Stakes are high for Hawks

Woodland’s Gillian Hotchkiss (16) pushes the ball up the field past Seymour’s Mia Accavallo (9) Sept. 9 in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 7-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Woodland’s Gillian Hotchkiss (16) pushes the ball up the field past Seymour’s Mia Accavallo (9) Sept. 9 in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 7-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The target only got bigger two games into the season.

Woodland, the defending NVL champions, breezed to a season-opening 7-0 win over Seymour Sept. 9. The Hawks followed that up with a 3-1 win over Watertown on the road Tuesday in a rematch of the last year’s NVL final.

Woodland (2-0) goalie Jenna Pannone recorded her 22nd career shutout versus Seymour. She stopped the Wildcats’ only shot on goal. Eliza Smith led the defensive charge out in front of the net.

“We have a relatively new defensive backfield and they are young,” Woodland head coach Cait Witham said. “We have a junior, two sophomores and a freshman and they are starting to understand their roles.”

The Hawks got a number of players involved offensively versus Seymour. Haley Andrews and Sam Plasky led the attack, each putting two goals in the net. Juliana Villano, Julia Accetura and Hailey Boris added goals to complete the Woodland attack.

Woodland’s Megen Sirowich (12) fends off Seymour’s Fiona Smith (24) Sept. 9 in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 7-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Woodland’s Megen Sirowich (12) fends off Seymour’s Fiona Smith (24) Sept. 9 in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 7-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

“We were a little anxious to get the first one out of the way,” Witham said. “I liked the way we were finishing. Sometimes that can be a problem, but from a coaching standpoint it’s never as consistent as you would like it to be.”

On Tuesday, the Hawks got goals from Julia Casimiro, Gillian Hotchkiss and Boris to top the Indians (1-1). Pannone made seven saves in net.

It’s going to be a tough go of it for the Hawks as every team in the league will be gunning to take Woodland down. Next up for Woodland is neighboring Naugatuck. The Hawks will host the Greyhounds Friday at 3:30 p.m.

“Everyone is going to want to go after us,” Witham said. “That is the biggest challenge as a coach is to have them ready for that kind of intensity in every game we play.

“It won’t get any easier as we host Naugatuck on Friday. We just need to come out ready to go in every game we play. I just need to get them to understand that.”