SATURDAY SCHOLASTICS: Cheshire knocks of Norwalk, advances to first boys soccer state semi in 20 years; Ciccone, CT runners shine in New England XC meet



NORWALK — Here’s something you haven’t read in 20 years: The Cheshire boys soccer team is heading to the state semifinals.

The 13th-seeded Rams continued their magical run through the 2021 CIAC Class LL tournament by beating No. 5 Norwalk 2-0 in overtime Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Both goals came in the first 10-minute session of OT. They were scored by Murphy Malone and Sahil Banerjee. Zack Brown and Muluken Marchand had the assists.

Goalie Andres Diosa (8 saves) and the defense made the lead stand up in the second 10.

The victory sends the Rams (13-5-1) on to the semifinals, where Cheshire boys soccer has not tread since the 2001 team fell to Westhill on penalty kicks.

Cheshire will be facing a familiar foe this time around: Southern Connecticut Conference rival Xavier. Seeded No. 1, the Falcons are unbeaten at 19-0-2.

Three of those wins came against Cheshire, though by just one goal each time. Xavier twice beat the Rams 2-1 during the regular season, then 1-0 in double overtime in the SCC Tournament final.

The date and location for the semifinals have not yet been set. The finals are next weekend at Dillon Stadium.

The one state championship Cheshire won in boys soccer came in 1988: 2-1 over Manchester in Class LL.

Cross country

New England Championships: Running in a six-state field of 259 at Thetford Academy in Vermont, Cheshire sophomore Alexa Ciccone finished 29th in 20:42 and Southington senior Jackie Izzo was 78th in 21:37.

Ciccone and Izzo, who finished fifth and 22nd, respectively, at the State Open, were the only two area qualifiers for the New England meet.

Connecticut, as a whole, represented very well in Vermont. New Milford won the girls team championship and Connecticut runners swept the top five spots in the boys race.

Gavin Sherry of Conard defended his New England title in 15:54. He was followed by fellow CT seniors Aidan Puffer of Manchester (16:06), Callum Sherry of Conard (16:17), Luke Anthony of East Lyme (16:18) and Michael Bohlke of Newington (16:24).

The girls race was won in 18:44 by Ruth White, a sophomore from Orono, Maine. Connecticut champ Rachel St. Germain, a senior from Somers, was runner-up in 19:07.

Ciccone, in finishing No. 29, was four spots from All-New England recognition.

“I know Alexa is a bit disappointed in not finishing in the Top 25, but she should feel nothing but a huge sense of accomplishment,” said Cheshire coach Rob Schaefer. “What a season! So many moments of success! She ran a tough race today in the rolling mud hills of the Thetford course.”

Field hockey

Glastonbury 1, Cheshire 0: Christina Guanci’s goal from Addison Infante with 9½ minutes to play carried the No. 5 Guardians to the Class L quarterfinal win over the No. 4 Rams at Alumni Field.

The goal came on a penalty corner several minutes after Glastonbury goalie Kaitlyn Parent made two consecutive saves on a Cheshire penalty corner at the other end.

Glastonbury enjoyed a territorial edge throughout. Cheshire goalie Ginny Curello made six saves to three for Parent.

The loss ended Cheshire’s first season under coach Kya O’Donnell at 16-4-1. 

Glastonbury improved to 14-1-2-1 and advances to face undefeated top seed New Canaan in the semifinals. The Rams (18-0) survived an upset bid by No. 8 Greenwich in their quarterfinal, winning 1-0 in double overtime.

Glastonbury is the lone non-FCIAC in the Class L final four. The other semifinal pits No. 2 Darien (17-1) against No. 11 Wilton (11-3-4).

Football

Thames River 26, Wilcox-Kaynor Tech 10: The Indians played their closest game of the season against a potential state qualifier.

Thames River, at 7-1, currently holds the eighth and final spot in Class L. Wilcox-Kaynor is 0-8.

This was the Tribe’s final game of the season at Falcon Field. Wilcox-Kaynor travels to Milford to face Platt Tech next Friday and to Middletown to take on Vinal/Goodwin Techs on Thanksgivnig Eve.

 

 



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