Tag Archives: Sports

Photo Credit: Google Images

Comeback City

 

Photo Credit: Google Images

 By Paige Brown

Sunday night was a huge night in sports for Boston fans.  The New England Patriots won in a nail-biter against the  New Orleans Saints and the Boston Red Sox came back from  a huge gap to win 6-5 over the Detroit Tigers.

Fans of Boston teams all around the country were  undoubtably on their feet in anticipation during each game.

The Pats definitely put on a show for their fans in the  stadium and at home on the big screen. Not only did Gronk  yet again miss another game, but Wilfork is now out for the  season, putting the defensive line in jeopardy against the Saints.

During the game, it seemed like all the Pats could do was drop the ball, literally. And as a die hard fan, it kills me to say that our offense is no where near where it used to be last year with Welker and Hernandez. However, the rookies are looking to soon become stars with how they have been playing.

New to the team this season but not new to the game is Amendola. All over Twitter people were tweeting that we should stamp “Fragile” onto his forehead, and after yesterday’s game, I couldn’t agree more. It seems like a normal hit that can be taken by anyone yet knocks out a seasoned player is becoming more and more prominent in Amendola. He was taken off the field and to me, looked pretty confused about the world around him.

Despite all of the injuries and players missing from the game, and again the drops by Edelman and others, the Pats came back in the last ten suspenseful seconds. Tom Brady threw the winning touchdown, caught by rookie Kenbrell Thompkins.

Coming back from a 27-23 loss to a 30-27 win against the Saints, the Pats definitely kept their fans, myself included, on their toes until the last seconds.

After fans and spectators of football Sunday thought they just saw the most exciting upturn of the night, they were stunned again.

The Red Sox, after a grueling season and going 22 innings without any hits, recovered with a grand slam to win against the Tigers.

As many baseball fans know, the Boston Red Sox haven’t been much of a celebratory team this season. Until last night. David Ortiz, better known as “Big Papi” hit a grand slam to help his team towards a much needed ninth-inning win.

After 13 batters being struck out by Detroit pitcher Max Scherzer, Jarrod Saltalmacchia’s single into left field that led in Jonny Gomes is what put the team into the lead.

Both the Pats and the Sox needed these wins and faithful fans were undoubtedly joyful for their teams. As an all around Boston fan myself, I can say that I’m proud to be a fan of both of these teams. And for everyone out there who is not a fan of these teams, you can’t say that both games were not pure sports entertainment…I mean come on, Boston was definitely “Comeback City.”

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Central Survives Saint Francis For Homecoming Victory

 

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By Sean Begin

The Blue Devils faithfully packed the parking lot of Arute Field on a warm homecoming Saturday, decked in their blue and white “Super Fan” long sleeve shirts, ready to watch their football team take on the first conference foe of the season.

For the first half, led by sophomore quarterback Nick SanGiacomo and a smothering defense, Central Connecticut (2-4, 1-0 NEC) looked unstoppable.

But a furious second half comeback from Saint Francis University (1-4, 0-1 NEC) sent the Blue Devil defense scrambling before buckling down and forcing back-to-back three and outs by the Red Flash offense, sealing the 38-29 victory.

“We actually played a really good defensive game,” said Coach Jeff McInerney. “We caged them up pretty good. Not great, the way we want too, but overall we played well.”

The Blue Devil defense gave up only a field goal to Saint Francis in the first half, shutting down the FCS’s leading rusher, senior Kyle Harbridge.

Central held the running back, who was averaging 7.8 yards per carry, to only ten yards on nine carries, tackling Harbridge either at or behind the line of scrimmage on four of his nine attempts.

Returning after missing the last two games with an injury, SanGiacomo picked apart the Red Flash, completing 10 of 13 passes for 130 yards in the first half, despite playing without all the strength back in his arm, according to McInerney.

SanGiacomo led the Blue Devils on three straight touchdown drives – including one 66-yard bomb to junior wide receiver Tyrell Holmes – in the final six and a half minutes of the first half, putting Central up 28-3.

“The halftime score did not shock me,” said McInerney, “but we have to figure out a way to get them over the hump, where we go out and put four quarters together. You can’t do that in the third quarter.”

In that quarter, the Red Flash outscored Central 20-0, who suddenly could not contain Harbridge and lost all rhythm on offense.

Harbridge ripped off a 60-yard run on the second play of the quarter, finishing the scoring drive with 78 yards and the touchdown.

