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Article Published September 29, 2019
Branford Boys’ Soccer Shuts Out Amistad; Field Hockey Blanks North Haven
Chris Piccirillo, Sports Editor

Boys’ Soccer

The Branford boys’ soccer squad posted one win in its last three matchups and now has a record of 2-3 on the season. The Hornets earned a victory over Amistad before losing to Cross and Shelton during last week’s action.

On Sept. 23, Branford claimed a 6-0 home win over Amistad in a non-conference game. Junior Ralf Ciarleglio had two goals with two assists to lead the Hornets. Branford scored five goals in the first half and then tacked on one more goal during the second half.

Sophomore Sebastian Verdesoto scored the first goal of the game on an assist from Ciarleglio to give Branford a 1-0 lead. Later in the half, Ciarleglio assisted senior Andrew Wirtz for the Hornets’ second goal. Ciarleglio then scored a goal on an assist by senior Cody McCarns to make it 3-0.

Verdesoto headed home his second goal of the game on an assist from his brother, junior James Verdesoto, to give Branford a 4-0 advantage. With one minute left in the half, Ciarleglio scored his second goal on an assist from Wirtz to put the Hornets up 5-0 at halftime. In the second half, junior Matt Cordero scored on a McCarns assist to put a bow on Branford’s 6-0 win.

Then Sept. 27, the Hornets took a 2-1 loss against divisional opponent Cross to move to 1-1 in the SCC Quinnipiac Division. Following a scoreless first half, Cross broke through by scoring the game’s first goal in the 50th minute. Branford tied the game in the 70th minute when Ciarleglio scored on an assist by Sebastian Verdesoto. However, the Governors scored the go-ahead goal in the 77th minute and then held on for the 2-1 win.

The following day, the Hornets hosted Shelton and dropped a 2-0 decision. Head Coach Paul Hunter credited his athletes for showing grit and determination by battling Shelton to a scoreless first half while playing on back-to-back days. Branford created several scoring opportunities during each half, but was unable to convert. Shelton scored the first goal of the game in the 60th minute and then added an insurance goal in the 77th minute for the 2-0 victory.

Girls’ Soccer

The Hornets played a pair of road games against fellow SCC Hammonasset Division opponents last week. Branford lost a matchup against Lauralton Hall and took a loss to Sheehan to go to 1-3 overall with a record of 1-2 in the division.

Branford started off its week by dropping a 5-4 decision at Lauralton Hall on Sept. 24. Then on Sept. 28, the Hornets traveled to Wallingford to face Sheehan and lost the contest by the final score of 4-2.

Field Hockey

Branford split a pair of recent home games to move to 2-2 on the year. The Hornets posted a 9-0 shutout over North Haven and then took an 8-0 loss to Guilford last week.

Branford hosted North Haven on Sept. 24 and won the game by the final score of 9-0. Senior Madison Acquarulo, sophomore Nora Longaway, and freshman Scout Engstrom all scored two goals to go with one assist in the victory. Senior Molly Zaffino had a goal with three assists for Branford. Sophomore Olivia Salerno and freshman Lauren Kendrick both scored a goal, while senior Karly King contributed an assist. Senior goalkeeper Gianna Messina made one save for the Hornets, who also received solid contributions from senior Maggie Martin and sophomore Julia McHenry in the victory.

On Sept. 27, the Hornets lost an 8-0 contest against Guilford at home. Sophomore Nina Shamas made six saves for Branford, while Messina had one save. Head Coach Pete Frye said that Branford received good contributions from Engstrom and freshman Gianna Bozzi in the game.


The Hornets picked up their first win of the year when they posted a 3-0 victory at Wilbur Cross on Sept. 23. Branford went on to take a 4-0 defeat at Amity in an SCC Oronoque Division contest on Sept. 27. Branford has an overall record of 1-4 to go with a mark of 0-2 in divisional play.


Branford hit the road to square off against non-conference opponent New Fairfield on Sept. 28. The Hornets took a 38-22 defeat versus the Rebels and now have a record of 1-2 this season.

Next up, Branford will travel to Wallingford for a game versus SCC opponent Sheehan on Friday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m.

Boys’ Cross Country

On Sept, 24, the Hornets lost two of three in a quad-meet at Cheshire Park. Branford earned a 15-50 victory against East Haven, dropped 17-44 a decision versus Cheshire, and took a 19-39 loss to Sheehan to move to 3-4 this season.

Senior Nolan Scott took eighth place with a time of 19:20, while sophomore Pat Zdunek finished ninth at 18:21 for the Hornets. Sophomore Cheng Wu finished 17th (19:11), sophomore Wyatt Reynolds came in 18th place (19:31), and junior Brennan Hynes placed 19th (19:31).

On Sept. 28, Branford competed at the Ocean State Invitational in Rhode Island and finished in 25th place. The Hornets’ runners at the meet wee Scott (82nd, 18:25), Zdunek (95th, 18:370, Wu (140th, 19:19), Hynes (169th, 19:47), and senior Andrew Betzig (171st, 19:48).

Girls’ Cross Country

Branford competed against three teams in a quad-meet at Cheshire Park on Sept. 24. The Hornets came away with one victory in the meet by defeating East Haven (18-44) and losing to Cheshire (19-42) and Sheehan (24-31). Branford now has a record of 3-4 on the year.

Sophomore Isla Lionetti posted a time of 22:53 to finish in sixth place for the Hornets. Freshman Hannah Jackson took seventh place with a mark of 23:10. Junior Steph Toste finished 15th (25:40), senior Juli Dillon came in 18th place (26:05), and senior Abbey Pawlowicz finished in 19th place (26:23).

Four days later, the Hornets finished in 31st place at the Ocean State Invitational. Sophomore Bella Finta came in 158th place by running a time of 24:12 for Branford. Finta was followed across the finish line by Lionetti (171st, 24:43), Toste (176th, 24:50), Dillon 200th, 26:02), and Pawlowicz (203rd, 26:07).