The game plan was simple. The execution for the North Haven football team was to perfection.
Coming into the much-anticipated contest against the state’s second-ranked team with a powerful single wing offense, North Haven put on a clinic in topping West Haven, 21-13, in a Southern Connecticut Conference contest at the newly surfaced Ken Strong Stadium.
Aside from running out the clock at the end of the first half, North Haven had just four possessions in the contest, scoring on three of them and running out the clock on the final possession of the game. The Nighthawks had three drives of 15 plays, and the final drive of 13 plays to kill the final eight minutes of the game after West Haven got within one score.
North Haven finished with 269 yards of offense, only eight coming in the air on just one pass play, in the contest. The Westies could not solve North Haven’s offensive scheme mainly because North Haven controlled the line of scrimmage from the start.
On the flip side, West Haven was held to just 33 offensive plays and 175 yards of offense. Due to North Haven’s offense, West Haven had just four offensive possessions, scoring on just one.
The Westies looked out of sync on the offensive side. Quarterback Nick Conlan was 12-of-18 for 99 yards, but North Haven did not allow any big plays by West Haven on the offensive side.
When West Haven traveled to play fourth-ranked Newtown, last week, it was going to be interesting to see how the No. 7 Westies reacted to their first loss of the season just a week earlier.
Conlan and company responded just fine. Behind five touchdown passes and 327 yards in the air by Conlan, West Haven defeated Newtown 41-31 to improve to 6-1.
West Haven’s defense came up with big plays throughout, starting with stopping Newtown inside the 20 on the opening drive of the game. Conlan wasted no time responding as his short pass to Kemp was turned into a 69-yard score and 7-0 West Haven lead.
After Newtown evened the game at seven, West Haven needed just one play, a 55-yard scoring strike from Conlan to Reid for a 14-7 advantage.
The West Haven defense again came up big with a goal line stand, then marched 99 yards for a 20-7 advantage after a 23-yard scoring run by Kemp.
Leading 20-9 heading into the second half, West Haven quickly turned the lead to 28-9 when Conlan hit Reid for the pair’s second scoring strike of the game.
A Conlan 59-yard touchdown pass to Eady gave West Haven a 34-16 lead late in the third quarter. With West Haven ahead 34-24, Conlan hit Reid for the third touchdown connection of the game between the two, a 77-yard completion with less than three minutes to go.
The West Haven volleyball team fell to 8-8 with a 3-2 loss at Sacred Heart Academy. The Westies dropped a 22-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-20, 8-15 decision.
Hudanur Sahin ran the offense with 35 assists, while adding 12 digs defensively. Alison Frazer was strong defensively with 23 digs, Olivia McDonnell had a solid night with 14 kills and five digs, Sam Close added 16 kills and four blocks, while Bianka Portugal Morales chipped in 10 digs and four aces.
Shannon Hoey finished the match with seven digs and four aces, Maddie Scillia had six digs, Camila Queiroz added five digs, and Avery Criscio finished with four digs and two kills.
West Haven lost its second straight match and fell to 8-9 with a 3-1 loss at North Haven. The Westies fell, 24-26, 17-25, 25-23, 15-25.
Sahin ran the offense with 24 assists and added seven digs. Morales had 19 digs and four kills, Frazer had 16 digs, McDonnell added 14 kills, 10 blocks, eight aces and eight digs, while Hoey had 13 digs. Close chipped in 10 kills and three blocks, while Queiroz had 10 digs.
West Haven snapped its two-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over Sheehan, 25-21, 25-13, 19-25, 25-14 moved West Haven back to the .500 mark at 9-9.
Sahin led the way for the Westies with 28 assists, four digs, four aces, and three kills, Frazer had 16 digs, McDonnell added 12 kills, nine aces, and four blocks, while Portugal Morales had 10 digs and six kills. Scillia and Queiroz each had eight digs, while Criscio added five kills and five gigs, Close had five kills and three blocks, and Hoey had four digs.
West Haven honored its seniors and the team responded with a 3-0 victory over Lyman Hall. The Westies improved to 10-9 on the year by scores of 25-16, 25-13, 25-9.
