this rebound get away without an attempt. She quickly took advantage of the chance and snuck one passed the goalie making the score 4-0. The game ended soon after and NC Red picked up their first win of the day.

A congratulatory huddle after winning their last and final game of the season.

The second game of the day was against Trumbull. The girls were excited about their first win and would not let this game end differently. The first goal went to Shawna Ferraro after maneuvering her way by a few opponents and then crushing a hard one into the net. The score was 1-0. The second goal was scored by the dynamic duo. Polly Parsons-Hills took the ball from mid-field and shot a long, hard drive to Ferraro who sealed the deal and shot it in the net. The score was 2-0. There seemed to be a lot of corners for the remainder of the game and shots on net. Avery Morawa took a shot on the net, but the Trumbull goalie was swift and saved the shot. Youl Na also tried to be tricky by hanging out near the post and when the ball got to her stick, she shot it in. Again, the Trumbull goalie stopped the shot. After these shots, three corners were attempted. Parsons-Hills had one shot on goal and Ferraro had the last two, but all attempts were saved. The Trumbull goalie wasn’t the only one making saves, for Lucy Parsons-Hills made two amazing saves during the game and gained another shut-out victory for her record. The game ended with a score of 2-0.

The last game of the day was against Norwalk. By this time, the girls seemed a little slower than usual, but that did not affect their level of play. O’Connell started the game with a great shot on goal. Parsons-Hills had the second shot on goal, but was stopped by the Norwalk goalie. Ferraro was determined to get a goal and shot a short drive that pounded into the net making the score 1-0. Then, Morawa stole the ball away from an opponent and got to the net, made a strong shot, but was stopped by quick foot work from the Norwalk goalie. Ferraro and

O’Connell both had a shot on goal, but this goalie really knew had to react quickly, for their attempts were both stopped. There was not a lack of effort on NC Red’s part to make their mark on this team. Thankfully, Parsons-Hills, with her strong drives, shot a hard one into the net and brought the score up to 2-0. Again, there seemed to be a lot of corners and Ferraro made an attempt on goal that was stopped. O’Connell was there to try to get the rebound but the goalie would not let that happen. She blocked both shots. The game ended with one more shot on goal by Ferraro and a score of 2-0. Another shut-out victory for NC 7 Red. At the end of the jamboree, NC 7 Red proudly wore their medals they so deservedly won after a great day of field hockey. What better way to end the season for this team; Coach Hills was proud and so were the girls. They were all smiles as they posed for their last picture as a team. Go NC 7 Red!

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Undefeated Season, Championship Win for 5/6 Red NCYFH Girls

—submitted by Katrina Parkhill

Undefeated NCYFH 5/6 Red team

The NCYFH 5/6 Red team finished strong with a 9-0 record, a season-long shutout, and a championship win in the Fairfield County Field Hockey Jamboree. This team, led by Coaches Tara Clough and Kerry Hanson, came out of the gate strong with a tough battle against a seasoned Westport team. In a fight to the end, these girls were determined to hold on with a 1-0 win.

With a hard fought win to begin the season, this team of talented and competitive players sailed through the rest of their season with commanding wins over Darien, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Bedford, Fairfield, Trumbull and Redding-Easton.

The offense, led by Grace Almeida, Catherine Haddad, Parker Hanson and Harper Teles, could not be stopped with their quick stick skills and unmatchable speed. Defensively, when under attack, Izzy Appelt, Charlotte Beecher, Margot Furman, Claire Ognibene and Celia Parkhill fought hard to win the ball back. The connectivity between offense and defense was powered by strong midfielders Gigi Caldero, Ainsley Clough, Audrey Ives, Nora Moley, Pippa Murray, Shannon Ratner, Maisy Ricciardelli and Caroline Squillante. Goalies Lucy Parsons-Hills and Aine Stevens recorded an impressive nine game shutout with no goals scored against them.

Coach Clough added: “The reason this team did so well this season is because of the raw athleticism and work ethic of these players. All of these kids worked really hard in the games and in every practice.”

The future is bright for New Canaan Field Hockey!

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Soccer

New Canaan FC U11 Girls Red Fulfills Destiny: Wins CT Cup with 3-2 Win Over Cross-Town Rival Wilton

—submitted by Jen McCarthy

New Canaan FC 2007 Girls Red claimed the State Championship Crown on Saturday in a hard-fought victory over local rivals Wilton Soccer Club. It was the first time in more than a decade that the club has claimed state silverware. New Canaan FC headed into the game on an undefeated regular season run having battled through 5 previous rounds of the CT CUP Competition. The finals took place at the neutral venue of Simsbury, CT with strong travelling support of New Canaanites decked out in Red willing the team on! In true fashion for this fierce rivalry the game was definitely worth the price of admission in a 5-goal thriller of a final!

