Andrew Puchala of the Staples boys soccer team and Sarah Kaiser of the Ridgefield field hockey team are this week’s BlueStreak-Ruden Report Players of the Week.
Puchala and Kaiser will each receive T-shirts and plaques from BlueStreak Sports Training.
Puchala, a center back, scored a hat trick, including the game-winning goal as the Wreckers rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Ridgefield, 4-3.
DARIEN — The Darien girls volleyball is that rare high school sports oddity: extremely enjoyable to watch but, for the media, a hardship to cover.
When the Blue Wave are on, as they most certainly were in a dominant 25-12, 25-18, 25-15 win over Fairfield Ludlowe on Monday afternoon in a battle of unbeaten teams, they take a graceful sport and elevate it to a higher plane.
While most of the FCIAC football world’s attention will be focused this week on Darien, which hosts St. Joseph in one of the most important games of the year, another compelling contest will take place later on Thursday, less than 20 miles.
Call it the Contrast Bowl.
Staples has allowed a league-low three points this season; Stamford has scored a conference-high 134. The teams meet in Westport.
We have eight teams on the menu this week for The Ruden Report FCIAC Team of the Week vote.
Your finalists are: the Wilton field hockey, Fairfield Ludlowe volleyball, Staples boys cross country, Bridgeport Central football, Danbury boys soccer, Stamford football, Brien McMahon football and Trinity Catholic football teams.
The winning team will get our T shirts, courtesy of our sponsors: BlueStreak Sports Training, Karl Chevrolet, Innovative Health and Rehabilitation, Chicken Joe’s of New Canaan, Zody’s 19th Hole, New Balance of New Canaan, The CT Center for Advanced ENT Care, Anytime Fitness, Bankwell, Coastal Orthopaedics, Hoyt Livery, National Scouting Report, North Yellow Jackets Lacrosse, Splash Car Wash, Rhone Apparel, Darien Orthodontics, Sono Field House and Resource Management Group.
NEW CANAAN — If a week of homecoming activities and two days of discussion about an impending milestone by their coach were not distraction enough, news that should have been a source of relief became another interruption for the New Canaan football team on Saturday afternoon.
The latter may have also provided inspiration for the Rams’ opponent, Greenwich.
In a sloppy but hard-fought game Saturday afternoon, the underdog and undermanned Cardinals, fighting to maintain a tangible purpose for their season, appeared on the verge of tying the game when quarterback Matt Marzulla scored on a 1-yard run with 9:33 remaining. But a missed extra point left New Canaan with a 21-20 lead.
NEW CANAAN — It says something about Lou Marinelli the coach that he achieved his 300th career win late Saturday afternoon, after the New Canaan High School football team used a late burst to overcome a sluggish start and come away with a 35-20 victory over Greenwich.
It says even more about Lou Marinelli the person that he didn’t know about the impending milestone until two days earlier.
“He had no idea he was getting his 300th win until a reporter asked him about it,” said John Marinelli, who has made contributions to that total both as a former player and current offensive coordinator for his father but, first and foremost, will always be his son. “That shows you the kind of guy that he is. He’s so humble, and being able to be a part of it in some shape or form…he was coaching here before I was born.”
During a period when editors have had to think carefully about whether stories belong on the sports pages or police reports, Derek Jeter provided a welcome reprieve for a few hours on Thursday night.
It was validation that there are still a few heroes with the ability to transcend the games we play, and even make us forget our rooting allegiances.
While the Yankees, sports’ version of Apple, is a superbrand that the public either loves or hates, Jeter mostly transcended partisanship, a rather difficult balancing act.
Only the most ardent Yankee-hater is blinded by what Jeter represents. Whether he is the best, sixth-best, 10th-best shortstop of all time, it is irrelevant. No athlete should be put on the pedestal of being a role model, but given recent events, he certainly should be representative of the level of excellence, on all levels, that the people who play the games we root for should aspire to.