Saturday, January 28, 2023

Sports

Hornets See Three Teams Compete in States

1

Junior Paige Kelly and the Branford girls’ volleyball team finished up a solid season by competing in the Class M State Tournament last week. Pictured on the left for the Hornets is senior captain Molly Martone. File photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Sound

Junior Paige Kelly and the Branford girls’ volleyball team finished up a solid season by competing in the Class M State Tournament last week. Pictured on the left for the Hornets is senior captain Molly Martone. (File photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Sound)

2

Sophomore Tess Ferrie and the Branford girls’ soccer squad won their first two games in states to make it to the quarterfinal round of the Class L bracket last week. Photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Sound

Sophomore Tess Ferrie and the Branford girls’ soccer squad won their first two games in states to make it to the quarterfinal round of the Class L bracket last week. (Photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Sound)

Girls’ Soccer

The Branford girls’ soccer team won its first two games of the Class L State Tournament to reach the quarterfinals, where the Hornets took a 2-1 loss to top-seeded St. Joseph on Nov. 14. Branford, which had defeated Woodstock Academy and Pomperaug in the opening rounds of the tournament, finished with an overall record of 12-5-3 for the 2021 season.

As the No. 8 seed, Branford opened the Class L State Tournament by hosting No. 25 seed Woodstock Academy for a first-round game on Nov. 8. Head Coach Jen Kohut’s squad claimed a 1-0 victory versus the Centaurs to move on to the second round. Sophomore Brenna Murphy scored the lone goal of the game off a cross from sophomore Lucy Moran. Senior goalie Macey Girard made six saves in net for Branford.

Two days later, the Hornets squared off against 9th-seeded Pomperaug for a second-round matchup at Branford High School. Once again, Branford won a close contest, prevailing by a 1-0 score over the Panthers to make its way into the quarterfinal round. Sophomore Tess Ferrie scored the Hornets’ goal on an assist by junior Ava Ferrie. Girard made four saves to get another shutout.

Then on Nov. 13, the Hornets traveled to Trumbull to take on No. 1 seed St. Joseph in the Class L quarterfinals. The game was tied 1-1 in the second half when heavy rains came, postponing the remainder of the contest to the following day. When play resumed on Nov. 14, St. Joseph was able to net the go-ahead score to take a one-goal advantage. The Cadets held on for a 2-1 win to eliminate Branford from the tournament and advance into the semifinals.

Ava Ferrie scored Branford’s goal against St. Joseph. Girard made 11 saves in the game.

Girls’ Volleyball

The Branford girls’ volleyball squad earned a win in its Class M State Tournament opener before taking a loss to Haddam-Killingworth in a second-round match last week. The Hornets finished with an overall record of 16-7 in their first season with Head Coach Mike Martone.

On Nov. 8, the 10th-seeded Hornets hosted No. 23 Watertown for a first-round states match at Branford High School. Branford earned a five-set victory against the Warriors to advance to the second round, taking the match by the final tally of 25-22, 12-25, 25-12, 20-25, 15-5.

Senior Marzia Johnson recorded 26 digs to go with six aces and one assist for the Hornets in the win. Junior Allie Bietz had 34 assists with five aces, three kills, and three digs in the five-set marathon. Junior Paige Kelly posted 11 kills and had one block, while sophomore Maddie Lawler had eight aces with seven kills and one block for Branford.

Two days later, the Hornets played a second-round road match against No. 7 seed Haddam-Killingworth. Branford took a 3-0 defeat to the Cougars behind set scores of 25-18, 25-22, 25-20 in the contest.

Johnson had 26 digs with three kills and one assist for the Hornets. Bietz dished out 16 assists to go with six digs, four kills, two blocks, and one ace. Kelly had eight kills and three blocks, while sophomore Jenna DeFrancesco posted nine kills with three blocks and one ace.

Field Hockey

The Branford field hockey team took a loss against Hand in the first round of the Class M State Tournament last week. The Hornets finished with an overall record of 12-6-0-1 on the year.

No. 6 seed Branford hosted No. 11 Hand for a Class M first-round matchup on Nov. 9. The Hornets took a 3-0 defeat to the Tigers at Branford High School and were eliminated from the tournament with the loss.

Head Coach Pete Frye said that Branford had some offensive opportunities in the game, but credited Hand’s goalkeeper for doing a great job of keeping the Hornets off the board. Despite the loss, Coach Frye complimented Branford’s senior captains—Nora Longway, Nina Shamas, Julia McHenry, and Catalina Brown—for doing an excellent job of leading the team to a successful season this fall. Frye added that fellow seniors Katie Laska, Ava Brunner, and Olivia Salerno were also consummate teammates for the Hornets.

Football

The Branford football team squared off against Guilford for a SCC Tier 3 showdown on the road on Nov. 12. The Hornets took a 31-0 loss versus the Grizzlies, bringing an end to the team’s six-game winning streak.

The Hornets now have an overall record of 6-2 with a mark of 2-1 in SCC Tier 3 this year. Branford is in the No. 5 spot in the Class M State Playoff rankings in which the top eight squads qualify.

Guilford held a 14-0 lead over Branford after the first quarter and was up 24-0 at halftime. The Grizzlies added a touchdown during the third quarter to come away with the 31-0 victory.

Branford will conclude the regular season by playing a pair of games versus SCC Tier 3 opponents. First, the Hornets will host Jonathan Law (5-3) on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. After that, Branford is playing at rival East Haven in the teams’ annual Thanksgiving game on Thursday, Nov. 25 at 10 a.m.


Chris Piccirillo is the Sports Editor for Zip06. Email Chris at c.piccirillo@shorepublishing.com.

Reader Comments