On Central’s answering drive, SanGiacomo made his big mistake, getting picked off by freshman defensive back Lorenzo Jerome, who returned the interception 65 yards to set up an easy touchdown.

The Red Flash defense stopped Central cold on their next drive, quickly returning the offense back to the field. Harbridge took over again, punching through the Blue Devil defense for a 16-yard score.

Saint Francis tacked on another touchdown in the fourth quarter following a Blue Devil field goal, but failed to convert the two point conversion to tie the game. Central started driving again, but a fumble by Hollomon in the red zone gave the Red Flash the ball back with just under nine minutes to play.

“When I did fumble I was frustrated,” said Hollomon, “but when it was time to go back out there, I just put it past me and was focusing on the next play. I know my teammates depend on me to go out there and make plays.”

The defense picked up the running back, however, forcing a three and out on Saint Francis’ next two drives, culminating with a sack from senior defensive back Chris Linares that silenced the Red Flash offense.

“They [the coaches] blitzed me and the linebacker and C.J. [Morrison] slowed him down and I just came in and cleaned it up,” said Linares of the play.

The Red Flash comeback was reminiscent of the game earlier this season at Lehigh, when the Blue Devils gave up a 20 point lead before losing in overtime.

“We kept preaching over and over that we had a lead and that’s exactly how it was at Lehigh and we gave it up and we didn’t want that to happen again,” said Linares. “This time it was a different outcome. We were more mentally tough and ready for the situation.”

The Blue Devils next game comes October 12 at Sacred Heart University, the second conference game for both teams.

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Blue Devils Defeats Wagner

By Derek Turner

The Wagner Seahawks came out of halftime scoring six straight points to give the visitors a four point lead, but Kyle Vinales hit back-to-back threes firing up the Detrick Gymnasium crowd and the Blue Devils would not look back.

“I hit the second one and the crowd got into it a lot; it gave us energy,” said sophomore Kyle Vinales.

The game went back and forth for most of the first half as there were eight lead changes and until 5:25 left in the half, neither team had led by more than four points. Matt Hunter led the Blue Devils in the first half with 11 points and seven rebounds as the Odessa Junior College transfer continues to fill up the stat sheet night in and night out. Hunter got the scoring started with a layup and then a three getting CCSU out to a 5-2 start.

Malcolm McMillan and Adonis Burbage would get in on the action early with a jump shot and a three respectively to give Central a 10-6 lead. Wagner would then come back to take an 11-10 lead on a layup by their leading scorer Kenneth Ortiz. The rest of the half was a game of runs. The Blue Devils went on a 7-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 17-13 lead, but Wagner answered right back with four straight points to tie the game at 17. CCSU would gain their largest lead of the first half with 3:37 remaining after an 11-2 run capped by an NBA range three pointer from Vinales as the shot clock expired. Josh Thompson of Wagner would answer with a three ball of his own, but Burbage fired right back. Eric Fanning hit one for the Seahawks which would begin a 5-0 run to end the first half. The Blue Devils entered the locker room up 33-31.

The Seahawks came out of the break firing as Ortiz, Johnathon Williams and Latif Rivers would drop in two points to give Wagner their largest lead of the game 37-33 early in the second half. Vinales then hit the two biggest shots of the game. Back-to-back from beyond the arc cut the Wagner lead to one and then a mid-range jump shot by Joe Efese caused Wagner to take a timeout.

“Those are the situations where we need a player to step up,” said head coach Howie Dickenman on his lone senior Joe Efese.

CCSU was in the midst of an 18-4 run which lasted 6:32. A layup by Hunter at the midpoint of the second half tied the largest lead of the night for Central as they led 53-43. Ortiz and Rivers followed with five straight made free throws, including three at once by Rivers when McMillan fouled the shooter on a three point attempt. Ortiz hit a three 43 seconds later to cut the Seahawk deficit to two. Central Connecticut did not pull away, but they kept a safe distance for the rest of the game, never letting Wagner within four points.

After missing their first four free throws of the game while only taking one in the first half, the Blue Devils hit 14 of 23 in the second half, far from their 77.4 percent on the season, good for 6th in the nation, but it was good enough down the stretch as Central Connecticut defeated Wagner College 73-66 in front of an announced crowd of 2217 in Detrick Gymnasium Thursday night.

“We were a little tense at the end, because we weren’t making our free throws, but we did and we stopped them and we got rebounds and forced some turnovers down the stretch,” said Dickenman.

