Hoping to have something
As we inch ever so closer to the start of the regular season, the hopes for every student-athlete is this: Let the games begin! There have been no high school events for close to seven months. Girls soccer players started conditioning in cohorts of 10 almost three months ago. They haven been practicing as a unit since Monday. Getting through the season will be a difficult task during this COVID-19 pandemic, but the opportunity is still there to be had.
Staying close to home
In order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, teams are playing the closest schools in proximity to prevent long trips spent on buses. Some teams ended up changing leagues (see below). For instance, Guilford will play both Hand and Wilbur Cross three times apiece and both Branford and East Haven twice apiece. Ridgefield will face Wilton, McMahon, Danbury, Staples and Norwalk twice apiece. The border rivalries remain intact.
How do some regions look?
The regional, smaller schedules have led to less marquee matchups. Glastonbury and Southington, last year’s Class LL state finalists out of the CCC, won’t face one another. St. Joseph wont face either Staples or Ridgefield — which eliminated the Cadets in the FCIAC and Class LL state tournaments, respectively last year — during the regular season. All of the Milford-based schools — Foran, Law, Lauralton Hall and Platt Tech — are in the same SCC division with Amity, Shelton and West Haven. The CTC had the biggest upheaval, sending its teams to all different leagues. The Capitol Regional Athletic League took in five teams: Prince Tech, Goodwin Tech, Vinal Tech, Wilcox Tech and Cheney Tech; the ECC took in four: Grasso Tech, Norwich Tech, Ellis Tech and Windham Tech. Bullard-Havens went to the SWC and Wolcott Tech to the Berkshire League.
Tournament format TBD
Not even the CIAC knows for sure what format will be used if we reach November. The CIAC is calling it a “tournament experience” that could include every team, regardless of record. The state tournaments by division will not be used this season to reduce travel and prevent the spread of the virus. It would be a win to get to that point and likely be a special way to go out for seniors in what will be the most strangest of seasons.
Which conference is best?
Without a true state tournament to determine the best team for 2020, and teams only playing its closest rivals, you will be hard-pressed to know for certain which league reigns supreme. Glastonbury and Southington — which will not face one another this season — squared off in last year’s Class LL state championship game. Glastonbury won 1-0. The two CCC teams eliminated FCIAC teams — Glastonbury defeated Staples and Southington ousted Ridgefield, both by 1-0 counts — in the semifinals. So you will be forced to draw your own conclusions here.