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1

Head Coach Martha Phelan hoists the trophy after the North Haven girls’ swimming and diving squad captured its first state title in program history by finishing in first place at the Class M State Championship. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Head Coach Martha Phelan hoists the trophy after the North Haven girls’ swimming and diving squad captured its first state title in program history by finishing in first place at the Class M State Championship. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

2

The North Haven cheerleading squad took home SCC and state championships this winter, followed by a second-place performance at the New England Championship. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

The North Haven cheerleading squad took home SCC and state championships this winter, followed by a second-place performance at the New England Championship. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

3

The Amity-North Haven-Cheshire girls’ ice hockey squad went on a magical run to claim its conference crown in 2019. Pictured from the Blades are Meaghan Hogan, North Haven residents Caitlin Ranciato, Katie St. Peter, and Shannon Reilly, and Hannah Sosensky and Andrea Delvecchio. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

The Amity-North Haven-Cheshire girls’ ice hockey squad went on a magical run to claim its conference crown in 2019. Pictured from the Blades are Meaghan Hogan, North Haven residents Caitlin Ranciato, Katie St. Peter, and Shannon Reilly, and Hannah Sosensky and Andrea Delvecchio. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

4

Lauren Card pitched three perfect games while helping the North Haven softball team notch 22 victories and make it back to the SCC Tournament final in 2019. File photo by Susan Lambert/The Courier

Lauren Card pitched three perfect games while helping the North Haven softball team notch 22 victories and make it back to the SCC Tournament final in 2019. (File photo by Susan Lambert/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

5

Julia Migliorini finished her excellent high school career on the tennis court by having an exceptional senior season for North Haven. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Julia Migliorini finished her excellent high school career on the tennis court by having an exceptional senior season for North Haven. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

6

Erica Marriott took first place in the long jump at numerous postseason meets throughout her career with the Indians, including a few times during her senior year.

File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Erica Marriott took first place in the long jump at numerous postseason meets throughout her career with the Indians, including a few times during her senior year. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

7

The Max Sinoway Little League Majors All-Star baseball squad had a memorable summer that culminate with an appearance in the state championship game. File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

The Max Sinoway Little League Majors All-Star baseball squad had a memorable summer that culminate with an appearance in the state championship game. (File photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)

2019 North Haven Sports Year in Review

Published Dec 27, 2019 • Last Updated 02:52 pm, December 31, 2019

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The past year featured plenty of notable moments on the North Haven sports scene. The North Haven cheerleading team won SCC and state titles in the winter season, while the girls’ swimming and diving squad took home a state crown during the fall. The summer season saw the Max Sinoway Little League Majors All-Star baseball team go on a run to remember. Let’s take a look back at the highlights of North Haven sports in 2019.

Winter

The North Haven cheerleading team put together a double-banner campaign by winning conference and state titles during the winter of 2019. The Indians claimed the crown at the Southern Connecticut Conference Championship and the Class L State Championship to make it a year to remember in North Haven.

The Indians began their championship journey with a first-place finish in the All-Girl Division at the SCC Championship. North Haven dethroned defending champion Shelton on its way to winning its third SCC title in program history. One month later, the Indians won their second state title in team history when they delivered a first-place performance at the Class L State Championship. Head Coach Kathleen Crisafi’s squad went on to finish in second place at the New England Regional Championship.

North Haven’s senior captains were Abby Haggerty, Renee Myjak, and Sarina Sandwell. Jillian Rowland was the other senior on the squad.

The Amity-North Haven- Cheshire girls’ ice hockey team made history by going on a second-half surge to capture its conference championship this winter. Following a slow start, the Blades won 12 of their last 17 games during a stretch that saw the squad take home the SCC South Division II Tournament title with a 4-3 victory over West Haven-Sacred Heart Academy in the final. Head Coach John Peschell’s team also qualified for the State Tournament and ultimately finished the year with a record of 12-11-1.

North Haven residents Shannon Reilly and Caitlyn Ranciato served as senior captains for the Blades. Ranciato was also the team’s goalkeeper. Senior Katie St. Peter and sophomore Kelsey McCarthy were the other North Haven players on the team.

The Indians’ girls’ basketball squad qualified for the Class L State Tournament this year. As the No. 30 seed, North Haven notched a 45-34 victory at No. 3 seed Bullard-Havens in a first-round game. The Indians took a second-round loss to Hand to finish at 8-14 overall.

Senior Erica Marriott turned in a huge postseason performance for the North Haven girls’ indoor track team. Marriott won the long jump at the SCC West Sectional Championship (17 feet-10.75 inches), took second at the SCC Championship (17-6), and then won the event at the Class L State Championship with a distance of 16-4.

