Friday, October 28, 2011


Tournament time is nearly upon us -- in fact, teams will be kicking of conference tourneys as soon as Saturday (as long as there isn't a blizzard).

So after a regular season with all sorts of wins, goals and saves, we bring you the five teams to watch that have serious chances of making a postseason run.

There's a lot more than five that have potential, but we've picked out the five that will likely win 
conference titles and state tournament games. Here we go:

Coginchaug girls soccer

Lauren Esposito and Victoria Buonanni lead a high-powered Blue Devil offense and talented defensive core. They’ve cruised through the Shoreline, but their one hitch may be a technicality — the girls will be competing in the Class M state tourney after a schedule with nearly all Class S teams. Even so, keep an eye on these Coginchaug girls to rack up some goals and get some postseason wins.

East Hampton volleyball

Serve-assist specialist Marissa Morassini and her Bellringers have blossomed under new coach John Post to the tune of a 15-2 record. Shoreline tourney success will mean defeating undefeated Morgan (their last meeting was a tight five sets). Ashley Chasse is one of the top liberos in the state, and power hitter Julianne Toce is literally killing the ball. Expect the Bellringers to make a tourney splash.

Xavier cross country

Top man David Pugliese led the way to Xavier’s Southern Connecticut Conference title last week, and the Falcons jumped to the No. 1 spot in the state coaches’ poll. The squad has 10 seniors  and consistency on their side, meaning they’ll squeeze a ton of runners into the top 50. Look for some fine Falcon finishes at this weekend’s Class LL Championships and next week’s State Open.

East Hampton boys soccer

The last time East Hampton boys soccer lost was Sept. 21. Since, they’ve won 12 straight. Goal-scorer Kenny Steer is starting to find the hot foot, and goalie Austin Wosleger is red-hot after missing the first few games with illness. These guys have seemingly forgotten how to lose, and that should translate well to the postseason. Expect a battle with Valley Regional in the Shoreline Tournament final next week.

Portland girls soccer

Keeper Marisa DiMare has helped the Highlanders to nine shutouts in 15 games, and one of the state’s most prolific offenses has done more than enough to get wins. Alyssa Unikewicz and Amanda Ghent are just two of the many talented scorers on this squad. This is new territory for the Highlanders (they’ll participate in their first Shoreline Tournament ever next week), but goals don’t lie and goals don’t lose. Watch ‘em win a few in states.

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