The team, dubbed Big Red, which led the SouthWest District in goals scored during the regular season, didn’t have it easy as Wilton took the lead on two occasions in the first half. New Canaan twice having to come from behind, with goals from Cailey Varas and Madeline Tully, commanded the second half with a combination of crisp passing, resolute defense and an espirit de corps that had propelled the team to 17 wins during the Fall soccer season. Then ten minutes from time Reece Quinn sliced open the defence with a perfect split pass for Paige Place to smash home the winner for New Canaan FC, ending the game 3-2!

“It’s a great result for the program, the players and everyone involved,” said Coach Green. “The support for the team throughout the competition has been superb and that continued today, they really feel like little superstars and so they should. All the girls have been working tirelessly throughout the season to put themselves in with a chance of achieving something special here today, I think it was that belief and desire that willed them to victory here today.”

Reflecting on the game itself he had this to add: “If you’ve had the chance to watch these girls play then you know why we were optimistic coming into the game. I know there is around 250 New Canaanites felt the same way after watching the semifinals last week. They play full of confidence, move the ball well and really do play some great soccer, I forget they’re only 10 or 11 years old at times but am very proud of their performances and the way they’ve conducted themselves throughout the competition. It’s much more than just a team, they’re like family. They pick each other up when needed, don’t let their heads go down at all and have such great determination, which saw them come out and control the second half completely. Very worthy winners in my opinion and I couldn’t be happier with the #1 team in the state!”

The game started as a nervous affair with both team vying for superiority. New Canaan came forward with attacks down the left-hand side with Eleonore DuPont linking up with Madison Hartnett on a number of fine runs. Wilton, playing to form, would break quickly leaving Kate Kupchak to confidently stop some dangerous looking play from the opposing forwards. As the teams were looking for openings, Wilton took advantage of some high pressure and a loose ball was smashed over Izzy Janiga’s head for Wilton to take the lead. Janiga had played outstanding in goal in the march to the championship, allowing just three goals in six games. Big Red fought back with Cailey Varas getting the team on the board with a superb strike midway through the first half. After the ball rolled back to her in the opposition area, there was no stopping the strike that nestled in the top left hand side of the Wilton goal. A good play by Reece Quinn in shielding the goalie allowed Varas time and space to tee up her blistering shot. Wilton then took the lead after an NC handball in the area – Izzy Janiga almost had the save. New Canaan pushed for the equalizer with Georgi Owsley and Christina Swarni creating some good attack play in the final moments of the first half. Wilton took the 2-1 lead into the half time break!

As many fans who have watched the team over the course of the season can attest, New Canaan is wonderful with the ball and often saves their best for the second half of games – with a half-time of oranges and a pep talk by Coach Luke fueling the team. With Sydney Patten running the show from the mid-field, the team moved quickly, passing the ball with clinical accuracy. On Saturday, Patten worked to control the tempo of the game, linking nicely with Leanela Negron, Madeline Tully and Varas to launch relentless attacks forward. And yet it’s what New Canaan does without the ball that really impressed on Saturday, especially in the second half. Wilton, playing a physical, opportunistic game, pressed hard to counter attack when in possession of the ball. Defenders Julia McPhillips and Payton DeCamillo stood tall, breaking up attack after attack and releasing the ball forward to their teammates. The momentum swung back towards Big Red midway through the second half as Madeline Tully, collecting a back-heel from Reese Quinn that would have made the Spanish national team weep, again tied the game after some impressive footwork took her through the Wilton defense before slotting home the ball to the right of the goalkeeper. The stage was then set for the grandstand finish. Paige Place who had tormented the Wilton defence for the whole half latched on to a superb pass from Quinn. Steadying herself with a first touch, Place fired home the game winner heading into the final 10 minutes of the game for the culmination of what has been a 3 year journey together for many of the girls in the team.

The final whistle blew to rapturous applause and celebrations from the New Canaan FC contingent! A hard-fought victory, full of resiliency, effort and unwavering belief that this was their year!

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New Canaan Boys 07 Black Go Undefeated to Finish Top of Their Division

—submitted by Greg Martin

The 2007 Boys Black soccer team coached by Han Park closed out their undefeated Fall regular season with a 3-0 win at Ridgefield on Sunday.

New Canaan Boys 07 Black go undefeated to finish first and tops in the division for goals scored and allowed. Top: Mason Park, Oliver Sturn, Donovan West, John Murphy, Tommy Havens, Drew Zoccolillo, Holden Prymas, Coach Han Park. Botton: Stewart Hellmann, Gregory Martin, Quinn Scanlan, Alex Etergino, Park Della Bitta.

