Monday, December 22, 2008

Call in Question

By: Jay Alter

The boys’ varsity soccer team had an early exit in the FCIAC tournament. They lost in what one would think to be convincing fashion because the score was 4-2 and Staples dominated the 2nd half.

The most questionable call took place when Darien was leading 2-1, late in the first half of the game. As time was running down in the first half, video evidence and multiple witnesses defend that a Darien player took a free kick from mid-field and then passed it down field where senior Graham Christensen, team captain and star player, jumped up to head the ball with the Staples goalie. They collided, knocking the ball out of bounds. The collision caused the ref to turn his head to the ball and thereby not see the goalie tackle Graham to the ground. Graham pushed him off just to be knocked down again by two of the Staples defenders. As a result of the tussle, Graham was given a RED CARD and the staples players just a yellow.

The ref denied comment to Graham and the coaches on Darien and to me specifically. This didn’t help the ref’s case for the call and nobody ever got any sufficient explanations for the call to Coach Brown or Graham, even after Graham had questioned it in numerous e-mails to the referee. Graham said, “The ref wouldn’t even look at are (our) video or letters about the play.” Graham later said, “The video shows that I never made any violent moves and that the ref’s head follows the ball out of bounds and doesn’t see what happens, what did happen is that the goalie took me down. He also, didn’t consult either of the two referees when making his call.”

Staples Coach, Dan Woog, commented, “No one likes to see a red card. I’m glad there were three officials on the game, because they consulted with each other before the red card was given. In terms of Staples, our goalkeeper and a defender both received yellow cards on the play.” The ball bounced around for 10 seconds before our new keeper finally saved it. So that play – not just Darien’s red, but Staples’ yellows had an impact on both teams.”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Girls Basketball Preview

by Jack Bushell

With the addition of Gary Peterson as the new varsity head coach, the girls’ basketball team looks to make a fast break into the new season. Tri-captains, Katie Meehan, Caroline Boulton and Liz Calby say they recognize the strengths and limitations of the new squad.
“We are not usually one of the top teams in the FCIAC so we don’t expect to win against the best teams but we are going to try really hard and hopefully end up with some unexpected wins,” Caroline Boulton said.
They have also moved on from last year’s debacle when the head coach was sacked. Yet, the girls still made it to the state tournament and lost in the first round to Fairfield Warde. “They are really good and we played a good game, so last season actually went pretty well at the end,” Captain Liz Calby said.
The team this year is young, with only two varsity players returning. “We're looking to a couple of our sophomores (Nicole Buch and Liz Murphy) as well as the entire junior class to step up and make a difference on this team,” Calby said. The only two seniors are the two captains: Caroline Boulton and Katie Meehan. “We lost the whole starting line up from last year so not that many of us have much playing experience. Everyone will need to prove that they belong on this team and on the court,” Boulton said.
You can read the complete girls’ basketball preview in the January issue of Neirad Enilno live on January 1st.