Kyle Vinales led all scorers with 30 points while adding six rebounds and five assists; he was 8-17 shooting and 4-8 from long range while dropping in 10-14 free throws. This is the 3rd time this season and fifth in his career Vinales has gone for at least 30 points and the six rebounds is a career high. Hunter followed with 13 points and eight rebounds while Burbage and Efese each dropped in 10 for CCSU.

Brandon Peel continues to pull down the rebounds adding eight in the game and is averaging 10.8 per game in Northeast Conference play.

“Inside we strive ourselves on being tough, not really letting anyone in there, grabbing rebounds, and mostly backing these guys up if anyone gets behind them,” said forward Matt Hunter.

Kenneth Ortiz led the way for Wagner with 18 points and six assists with Eric Fanning and Latif Rivers contributing 13 and 12 respectively. The only rebounder in double-digits on the night was Orlando Parker with 11; a high school teammate of CCSU’s Adonis Burbage at Orlando Christian Prep.

“That was a real good win for us, because it dropped them to where we’re at and their a real good team,” said Vinales. “Coach D said it was probably one of the biggest games we’ll play all year, we certainly took on the challenge.”

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Central Pushes LIU; Can’t Finish

By Derek Turner

Even in a loss to the Northeast Conference leading LIU Blackbirds Saturday afternoon, Central Connecticut Volleyball made a statement.

The teams traded set wins through the first four before Long Island completed the victory and stayed undefeated in the NEC with a 15-8 fifth set win.

“I think it was an exciting match,” said Head Coach Linda Sagnelli returning to the gym after talking to her team following the loss. “A lot of long volleys, there was good serving, there was some incredible defensive plays and then some incredible plays on both sides where stuff happened very quickly and the ball just stayed up.”

LIU jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first set off a couple CCSU errors, but the Blue Devils quickly turned things around and the two teams traded points throughout the set. Central took control of the set near the end when they scored seven of the final eight points en route to a 25-18 first set win.

Long Island came back strong in the second set never trailing and coming out with a 25-16 win to tie the match at one set apiece.

After it seemed like Central conceded the second set towards the end, they came back and dominated the third with defense holding the Blackbirds to their worst set hitting percentage on the day at .108. The Blue Devils took the third set by a score of 25-18 and needed only one more set to defeat the top team in conference, but they couldn’t put the match away.

Just as in the first set, the fourth was extremely competitive and neither team could take a large lead early on. After 16 points the score was tied 8-8. LIU then scored four unanswered points and didn’t look back even after Central closed the gap to one at 12-11. Long Island scored 13 of the final 17 points and tied the match at two games each with a 25-15 win.

“It seemed like in the sets we won, everything worked better for us and in the sets they won they seemed to be more in sync,” said Sagnelli.

Tied at two sets each, LIU and Central were headed to a fifth set. The only other time LIU had played five sets in a conference match was September 22 against Sacred Heart; their first Northeast Conference match of the season. This would be the Blue Devils first five-setter of the conference schedule as both teams played very equal on Saturday.

“Overall the numbers match up very closely adding them all up and a few points separated the two teams today,” said Sagnelli.

As the Blue Devils came out of their huddle before the fifth set, libero Allyson Porter looked over to the “student section,” and motioned them to get loud. Everyone in the stands knew this was the biggest set of the season thus far and the Blue Devils needed everyone behind them, especially the three male students with their shirts off and chests painted blue and white.

Central held a slim 3-2 set lead, but a series of errors cost them the set and the match. As the teams switched sides, Long Island held an 8-4 lead and extended the lead to 11-4 before CCSU made a small run, but LIU quickly regained composure and finished off the Blue Devils scoring four of the final five sports and defeating Central three sets to two.

“We talk about competitive attitude and mental toughness all the time and I think Long Island was better at that today,” said Sagnelli. “We have a degree of mental toughness; we need to able to increase that and not be afraid to go out there and go for the win.”

Outside hitter Blaike King led CCSU with 17 kills on the day followed by Emily Cochran’s 15 with a majority of the attempts coming from passes off the hands of setter Makenna Lommori who finished the match with 38 assists. Porter contributed on the defensive end with 20 digs.

LIU-Brooklyn remained undefeated in conference play with this victory over CCSU and a 3-0 victory Sunday versus Bryant University. Through Nov. 4, LIU, Robert Morris University and CCSU had clinched berths in the NEC tournament which is played at the #1 seed’s home court on Nov. 17 and 18.

