Loss stokes Hawks’ fire

Woodland’s Shannon Pruzinsky (14) races Jonathan Law’s Kristen Passaro (20) to the ball Sept. 30 in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 4-0. –LUKE MARSHALL

Woodland’s Jillian O’Neil (14) races Jonathan Law’s Kristen Passaro (20) to the ball Sept. 30 in Beacon Falls. Woodland won the game, 4-0. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — Sometimes a little reminder is the right amount of incentive to rekindle the flames. The Woodland girls soccer team got that reminder Sept. 27 in a 1-0 loss to Watertown.

The game marked the first regular season league loss for the Hawks in two years, and the first time the Hawks were shut out since last season’s 0-0 tie with Wolcott.

“I have been preaching to these girls that if you don’t come out ready to play every game one of those times you will find yourself on the losing side,” Woodland head coach Cait Witham said. “It was a reality check the loss to Watertown. We are not last year’s team and we need to take a different approach. I think it taught us a valuable lesson.”

On Tuesday, Woodland got back on track in the NVL and a little bit of revenge against Wolcott. The Hawks unleashed an offensive assault in a 5-1 win and dealt the Eagles their first loss of the season.

The Hawks (7-1) wasted no time in gaining the early momentum. Hailey Boris (two goals, one assist) took a pass from Juliana Villano and sent it to the back of the net at the 26:54 mark. Boris again connected at 19:22 on an assist from Haley Andrews to give Woodland a 2-0 cushion.

“Our passing was the key to starting out so quickly,” Boris said. “Haley lobbed a nice pass over the defense and I was there to finish it up. It was a total team effort. The loss to Watertown only motivates us to want to win for the rest of the season and be ready to play them again in the tournament.”

Megen Sirowich scored on an assist from Boris to extend the lead to 3-0 with five minutes to go in the first half.

Wolcott (5-1-3) had trouble maintaining possessions against Woodland’s staunch defense led by Eliza Smith, Sam Plasky, Micheala Mastropietro and Olivia Kotsaftis.

“We just had to come out and make a statement,” Smith said. “After that loss to Watertown it was rough because we didn’t come out with everything we had. We do have some younger players on defense and they are coming along.

Woodland’s Haley Andrews (8) gets control of the ball versus Jonathan Law. Woodland won the game, 4-0. –LUKE MARSHALL

Woodland’s Haley Andrews (8) gets control of the ball versus Jonathan Law. Woodland won the game, 4-0. –LUKE MARSHALL

“The communication back there is so important, and being the veteran player they look to me to set the tone so I need to be on my game.”

Julia Casimiro and Nicole Sherman kept the Wolcott attackers under wraps. It took a penalty kick for the Eagles to get on the board.

With 2:34 left in the first half Megan Doubleday got a penalty kick to go by Jenna Pannone to make it a 3-1 game. It was only the fourth goal of the season allowed by Pannone, as Woodland has outscored the opposition by a 35-4 margin.

The Hawks held a 10-4 advantage with shots on goal at the half and that dominance continued throughout the second half. Gillian Hotchkiss scored unassisted and Andrews completed the scoring on a direct kick inside the box for the 5-1 final margin.

“I made it a point in practice to remind them about last year (0-0 tie),” Witham said. “So we wanted to come out and out work them and play our style of game. We wanted to win our share of 50/50 balls and control the midfield, and we did a god job doing that.”

Woodland picked up an out-of-league win with a 4-0 victory over Jonathan Law Sept. 30. Plasky had two goals. Villano and Nicole Sherman added a goal each.

Woodland will visit Torrington on Thursday and Oxford on Oct. 11.