Junior Kyle Maruca finished first in the shot put for the boys’ indoor track team at the SCC Championship with a toss of 48-1. Senior Robert Farley took first in the 55 hurdles (8.05 seconds) in the SCC West Sectional Championship, while fellow senior Eric Spignesi won the pole vault (12-0).

Senior JP Stoeffler claimed first place in the 50 freestyle for the North Haven boys’ swimming and diving team at the SCC Championship. Stoeffler clocked in with a lifetime-best mark of 21.99 seconds on his way to finishing first.

Spring

The North Haven softball team enjoyed another outstanding season this spring. The Indians recorded 22 victories while advancing to the SCC Tournament final and the Class L State Tournament quarterfinals in 2019.

North Haven went 18-2 during the regular season, including a record of 7-1 in the SCC Housatonic Division to win its third-straight division title. Then in the SCC Tournament, the Indians defeated Sacred Heart Academy (8-0) and Law (11-3) to make the conference final for the second year in a row. North Haven took a 3-2, eight-inning loss against Cheshire in the SCC championship game.

In the Class L State Tournament, North Haven earned wins versus Rockville (11-2) and Maloney (8-0) to advance to the semifinals, where the Indians lost to Masuk by an 8-4 score. Head Coach Karen Castagnola’s club finished the campaign with an overall record of 22-4.

Senior Lauren Card pitched three perfect games for North Haven during the year. Card tossed a perfect game against Sheehan in the regular season and then did so versus Law in SCCs and Maloney in states.

The North Haven baseball team went 12-11 overall on its way to qualifying for SCCs and states in Bob DeMayo’s 61st season as head coach. In the SCC Tournament, the Indians earned a 5-4, 11-inning victory over Notre Dame-West Haven in a quarterfinal matchup. Senior Matt Solomon hit a two-run home run in the top of the 11th to lift North Haven to the win. The Indians went on to lose to Cheshire in the SCC semis and then dropped a contest versus East Lyme in the first round of states.

The Indians’ girls’ tennis team completed its year with a record of 14-7 after reaching the SCC and Class M State tournaments. North Haven defeated Suffield 7-0 in its first states match before taking a loss to Avon in its next contest.

Senior Julia Migliorini finished up a decorated career as North Haven’s No. 1 singles player by going undefeated for the regular season and then advancing to the semifinals of the State Open Championship. Migliorini won four matches at the State Open on her way to making the semifinal round. She went 25-1 on the season and finished her high school career with a record of 99-5.

The boys’ tennis team had a fine year in its own right. North Haven posted a record of 11-8 to make the SCC Tournament and also qualify for the Class L State Championship for the sixth-consecutive season.

Senior Erica Marriott took first place in three events for the North Haven girls’ outdoor track team at the Class MM State Championship. Marriott won the 100 (12.45), the 200 (22.54), and the long jump (17-11.5) to help the Indians come in fourth place at the meet. Senior Camille Sahirul finished first in the triple jump (36-10.5) for North Haven.

Marriott also won the 100 (12.82) and the 200 (25.00) at the SCC Championship. Prior to that, she finished first in the 100 (12.53) and 200 (25.38) at the SCC West Sectional Championship, where senior Giselle Zumerchik took first place in the 300 intermediate hurdles (47.03).

The North Haven boys’ lacrosse squad qualified for the Class M State Tournament and then notched two victories in the bracket. The Indians beat Norwich Tech-Windham Tech (19-0) and Berlin (9-6) before taking a loss to Guilford to finish at 11-8.

Summer

The Max Sinoway Little League Majors All-Star baseball team went on a historic run that saw North Haven claim its first District 4 championship since 1967 on its way to reaching the title game of the State Tournament this summer. Sinoway’s run came to an end when the team took a 6-0 loss against Madison in the state final.

Max Sinoway won the District 4 Tournament and the Section 1 Tournament to advance to the State Tournament. In the District 4 bracket, North Haven posted a 7-4 victory versus North Branford, took a 7-5 loss to Milford, and then notched a 17-1 victory over Branford and a 13-7 win against Orange in the round-robin portion. Sinoway went on to get a 7-4 victory versus West Haven in the quarterfinals, a 14-4 win against North Branford in the semis, and a 5-1 over Milford in the championship game to take its first district title in 52 years.

In the Section 1 Tournament, Sinoway earned a 7-6 victory against Fairfield American, beat Darien by a 9-3 score, and then claimed a 7-1 win over Darien to win the tourney.

