BEACON FALLS — The Hawks used a second-half comeback to secure a season-opening 2-1 win Sept. 9 over Seymour in a match that could play out again at the NVL tournament.
“Seymour is a very good team,” said Woodland head coach Tony Moutinho, who guided the Hawks to the NVL championship game last season. “They have an excellent coach and a very good defense. We came out with a little bit of opening-game jitters. But once we settled down we kept our composure and played really well in the second half.”
In a game that featured two of the NVL’s best senior goalkeepers — Woodland’s A.J. Oliveira and Seymour’s Peter Ragaini — it was Seymour that struck first.
Seymour jumped out on top 15 minutes into the game on a goal by Griffen Tomas. The Wildcats held that 1-0 lead into halftime.
Xavier Gibson, Zach Powanda and Ryan Swanson led the Woodland defense and Oliveira (6 saves) shutout the Wildcats the rest of the way.
“At halftime we talked about staying with what we were doing on defense and getting more touches with our passing on offense,” Moutinho said.
The Hawks tied the game 10 minutes into the second half when Christian Poirier sent one to the back of the net. Woodland went ahead for good with 20 minutes to go when Dante Polletta got one to go past Ragaini (5 saves).
Woodland improved to 2-0 with a 4-2 victory over Kennedy on Tuesday.
The offense was spread around as Maciej Lewicki, Jack LaPerriere, Senol Music and James Nelson each scored goals. Oliveira made 14 saves in goal to thwart the Eagles’ attack.
The road to an NVL title won’t get easier anytime soon for the Hawks. Woodland will play at Naugatuck Friday at 6 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s NVL championship game.