Sahin ran the West Haven offense with 20 assists, and added nine digs on defense. Frazer was stellar defensively with 15 digs, McDonnell had 10 kills and four digs, Portugal Morales added nine aces, seven digs and six kills, while Scillia finished with 11 digs.
Criscio chipped in five kills and four digs, and Close finished with five kills.
Preparing for the postseason, West Haven came up on the short end of a 3-1 score against North Branford, 25-27, 20-25, 25-18, 21-25. The dropped the Westies to 10-10.
Frazer led the West Haven defense with 18 digs, Hoey had 12 digs, Sarah Davey added 11 digs and seven assists, and Scillia and McDonnell each had 10 digs. McDonnell also had nine kills, seven aces, and six blocks, Sahin chipped in 11 assists and 10 digs, and Portugal Morales added 15 assists.
West Haven opened postseason play with a 3-1 victory over No. 9 Lauralton Hall, 25-20, 25-19, 16-25, 25-18.
Sahin led the Westies with 18 assists, six digs, four aces, and two kills, Frazer led the defense with 13 digs, Camila Queiroz added 12 digs, and Close had 10 kills.
McDonnell played well with nine kills, four blocks, and four digs, Portugal Morales had nine digs and three kills, Sarah Davey added eight assists, and Hoey and Scillia each added five digs in the win.
The West Haven boys soccer team finally returned home. In its first game at Ken Strong Stadium, West Haven did not disappoint, rallying for a 3-2 victory over Guilford.
Rafael Gazcon had a goal and two assists, and Darwin Calvopina made 13 saves to preserve the victory. Manny Gordon and Walter Romero also scored for the Westies.
West Haven scored the first goal on the new field when Manny Gordon scored at the 13:05 mark off an assist from Gazcon. Guilford got the equalizer 6:53 later, and took a second half lead at the 52:20 mark.
The Westies then rallied, scoring twice in a span of 3:31 to take a 3-2 lead. Romero scored off an assist from Gazcon at the 66:50 mark, before Gazcon drained the winner off a penalty kick with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Guilford held a 16-14 shot advantage in the contest.
West Haven won its second game in a row and improved to 9-4-2 on the year with a 4-1 victory over North Haven Wednesday evening at Ken Strong Stadium.
Gazcon led the Westies with a pair of goals, while Walter Romero finished with a goal and an assist. Calvopina made six saves as the Westies held a 15-8 shot advantage in the contest.
West Haven scored the lone goal of the first half as Romero scored off an assist from Gordon at the 24:01 mark. Gazcon gave the Westies a 2-0 lead 4:46 into the second half off an assist from Matt Panton, before Romero set up Ethan Masoperh less than three minutes later for a 3-0 lead.
After North Haven got on the board, Gazcon wasted no time getting the three-goal lead back when he scored off an assist from Bobby Severino 1:15 later for the 4-1 final.
West Haven capped the regular season with a 0-0 draw against Shelton. The scoreless home contest moved the Westies to 9-4-3 on the year.
The tightly contested match swathe Westies hold a 7-5 shot advantage. Calvopina made two saves, and Yahzeel Beyley made three saves for West Haven in the shutout.
After a slow start to the season, the West Haven girls soccer team qualified for the postseason with two draws and a pair of wins in its last four games of the regular season.
The Westies began their run to the postseason with a 1-1 draw at North Haven. Jaylyn Powell scored the lone West Haven goal as the Westies inched closer to the postseason.
After a 3-3 tie at Lyman Hall, the Westies returned home and used victories over Lauralton Hall and Foran to qualify.
In the 3-1 victory over Lauralton Hall on Senior Night, Powell, Abigail Phelan, and Ariana Izzo scored for the Westies.
The Westies capped the run with a 4-2 victory over Foran. After Izzo gave the Westies an early lead, Powell scored twice, and Amiyah Jones also scored to clinch the postseason bid as West Haven improved to 5-8-3.
For all your West Haven sporting news throughout the year, including game articles by Mike Madera, highlights, photos and more, visit www.westieblue.com.