Area Teams Get Ball Rolling On Return Of High School Sports

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Middletown and Coginchaug won their boys soccer openers as Thursday marked the end to the six-and-a-half-month shutdown of high school sports in Connecticut amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Joe Rigano scored five minutes into Middletown’s match at Rocky Hill and Zach Lombardo found the net a few minutes later, jump-starting the Blue Dragons’ 4-0 victory over the Terriers.

Marshall Butler scored twice in the second half for Middletown, Dario Rigano had an assist and keeper Griffin Ladd finished with 11 saves.

“The first 25 or 30 minutes of the game, we played very well,” Middletown coach Sal Emanuele said. “I thought we moved the ball beautifully and our movement off the ball was great. We finished early, which helped us, but the way we possessed and moved the ball and created scoring opportunities was great.”

Middletown will recognize its seniors before Saturday’s home game against Berlin (1:30 p.m.)

Elsewhere around the county on Thursday:

Coginchaug 2, Westbrook 1

WESTBROOK – PJ Casey-Leonard and Shane Buckheit scored unassisted to give the Blue Devils their Shoreline Conference victory over the Knights.

Coginchaug coach Matt Thompson said play was sloppy at times.

“Both teams were figuring things out,” he said.

Westbrook High was closed in mid-September for three days and sports practices were halted after a person at the school tested positive for COVID-19. The disruption came right around the time CIAC permitted teams to begin full-contact practice.

“Westbrook had a large portion of their team back this week for the first time since quarantine and did not have a full slate for the (preparation) leading up to this week,” Thompson said, “but they looked solid despite the lack of time together.”

Noslin Antunez scored Westbrook’s goal.

Elsewhere in the Shoreline, Cromwell shut out North Branford behind four goals from Zack Randazzo and two from Joe Salafia.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

Rocky Hill 19, Middletown 39
At Elm Ridge Park, Rocky Hill

1. Maren Valente, RH, 21:23
2. Elise Kennedy, M, 22:23
3. Maria Corcoran, RH, 22:37
4. Audrey-Lillian Grant, RH, 23:06
5. Marilena Vieira, RH, 23:13
6. Jasmine Edmunds, RH, 23:18
7. Hajar M’hamdi, M, 23:28
8. Zara Bilal, RH, 23:36
9. Natalie Forno, M, 24:47
10. Ashley Clow, RH, 24:50

VOLLEYBALL

Middletown 3, Rocky Hill 2

Middletown won the fifth set 17-15 to cap its comeback from a 2-1 deficit. Aysia Henderson led the way with 11 kills and Makayla Thompson had 7 aces. The Blue Dragons host Berlin on Saturday.

Hale-Ray 3, Cromwell 0 (25-4, 25-6, 25-6)

Jackie Parker had 7 kills and 6 aces and Brooke Praskievicz had 10 assists and 5 aces for the Noises.

FIELD HOCKEY

Morgan 6, H-K 0

Alexandra Wolf led the way for the Huskies with 4 goals and 2 assists. Nori Lopez had 2 goals and 1 assist and Maggie O’Donnell had 2 assists. Morgan goalie Abby Gordon had 2 saves, while H-K’s Sofia Guaribo had 13 saves.

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