Gregory Martin opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game by putting away a loose ball after a save by the Ridgefield keeper off an initial shot by Mason Park. A few minutes later New Canaan struck again on a beautiful goal to make it 2-0. Holden Prymas took the ball on the right side and slid a smart pass to Donovan West who scored from just inside the box with a clinical strike.

Tommy Havens kept the net in the first half and helped ensure a clean sheet by making some key defensive stops on the field in the 2nd half. Likewise, after strong contributions to the first half clean sheet on the field, Quinn Scanlon replaced Tommy in goal for the second half making confident saves on some tough tests from the Ridgefield forwards.

While John Murphy, Drew Zoccolillo, and Oliver Sturn worked tirelessly to thwart Ridgefield attacks, Holden got his second assist of the game on a pass across the middle of the box to Gregory who slid the ball into the far corner of the goal for his second goal of the game. Parker Della Bitta, Alex Etergino and Stewart Hellmann played key roles in keeping the ball in the Ridgefield end and maintaining possession for New Canaan.

Missing from the team on Sunday was Will Sullivan and Alex Russey who deserve mention and congratulations as do all the boys on this tremendously successful season. The Boys 07 Black team was tops in the division on both offense and defense, scoring 33 goals while only allowing 8 goals in 8 games. It was a true team effort with all the boys contributing all season long from both offensive and defensive positions under Coach Park’s rotation and instruction. The boys will play Weston, who they drew 0-0 with this past Saturday, in the semi-finals of the CJSA Divisional playoffs on Saturday November 11 at Stamford West Beach Turf field. The game starts at 1:30pm, please come and support your New Canaan Boys 07 Black Team as they seek their first CJSA Divisional Championship.

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New Canaan 07 Boys White Trounces Trumbull Tigers 3-2

—submitted by Anne Walker

The rain and dwindling light did not deter the boys as Gianmarco Barrato makes a run on the goal.

NC Boys 07 White’s late Sunday afternoon game at Indian Ledge turned into an exciting hour of soccer as the boys held on for their last in-season win. Playing in the drizzle and wet conditions, the teams started off neck-in-neck but then Trumbull scored two consecutive goals, putting NC behind by two at half time. Though NC had many opportunities and shots, they couldn’t seem to capitalize and the game seemed to be getting away from them. However, the game got more intense as the boys turned it up a notch in the second half. With the rain coming down and night falling, the boys launched their comeback. First, Lucas Breed scored as both teams fumbled to gain control of the ball in front of the goal. Then, minutes later, Simon Tchakarov got one in. With a tied score, wet slippery fields, muddy boys, vocal coaches, red cards (on both slides) and a spiraling wet ball, both sides battled for control. Finally, Stephen Brown received a great crossing pass and put the ball in the left side of goal. The final minutes of the game were played in the dark, the ball barely visible. But the boys persevered and were overjoyed with their hard-earned effort. Next weekend, they move onto the playoffs.

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NCFC Boys ‘09 White Best Trumbull 3 to 1

—submitted by Kevin Burke

On a grey, drizzly Sunday afternoon at Farm Road, a hungry New Canaan Football Club Boys 2009 White squad beat Trumbull 3 to 1. It was an all-out team effort and a complete performance. Most of the first half was played on the opponent’s side of the pitch, as the NCFC offense put consistent pressure on Trumbull’s goal. Three different NCFC players scored from three different player positions, with one score coming early in the first half and two more in the second half. And each of the goals was set up by heads-up passing. There was plenty of defense as well. Whenever Trumbull touched the ball, there was a strong red challenge, often followed by an NCFC tackle. At times during the furious assault, the opposing team thought they were seeing double red jerseys on the pitch. Plainly, the NCFC boys were playing comfortably, and with confidence, as a team. Coach Jack Knight has done a great job bringing them along through the season and now is keenly focused on getting them ready for this weekend’s last match of the season. Sunday’s winning squad included John Burke, Max Calia, Charles Drapkin, Jason Generalis, Emerson Gilbert, Morgan Hull, Charlie Kropf, Blake Pozatek, Gavin Stannard and Ben Stutes.

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New Canaan 2006 Girls Red defeat Westport 2-0 to clinch playoff berth

—submitted by Elizabeth Vigano

NC Girls Soccer 2006 Red defeated Westport in a rain-soaked game on Sunday. Seconds before the end of the first half, Emma Finnerty scored on an assist from Kailee See to put NC up 1-0. In the second half, See started the scoring again after she blasted a shot on net and Fiona Mueller was there to put in a rebound to increase the lead to 2-0. Grace Driscoll and Kathryn Norton split time in the goal to preserve the shutout victory. Great game team!

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