NAUGATUCK — After stringing together two solid games to even their record, the Greyhounds faced a pair of stiff tests.
The first came Oct. 7 against perennial power Watertown. The Greyhounds headed into the showdown with Watertown off back-to-back shutout victories over Sacred Heart and Ansonia, but it was the Indians who imposed their will in an 8-2 win.
Naugatuck held its own over the first ten minutes, but came up empty of a couple of chances that would have swayed the momentum in their favor. Watertown took full advantage and piled up three quick breakaway scores from Meadow Mancini to take over the game.
“I thought we started out strong and we were able to move the ball and came up with a couple of opportunities,” Naugatuck head coach Lisa Mariano said. “We were supporting each other like we had worked on in practice, but lost a little bit of our step when we came up short on a few early chances.”
Morgan Dodge buried a couple of shots to the back of the net in the final ten minutes of the half and Watertown took a commanding 5-0 lead at the break.
Kyla Magalhaes and Nicole Crowley each delivered a goal and an assist in the second half but the damage was already done.
“Watertown put together a couple of breakaway opportunities and that changed the momentum of the game,” Mariano said. “I felt like we started to gain some traction with those back-to-back shutout wins but then we hit this bump in the road.”
The challenge for the Greyhounds would be responding to the adversity as they sought to bounce back Tuesday versus Wolcott on the road. The Eagles earned the 3-0 win to drop Naugatuck to 4-6 on the year. Cassidy Baranowski made seven saves for Naugatuck.
“We need to learn from it and move forward. I still feel we are a very good team. … We still have some work to do and we just need to focus on our next game and take them one at a time,” Mariano said.
Naugatuck will host St. Paul on Friday and Torrington Oct. 18.