It is time for the first round of city series competition, as the high school sports season moves past the halfway point this week.
Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern will square off against each other in boys and girls soccer and in volleyball early this week with plenty on the line, including postseason qualification and standings in the CCC South divisional races.
The city’s three swim squads will battle in their annual city meet on Saturday.
Because of the concern about mosquitoes and the EEE virus, the soccer games will not be the traditional nighttime doubleheader. Instead, the boys teams will battle today in a 3:30 start at Central and the girls will meet tomorrow, also at 3:30, at Eastern. The volleyball match is Tuesday night at Eastern.
Bristol Eastern‘s boys soccer and volleyball teams have already clinched berths in the postseason after making it through the first month of the season unbeaten.
Central’s volleyball is a win away and the Rams’ boys soccer team needs a win and a tie. The girls soccer teams from both schools are well within grasp of a tourney berth, while the teams from St. Paul and Terryville will need to step it up over the second half of the season in order to advance.
The boys soccer match this afternoon at Bristol Central looks, on paper at least, to be a high scoring affair.
Eastern is 6-0-1 on the year and tied with Lewis Mills for first place in the CCC South Patriot Division. The Lancers have been putting the ball in the net at a prolific pace.
Bristol Central comes into the game at 5-2 and just behind the Lancers and Spartans in the divisional race. The Rams had trouble scoring early in the year, but have scored 20 goals while winning their last four in a row.
Both teams will need to have the defense step up in today’s game. The Rams will need to deal with the highly skilled Lancer forwards, while Eastern defenders will need to find a way to counter Central’s speed up front.
The girls’ match tomorrow features a couple of teams that have played very well within the CCC South, but have had some struggles outside the division.
Central is 4-2-1, while Eastern is 3-2-2 on the year. They are tied for second place at 2-1-1 in the division. The Rams need two wins and the Lancers need at least two wins and a tie to clinch their postseason spots.
Central has held its own against some very strong teams in the last few games, but has not been able to break into the win column against a quality opponent and will be looking to do that tomorrow. The Lancers are unbeaten in their last three and hope to continue that streak against the Rams.
The volleyball match shapes up to be one of the more competitive in the series that has been dominated by the Lancers. Central, 7-2, has not won against Eastern in volleyball since 1995; but after holding their own before finally succumbing to a traditional powerhouse at RHAM last Friday, the Rams are hoping to put an end to that streak.
It will not be easy, however, as the Lancers are 9-0 and have rolled over all of their opponents this season. Eastern has lost just one game in nine matches and is not about to let its streak end.
St. Paul will be the host team for the annual city swimming championship meet. The meet begins at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Malone Pool. Eastern will be out to defend its city championship.
The rest of the week shapes up to be an interesting challenge for area teams.
St. Paul volleyball lost its first game on the court last week at Woodland and fell to 4-5. The Falcons have battled to overcome their early season forfeits and are still four wins away from the postseason.
St. Paul should pick up a couple of those wins as it takes on Kennedy in Waterbury tonight and hosts Torrington on Thursday. But the Falcons face their biggest test of the season at unbeaten Seymour on Friday night.
Terryville volleyball fell to 2-3 last week and will need to find a way to get some more wins if it hopes to be playing in November. The Kangaroos are at Northwestern tomorrow and host Coginchaug on Wednesday in their only action of the week.
On the soccer pitch, St. Paul’s boys beat Oxford last week to improve to 3-5. The Falcons need to find four more wins over the second half of the season to advance. They will need to step it up this week with two home matches against teams with winning records. They take on Torrington (4-2) tomorrow and Waterbury Career (6-2-1) on Friday.
The St. Paul girls have managed just one win in the first half and need a big turnaround in the second half. They have only two matches this week, both against teams that have had some success. St. Paul visits Torrington in an NVL match tonight, then steps out of the league to battle 6-2 Woodstock Academy at home on Saturday.
Terryville’s girls soccer team enjoyed a big week last week to move back to the .500 mark. At 3-3, the Kangaroos still need to pick up seven more points. They have a tough one at home against unbeaten Nonnewaug on Thursday, but have a chance to add to their win total at Shepaug on Tuesday.
Terryville’s boys have struggled through the early part of the season. The Kangaroos have lost three in a row and will host winless Shepaug tomorrow as they look to break that streak. Terryville travels to 5-1 Nonnewaug on Thursday.
After their city series matchups, Bristol Central boys soccer will host Conard on Thursday and Eastern hosts Avon in a big match on Friday. The Central girls are at Conard on Friday night, while the Lancers travel to Simsbury for a Thursday match.
The volleyball teams will look to continue their run through the CCC with interdivisional matchups. Central is at Farmington on Friday and Eastern visits Southington on Wednesday. The Lancers will play in the Volleyball Fall Brawl at RHAM on Saturday.
Eastern’s swimmers will tune up for Saturday’s city meet with a visit to Windsor on Friday. St. Paul will take on Wilby, Kaynor Tech and Waterbury career at Wilby on Friday. Bristol Central has the rest of this week off.
After contesting their city series last Friday, the Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern cross country teams will spend the week prepping for next week’s league championship meets. St. Paul has an NVL quad-meet against Crosby, Sacred Heart and Wolcott at Bucks Hill Park and Terryville takes on Shepaug and Thomaston in a Berkshire League match at Shepaug on Tuesday. Central and Terryville will both run in the Wickham Park Invitational on Saturday.