Memorable Mondays: Games of the Year
Welcome to MSGVarsity.com’s Memorable Mondays, a summer-long series that looks back on the top players, games and moments from the past season and gazes ahead to 2012-13. As the summer goes on, we’ll compile all the lists and post them here:
www.msgvarsity.com/mondays. New Lists will be posted every Monday at noon.
In Week 8 of Memorable Mondays, we look at five of the most memorable games of 2011-12 from the Connecticut Region.
Staples vs. Greenwich football
Sophomore quarterback Jack Massie connected with senior Peter Bonenfant on a 16-yard pass with 1:21 remaining for the go-ahead touchdown, and Staples held on for a riveting 31-27 Thanksgiving Day victory over rival Greenwich in the 1st annual Jerry McDougall FCIAC Championship game in Westport.
Staples junior Nick Kelly carried 22 times for 89 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 1-yard score with 7:00 left as the Wreckers battled back from a 27-17 fourth-quarter deficit.
Shane Nastahowksi had two touchdown runs for Greenwich, which reached into its bag of tricks in the second half as Joel Arroyo threw back to Alex McMurray on a double pass for a 69-yard touchdown, giving the visitors a 21-17 lead with 1:40 left in the third quarter.
Massie, who finished 15 of 20 for 215 yards, quickly shrugged off a rare interception to lead the Wreckers on their two long scoring drives over the final seven minutes.
Amity vs. Darien softball
So there it was in the bottom of the seventh inning -- two outs, bases loaded, a two-run game and an All-State catcher in the batter's box against an all-league pitcher.
Moments later, it would be Amity that would punch its long-awaited ticket to the state semifinals as Olivia Gozdz's hard hit grounder was fielded cleanly by second baseman Taylor Baker, who threw to CJ Semones for the game's final out, giving the sixth-seeded Spartans a dramatic 4-2 win over third-seeded Darien in a riveting CIAC Class LL quarterfinal matchup.
The Blue Wave were just two outs away from their seventh straight victory, but instead it was the Spartans that rose to the occasion and rallied for three runs in the seventh.
Semones started the comeback with a one-out double before scoring the game-tying run on an infield single by Jacqui Ferraiolo. Freshman Jenna DeLorenzo then drove in Emily Fox on a long sac fly to left for the go-ahead run, and finally Corina Zdrowski punctuated the inning with an RBI single to right.
It was a gutsy performance from senior left-hander Dana Blydenburg, who allowed a two-run double that one-hopped the fence to opposing pitcher Jessica DeMaio in the third inning, but settled down to keep the powerful Blue Wave scoreless the rest of the way.
Norwalk vs. Ludlowe softball
The game that seemed like it was never going to end finally did in the 13th inning as the Bears outlasted the Falcons.
Senior outfielder Kerry McCabe drove in the go-ahead run with two outs in the top of the 13th inning with a sharp single to center and the Bears held on for a thrilling 5-4 victory over a young but solid Fairfield Ludlowe team at a crowded Sturges Park in Fairfield.
Norwalk led 4-2 going into the bottom of the fifth when Ludlowe sophomore third-baseman Brenna Martini tied it with a two-run home run into the gap in right center. The two teams then battled through seven straight scoreless innings with each one failing to convert on a number of quality scoring chances.
Norwalk senior Patti Sciglimpaglia, who pitched pitched all 13 innings while going 2-for-6 with three runs scored, then led off the final frame with a double down the line in left. Ludlowe junior Aliza Guerrero, who allowed just five hits over the first 12 innings, looked like she might work her way out of trouble again after setting down the next two batters in order. That included a popout from catcher Mary Sciglimpaglia, who went 3-for-5 with a walk, double, triple and three RBIs.
But McCabe, who left a runner on third with a two-out opportunity in the eighth, wasn’t about to let it happen again, lacing an inside fastball up the middle to score Sciglimpaglia easily.
New Canaan vs. Greenwich girls lacrosse
The battle of unbeatens didn't disappoint.
In an FCIAC girls lacrosse showdown that produced nine ties and three lead changes, it was another outstanding performance from Boston College-bound star Sarah Mannelly that helped New Canaan continue its perfect season Tuesday.
Mannelly, the program's all-time leader in assists and forced turnovers, scored a game-high five goals -- including the final two of the evening as New Canaan outlasted Greenwich 12-10 at Dunning Field.
For the Rams (13-0), it is the seventh straight victory over the rival Cardinals (12-1), who led 6-5 at the intermission before rallying three times to even the game in the second half.
A trio of juniors also played big roles in the win as Olivia Hompe finished with four goals and assisted on another, classmate Lily Citrin scored twice and Stanford-bound goalie Liz O'Sullivan made seven saves.
Senior Claire Feeney had a first-half hat trick en route to a four-goal game for the Cardinals, while juniors Emily Johnson and Sophie Waine each scored twice.
Greenwich also got a strong showing from senior goalie Hannah Jeffrey, who turned away 11 shots.
Mannelly broke a 9-9 tie on a goal with 7:08 remaining before giving the Rams some much-needed insurance at the 4:48 mark. New Canaan would regain possession with over three minutes left, and then went to work on the clock -- chewing up all of it.
New Canaan vs. McMahon football
Visiting New Canaan scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and rallied for a 36-33 victory in a Thursday night thriller at Jack Casagrande Field.
The Rams, who never led in the game until the final touchdown, capped their comeback on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Matt Milano to Patrick Newton with 35 seconds left. Milano threw for 212 yards and two scores, while McMahon's Damien Vega passed for 268 yards and four touchdowns.
Join us throughout the summer as “Memorable Mondays” brings you more top 5 lists:
Aug. 20: Top five teams from 2011-12
Aug. 27: Top five teams to watch in 2012-13
Find them all at www.msgvarsity.com/mondays