The soccer turf at Penders Field, on October 19, provided proof that records are to be discarded when friendly rivals clash. The Stratford and Bunnell girls' and boys' soccer teams competed in their annual double header, and games were very competitive.
The Bunnell Bulldogs came out on top in both matchups, but the Red Devils certainly put up a fight. In the boys' contest, Bunnell won 2-1. The Bulldogs improved to 4-3-2 in the SWC and the Red Devils fell to 1-8. In the girls' game, the Bulldogs prevailed 2-0 to improve to 4-6 in conference play; Stratford hung in there before dropping to 1-8 this fall.
Nick Polica and Derick Celestin scored for Bunnell and Thomas Castro scored on a penalty kick for Stratford.
"The rivalry between Bunnell and Stratford is a good tradition in our town, one that I participated in as a player and now get to do so as a coach. I look forward to it, and I like to think of it as a platform for showcasing soccer in town. This year, for example, we had youth players walk out with starters and they were ball boys as well," said Ryan Jockers, coach of the Stratford boys.
"My players do enjoy playing in the games, and generally are more focused for those matches. This year, Bunnell is a much-improved side, and that bodes well for soccer in Stratford; that will force us to get better, and the better that each side gets, the better soccer will be in town," Jockers added.
In the girls' game, Mia DiPronio and Fabiola Millien-Faustin scored for the Bulldogs and goalkeeper Sarah Tartaglio earned the shutout with a trio of saves.
"It's always competitive. The wins go out the window. Both teams play hard," Bunnell Coach Sebastian Wojdaszka said.
"This year it was very competitive. It was a very good game," Stratford Coach Sarah Stevens added.