Post-storm delays forces conference to cancel championships

Cameron Smith

Days after a shocking Saturday October snowstorm, the abnormally early winter blast was still taking victims in Connecticut. This time, it claimed a conference's championship games.

According to the Connecticut Post, Connecticut's South-West Conference was forced to cancel its annual field hockey and girls soccer championship games because of the significant delays that have been encountered from the storm. Both those sports were scheduled to have both semifinals and title games completed by this weekend, but Saturday's storm and the subsequent three days of canceled schools in Fairfield County conspired to ensure that none of those scheduled games had been played.

Lauralton Hall girls soccer
Lauralton Hall girls soccer

As a result, all four of the field hockey and girls soccer semifinals will be played on Sunday, and the winners of both semifinals will be crowned co-champions. The girls soccer semifinals will pit Lauralton Hall (Conn.) School against New Milford (Conn.) High and the winner of the Pomperaug (Conn.) High-Redding (Conn.) Joel Barlow High quarterfinal and Newtown (Conn.) High. The field hockey semifinals match Barlow against New Fairfield (Conn.) High and New Milford (Conn.) High against Lauralton Hall.

"It isn't perfect but the problems we faced were varied and serious," SWC executive secretary Norm Winnerman said in a statement to the press. "We had to deal with field availability after the heavy snow, closed schools due to power outages and local rules governing practice and play during school closings.

"The schedule you have here is the result of necessary compromises, not the least of which was crowding the tournament in before the start of the CIAC tournament season."

The CIAC tournament that Winnerman alludes to is the forthcoming Connecticut state tournament, which begins for field hockey, volleyball and boys and girls soccer on Monday. Given that the girls soccer and field hockey semifinals couldn't be fit in before Sunday, any championship games in those sports would have had to be played as part of a brutal back-to-back game for one of the winning teams.

That wasn't deemed to be in the best interest of the teams, many of which may open the state postseason slate on Monday, or the conference, which wants to see the teams last as long as possible in the CIAC Tournament.

Naturally, the loss of two conference title games isn't anywhere near as serious as the power outages that affected the daily lives of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey residents over the past week, but it definitely underscores just how serious -- and unexpected -- the early fall storm has been on the region.

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