Although the weather has not been all that cooperative, that didn‚Äôt stop the spring season from beginning. Games may have been rescheduled, but in the end, the athletes were finally able to get some playing time in over the past week and turned in some quality performances along the way.
New Britain‚Äôs Josleen Rivera and Berlin‚Äôs Peter Albert were able to do just, helping their respective squads to wins.
The Hurricanes softball team was able to come away with 4-2 win over Newington in its season opener on Thursday with Rivera leading the way from the pitching circle, while helping New Britain snap a streak in the process.
Rivera threw a complete game, giving up just two runs (one earned) to help the Hurricanes beat the Indians for the first time in four years (12 tries). She also struck out seven batters, walked three and gave up five hits on the afternoon.
‚ÄúShe‚Äôs radiant at mound, she doesn‚Äôt skip a beat,‚ÄĚ New Britain head coach Joel Simmone said of Rivera. ‚Äú[Thursday] was amazing. I said before the game to our athletic director, Len Cortro, ‚ÄėIf she keeps Newington‚Äôs leadoff hitter off base, Cyan Gonzales, we‚Äôre going to win the game.‚Äô She kept her off and we won the game.‚ÄĚ ¬†
What made the performance that much more impressive was it was Rivera‚Äôs first varsity start with the Hurricanes after spending her freshman season at a magnet school. And the thought of having the likes of what could be such a quality pitcher moving forward has Simmone excited.
‚ÄúWhen I found out she was going to a magnet school last year I was devastated,‚ÄĚ Simmone said. ‚ÄúIf I had her last year with another girl that transferred with last year‚Äôs team - wow - things could have gone differently. But when I heard she was coming back I was very, very excited and happy. I‚Äôm just really looking forward to this.‚ÄĚ
As for Rivera, while she was a little nervous heading into the game, showed what a difference maker she has the potential to be.
‚ÄúWe just kept a positive vibe throughout the game,: Rivera said after the win. ‚ÄúIf we keep the same vibe I definitely see us going far [this season]. We have a really good relationship, this team, so with us having this relationship, we‚Äôre definitely going to make it far.‚ÄĚ
The snow last Friday did not stop the Berlin boys lacrosse team against Tolland on Friday. In fact, the Redcoats turned in a dominant performance as they collected a 16-3 victory for their first win of the season.
There were plenty of Berlin players who finished the afternoon with multiple scores, but it was Albert, who ended the game with a game-high four goals.
After coming off of a hard loss to Farmington to open the season, the senior wanted help the Redcoats to bounce back.
‚ÄúI took every opportunity to score by dodging and hitting the open shots,‚ÄĚ Albert said. ‚ÄúAfter I scored multiple goals, the defense was aware what I could do and they all wanted to slide to me so I found the open man no matter who it was so they could score as well. It was a great team win at home.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúPeter is a selfless, tough, smart player who is just as willing to set a pick for a teammate as he is to take the game-winning shot,‚ÄĚ Berlin head coach Scott Rossi said. ‚ÄúPeter‚Äôs ability to find space on the field is uncanny and is matched only by his willingness to dodge and finish with his left or right hand. ¬†As a senior captain, he has worked hard to put himself into a position to finish his high school career as one of the best attackmen I have had the pleasure of coaching.‚ÄĚ
Albert started playing lacrosse in third grade. He was first introduced to the game his older cousins, particularly Tyler and Jordan Kradas, played and always liked how different lacrosse was compared to other sports.
‚ÄúThey have taught me so much throughout the years,‚ÄĚ Albert said. ‚ÄúTyler played in college and set the standard. Jordan chose not to play in college, but he was a high goal scorer in high school. I wanted to follow in their footsteps so I worked hard so I could be great like they were.‚ÄĚ
Albert is one of the six seniors leading the Redcoats this season and will be one of the key players they will rely on to get back to the postseason.
‚ÄúPeter is as dedicated to his team as he is to perfecting his craft on and off the field,‚ÄĚ Rossi said. ‚ÄúHe is the first player to arrive and one of the last to leave. He is a quiet, confident leader who will do whatever it takes to win.‚ÄĚ ¬†
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org