Weekly Sports Update – September 16-20, 2019

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Football Team Wins Home Opener

On Friday, Sept. 13, under the lights, the Connetquot High School football team opened its season in League II in front of a standing room only crowd of supportive fans. While the T-Birds fell behind early, they tied the score by the end of the first quarter and took the lead with a touchdown in the third period, making the final score of 13-7 against the visitors from Northport High School. 

Cole Bunicci’s interception late in the third quarter provided the momentum for the Connetquot win. The T-Birds went on a 10-play, 84-yard drive that ended with Bunicci’s 5-yard touchdown with less than a minute left in the quarter. The 6’4” senior had an all-around outstanding game against Northport, adding 10 tackles, eight receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Drew Guttieri completed 14 of 20 passes for 173 yards. Guttieri added 54 yards on eight runs, while senior Tyler Cordes added 60 yards on 13 carries of his own. On the defensive side of the ball, Vinny Catania had two sacks while James DeLucia added one of his own. Connetquot now stands at 1-0, while Northport is 0-1 in Suffolk League II.

Prior to the kickoff, members of the Connetquot Youth Football Organization led the T-Birds out of the tunnel and onto the field for the season opener. The young T-Birds were proud to take part in this year’s opening night football festivities. 
Connetquot High School football coach Mike Hansen came away from his opening night win against Northport High School with a grin and confidence that he can count on his upperclassmen for the remainder of the season.

Girls Tennis Team Claims Victory Over West Islip 

On Sept. 16, the Connetquot High School girls tennis team improved its overall season record to 3-2 with an impressive 7-0 decision against the visitors from West Islip High School. The T-Birds’ Suffolk County League III record now stands at 2-1.

“This was a big win for the Connetquot girls tennis team,” coach Amy Cohen said. “Contributing the win for the lady T-Birds were Rebecca Schwartz and MacKenzie Gisler at first doubles (6-2, 6-2). Also playing well were Hanna Dunaske and Renee O’Connor at second doubles.”

The team is off to a strong start and looks to improve with each outing.

Connetquot/East Islip Swimming and Diving Team Defeat Huntington HS

The Connetquot High School/East Islip High School’s girls swimming and diving team recently defeated Huntington High School in its first meet following the upgrading of the school’s natatorium by a final score of 91.5-81.5.

Cadie Brown, Faith Calabrese, Jenna Drapala and Jessica Hendricks won the 200-meter medley relay (1:59.25) to lead the Connetquot/East Islip team to its first conference win of the season. Additionally, Morgan Cassidy won the diving competition with a score of 237.9 for the home team.

“Several of our swimmers and divers qualified for the Suffolk County championships based on tonight’s results,” coach Alex Scichilone said. 

Soccer Superstars

Congratulations to Connetquot High School varsity girls soccer superstars Nicolette Pasquarella, Laney Schmitz and Kayla Valerioti, along with varsity boys soccer standout Mason Chetti, for being named among the top 100 soccer players on Long Island by Newsday. Way to go, T-Birds!

Ice Hockey Team Comes Up Short Against Ward Melville

Rich Villani, head coach of the Connetquot High School/Sayville High School’s boys ice hockey team, came into the Sept. 18 game against Ward Melville High School knowing his players would have to bring their A-game in order to win. 

While the T-Birds played aggressively and with confidence throughout, the visitors took an early 4-2 lead. According to assistant coach Glen Rothburd, the T-Birds came on strong late in the second and third periods, getting close to scoring additional goals in the third period. Although the final score read 7-5 in favor of Ward Melville, the T-Birds knew they had done a great job at facing a talented team. 

Dylan Vigna lead the T-Bird offense with a natural hat trick, followed by goals from Kenny Correa and Chris Biava. An excellent display of goaltending was split by Sean Ferry and Tyler Scheibe. Unfortunately, the team was forced to play shorthanded with five penalties and 10 minutes against them. 

The Connetquot/Sayville ice hockey team competes in the Suffolk County High School Hockey League and plays its home games at the Rinx, in Hauppauge, New York. The team looks forward to its next challenge against Half Hollow Hills High School on Sept. 23.