Max Sinoway started off the State Tournament by taking a 5-4, eight-inning loss to Simsbury. Facing elimination, North Haven earned a 3-1 win over Brooklyn-Pomfret to stay alive. Sinoway went on to post a 3-0 shutout over Simsbury in another elimination game to make the final. Sinoway notched a 6-4 win over Madison in the first game of the state championship before taking a 6-0 loss in a rematch with the title on the line the following day.

The players on Max Sinoway’s roster were Nate Acevedo, Alex Bowery, Chris Cretella, Jordan Higgins, Chris Kottage, Joe Mastroianni, Bryce Montabana, Nick Romano, Ryan Semple, Brandon Stevens, John Slais, and Jaden Wells. Head Coach Angelo Romano was assisted by coaches Vic Acevedo and Chris Cretella.

The North Haven Senior American Legion baseball team won 29 games, including three in the State Tournament this year. During the regular season, Post 76 went 18-9 in Zone 2 to finish second in the standings. North Haven started the double-elimination state bracket with a 3-1 win over Oakville and then took a 5-3, nine-inning loss to Stamford. Post 76 responded by winning elimination games against Oakville (5-3) and Stamford (7-1) to set up a winner-take-all matchup against Stamford. Post 76 dropped a 3-1 decision to Stamford and ultimately finished its season with a mark of 29-14.

The North Haven Junior Legion baseball squad qualified for the State Tournament, where the team defeated Fairfield 3-1 in its first game. Post 76 later took defeats versus Wallingford (9-2) and Fairfield (3-2) to finish at 12-21 overall.

Fall

The North Haven girls’ swimming and diving team had an epic 2019 season that featured many milestones, including the first state title in the history of the program. The Indians won the state crown by placing ahead of defending champion Hand to finish in first place at the Class M State Championship. Head Coach Martha Phelan’s team also posted a program-best record of 9-2 during the regular season and then recorded its all-time best showing at the SCC Championship with a third-place performance.

Senior captain Angela Gambardella set school and Class M records while winning the 200 individual medley (2:04.62) and the 100 breaststroke (1:02.27) at the state meet. Junior Maddie Bergin claimed first place in the 50 freestyle (24.01) and the 100 freestyle (52.52) for the Indians.

North Haven’s 200 medley relay of sophomore Brooke Nebor, Gambardella, freshman Mikayla Rapuano, and Bergin finished first with a school-record time of 1:48.26 at states. The 200 freestyle relay of Gambardella, sophomore Taya Laborde, junior Riley Jooss, and Bergin took first place with a mark of 1:39.76, which was also a school record.

Senior Ava Santacroce became the first North Haven diver to take first place at the SCC Diving Championship when she scored a 401.70 to earn top honors in the meet. Santacroce went on to finish second at the Class M Diving Championship with a score of 402.55. She also set the school record for a six-dive performance several times during the regular season, ultimately finishing with a score of 246.65.

Bergin finished first in the 50 freestyle (24.14) and the 100 freestyle (52.30) at the SCC Championship, setting a school record in the 100 free. She went on to break the school record in the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.90 in her third-place finish at the State Open. Gambardella claimed first place in the 200 IM (2:07.13) and the 100 breaststroke (1:03.37) at the SCC meet. North Haven’s 200 medley relay of Nebor, Gambardella, Rapuano, and Bergin finished first with a 1:49.39.

The North Haven football squad bounced back from a 1-3 start to finish with a mark of 6-4 this fall. The Indians wrapped up the campaign by earning a 49-13 victory in their annual matchup against Amity on Thanksgiving Eve.

North Haven also defeated Bunnell (56-16), Staples (53-20), Pomperaug (41-0), Sheehan (28-14), and Xavier (42-14) on its way to a winning record.

The senior captains for the Indians were Pat DaSilva, Luke Maruca, and Joe Vitale. Anthony Sagnella finished his 23rd season as North Haven’s head coach.

The North Haven girls’ soccer team put forth a solid performance in its first year with Head Coach Gary Collins. After losing seven of their first eight games, the Indians went 4-1-3 down to stretch to qualify for the Class L State Tournament. North Haven took a first-round loss to Guilford to finish at 5-8-3. North Haven was led by senior captains Katie Chieffo, Erika Holle, and Katie Ryan.

The Indians’ volleyball squad qualified for the Class L State Tournament this year. North Haven lost to Fitch in the first round to finish at 10-11 overall.

The North Haven boys’ cross country team captured the SCC Oronoque Division title to highlight its campaign.

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