The 2018 Fall Sports season started on Thursday when the volleyball team traveled to Hamden to take on the Sacred Heart Academy Sharks. The Westies were inconsistent in the first, two games dropping 25-18 and 25-19 decisions to go down, 2-0. The Blue Devils looked a little more comfortable in the third game which saw the girls triumph 25-23 and when they started the fourth game jumping out to a 9-1 lead, things looked promising. The Sharks scratched their way back into the game and were able to close out the Westies, taking the fourth game 25-23 for the 3-1 victory.
Irene Ronan led the Westies with 14 kills, six aces, two blocks and one assist. Nancy Tapia had 10 digs, three kills, one block and one assist while Giliana Santaniello contributed with 13 assists and eight aces. This week, the girls played at Lyman Hall on Wednesday and travel to Hillhouse on Friday to take on the Academics at 5:30.
On Friday night, the Blue Devils’ football team hosted the North Haven Indians at Ken Strong Stadium. After holding the Indians on their first offensive possession, the Westies capitalized on a blocked punt by Malachi Wright, who then scooped up the ball in the end zone for a 7-0 lead just 1:43 into the game.
North Haven was able to mount a sustained drive that saw the Indians punch in a 4-yard run to cut the lead to 7-6 after a failed extra point. The Indians scored on another 1-yard touchdown run to take a 12-7 lead 2:51 into the second quarter.
The Blue Devils took the lead back with a drive culminating with a Jordan Berrios 1-yard run to make it 13-12 with 4:51 left in the first half. After a big, defensive stand, West Haven got the ball back and took advantage with another score before the teams headed to the locker room. Jordan Berrios hooked up with Demerick Blackford on a 13-yard pass to the corner of the end zone to increase the lead to 19-12 with 28 seconds left in the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, North Haven was able to drive down the field and got a 5-yard touchdown run with 9:32 remaining in the game to make it 19-18. The Indians made the decision to go for the two-point conversion and were successful with a run to the right to give them a 20-19 lead.
The Westies were able to drive down the field, getting a large chunk when Jordan Berrios busted a long run to get the Blue Devils deep into North Haven territory. West Haven got down to the Indians’ two-yard line but after three unsuccessful attempts to get the ball in the end zone were faced with a fourth down. The Westies were stopped inches from the goal line, turning over the ball to the Indians on downs with 3:06 left.
North Haven picked up nine yards over the next, three plays, taking valuable time off the clock and then they too were faced with a fourth and one on their own 9-yard line. In a gutsy call, the Indians decided to go for it and not punt the ball back to the Westies. North Haven picked up the first down and after taking a couple of knees to run out the clock and hand the Blue Devils a tough 20-19 loss.
This week, the boys host the Hamden Green Dragons at 7 in Ken Strong Stadium.
On Saturday evening, Ken Strong Stadium hosted what turned out to be two, classic soccer games. In the opening game, the girls soccer team hosted the Sacred Heart Sharks. The Sharks were able to get on the board first with a goal just 6:50 into the game for the 1-0 lead. The Westies were held mostly in check during the first half. The girls did have two chances to get back even. Emily Merola redirected a crossing pass just wide of the left post with 24:43 left in the half and then she was stopped by the Shark goalkeeper with 20:51 left to keep the score 1-0.
Sacred Heart increased its lead to 2-0 6:57 into the second half when a SHA player eluded a charging Mackenzie Gardner and put the ball into the net out of the reach of a covering Madison Barbieri. Then it was time for the Westies to mount a comeback. Cori Severino cut the lead to 2-1 with 17:17 left when she found the back of the net and then Alexia Guerrero scored 4:19 later to bring the Westies back from the 2-0 deficit to knot the game at 2-2. Mackenzie Gardner made five saves, several spectacular to preserve the tie.
This week, the Westies traveled to North Haven on Tuesday and host the Guilford Indians on Saturday at 7.
The second game of the double-headed Saturday saw the boys soccer team host cross-town rival Notre Dame of West Haven. The Green Knights scored with 25:49 left in the first half to take a 1-0 lead. The Westies pulled even with a goal by Matt Ffrench with 38:37 left in the game. Notre Dame went back up when they got a goal just under the crossbar over the outstretched hands of Nash Noble with 29:45 left to make it 2-1. The Blue Devils wasted little time to get back even when Matt Ffrench got his second goal of the game 1:47 later.
The Blue Devils had the Green Knights on their heels late in the contest but were stopped twice on golden opportunities. The Westies were denied on a 2-on-1 break on a nice save by the Notre Dame keeper with 7:28 left and then again 1:14 later when it appeared that the ball was heading into the empty net only to be saved by a crashing Knight defender, who kicked it out inches before the goal line to keep it 2-2.
Just when it looked like the game would end in a 2-2 tie, Aldo Barragan was able to elude a few defenders and find the back of the net with 2:14 left, lifting the Westies to a dramatic 3-2 victory. Nash Noble made seven saves between the pipes to preserve the victory.
This week, the boys hosted Foran on Tuesday and play host to the Shelton Gaels on Saturday at 2.
The rest of the fall sports got under way this week. The girls swim team visited Jonathan Law on Tuesday and host the Branford Hornets on Friday at 4. The boys and girls cross-country teams traveled to Shelton for a meet with the Gaels, the Fairfield Prep Jesuits and the Lauralton Hall Crusaders on Wednesday.