Congrats to our UChoose Student-Athlete of the Week:
Ricardo Lopez, Maloney High boys soccer

Ricardo Lopez of Maloney High in Meriden has been voted our fifth UChoose Student-Athlete of the Week of the fall!

Lopez scored a goal and assisted another in Maloney’s 2-1 victory over RHAM in the CCC boys soccer tournament championship game Oct. 29 at Middeltown High. Maloney (17-2-1) is the seventh seed in the CIAC Class L tournament.

Ken Lipshez of the Meriden Record-Journal on Lopez’s first-half goal:


Maloney’s Ricardo Lopez

The Spartans’ first goal was a display of stunning individual skill.

Lopez gained control of the ball in the center of the field in space. When two defenders converged on him, he stutter-stepped to the outside of (RHAM goalie) Ryan Kennedy, curled right toward the net and drilled it into the left corner in the 32nd minute.

“I trusted my touches. I knew I could beat [Kennedy] down the side,” said Lopez, who along with (Marcos) Bozi has 14 goals this year. “I looked at the ball, gave it all my power and got a great hit on it.

“I’ve got the speed. I had the motivation to give it all I had at that moment.”

(Maloney coach Dave) Parness marveled at his midfielder’s explosiveness.

“I think he accelerates as well as anybody else does in the league,” he said. “If he makes one guy miss and he has space, I think you’re in trouble. He’s a no-brainer All-Stater.”

Congrats to Rafael, who joins Fairfield Warde girls soccer player Taylor Gabrenas and Cheshire girls volleyball player Jillian Haberli,  Torrington boys soccer player Kevin Vaca ando Cheney Tech-Manchester quarterback Rafael Lebron as our UChoose honorees this fall.

Click here on our guidelines for the award, which is determined in an online vote starting Saturday night and ending Monday at noon. Be on the lookout for our Week 8 nominees starting Nov. 8!