Blue Devils Remain Positive

By Tommy Liljedahl

Despite a disappointing 0-5 start, the CCSU football team remains optimistic during a much needed bye week.

“Obviously, this is not the start we wanted,” said Head Coach Jeff Mcinerey. “But we knew this team was going to take some time to take shape, especially with the new quarterbacks.”

Andrew Clements, junior, and Nick Sangiacomo, freshman, have been splitting snaps at QB for the Blue Devils, both experiencing some successes along with failures. While Sangiacomo threw three touchdowns in a 34-21 loss to Sacred Heart last week, he also threw three interceptions, including a late one that was returned for a touchdown, breaking the game wide open. Since a solid performance in the home opener, Clements has experienced struggles of his own, throwing three picks in a 43-10 loss at New Hampshire on Sept 15.

Clements will start in CCSU’s homecoming game versus Duquesne this upcoming Saturday, Oct 13.

“They’re both talented kids, no doubt,” McInerney said. “The ups and downs are to be expected, they just need to keep improving and get hot. There are a lot of other issues we need to work on.”

These issues include giving up big plays, as well as a mediocre third down offense and defense. However, they managed to hold Sacred Heart to 3 of 11 on third down, while converting 9 of 20 on third down. They also held Sacred Heart to only 261 yards on offense. Thwarted by a missed extra point, a blocked punt, and three turnovers, CCSU was left with a lot to build on heading into their bye week.

“This team is getting better and will win games,” McInerney said confidently. “A defeated team doesn’t practice this hard. The bye week has already given us a chance to regroup and improve.”

Lorenzo Baker, senior captain and outside linebacker, echoed the coach’s sentiments.

“Character is what you are, record is what people think you are. We’ve been working as hard as ever, and a few plays could have had our games going either way,” said Baker.

As a senior, Baker hopes to make the most of his final six games here at CCSU, and expects the younger players to follow his lead.

As grim as their record looks, CCSU has faced a brutal schedule which has included Stony Brook, who beat Army; New Hampshire, who holds the longest run in the FCS Top 25 poll; and Lehigh, ranked 11th in the FCS.

The schedule is no excuse, however, according to Coach McInerney.

“It’s on me, the players have practiced and played extremely hard and will continue to compete with integrity. I have to do a better job,” McInerney said.

McInerney expressed gratitude towards the student body and their willingness to come out and support the Blue Devils.

“I really appreciate the crowds and support we’ve been getting, and hope we can provide the fans with our first win in the homecoming game against Duquesne,” said McInerney. “Sometimes you have to fail your way to success.”

Column: Don’t Hate Tim Thomas

By Brittany Burke

It’s no surprise that the Boston Bruins travelled to the White House this past week to celebrate their Stanley Cup win President Obama, in fact it’s pretty fair to say it’s tradition. Winning a professional championship and visiting the President nearly go hand in hand.

What did come as a surprise to a lot of people is the fact that Bruins goalie, Tim Thomas chose to skip the meet and greet, which he has said he would do for months.

Peter Chiarelli, Boston’s general manager said in interviews that they’ve tried to convince Thomas to go and enjoy the time with the team, especially since he was one of the most crucial players during the Stanley Cup run, but Thomas stood his ground and personally I think he did the right thing.

I don’t mind that Thomas chose not to go and no one else should either and to be honest I was probably more upset that the President chose to call Brad Marchand a “little ball of hate” than I was not to see number 30 standing in for the press photo op.

James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers refused twice to go to the White House twice, so Thomas is far from the first and he probably won’t be the last.

In fact I like that Thomas opted not to go, if he feels so strongly about his political views then so be it. He has just as much right to refuse to take part in the event as I do to write this column. Some may look at him differently now for declining to meet President Obama, but I’m proud to know that a member of the team I root for is willing to stand up for what he thinks is right.

On the other side of things I can’t help but want to say, who cares? Sure, I love reading about how the players go to hospitals and different charity events off the ice, but any fan will tell you, what a player does on the ice or field is the most important.

All I care about is whether or not Thomas continues to play well and put up good numbers so the team doesn’t have to completely rely on Tuukka Rask. I would’ve been more upset if the team decided to suspend him for missing a team event, which thankfully they’re choosing not to do.

If he’s not penalized by his team then he shouldn’t be penalized by the public either. Take his decision for what you will, but meeting the President or not meeting him doesn’t change what kind of player he really is.