Relentless defense leads Greyhounds

Naugatuck’s Pedro De Souza pushes the ball up the field past Ansonia’s Michael Weir Sept. 30 in Naugatuck. Naugatuck won the game, 3-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Naugatuck’s Pedro De Souza pushes the ball up the field past Ansonia’s Michael Weir Sept. 30 in Naugatuck. Naugatuck won the game, 3-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck boys soccer team is on a mission, and its showing on the pitch.

The Greyhounds have outscored the opposition 23-1 through eight games thanks to a dominating defense led by Devon Curtis, David Ruela and Yan Silva, with Aren Seeger and Zack Alves splitting duties in the net.

Crosby got a taste of what Naugatuck’s defense is all about on Tuesday as the Greyhounds shut out the Bulldogs, 6-0.

“Our philosophy is if you can’t get scored on you can’t lose,” Curtis said. “That is what we take into every game we play. Our focus is on defense and then get the goals when the opportunity presents itself.”

Naugatuck (6-0-2) had plenty of opportunities against Crosby (2-5-2) in a hard-fought, physical game.

Tom Martins sent a rebound to the back of the net on a shot by Vinicius Knupp three minutes into the game to give Naugatuck the early 1-0 lead. Matt Carroll headed a ball into the box and Knupp finished it off to give the Greyhounds a 2-0 cushion at halftime.

The Greyhounds gained a little revenge against the Bulldogs, who dealt Naugatuck a 2-1 loss last year. That game was on the Greyhounds’ mind when they took the field on Tuesday.

“The key is we have each other’s back,” Curtis said. “It doesn’t matter if its offense or defense we are all one team with one goal and that is why we win. Our goalies are both phenomenal that makes are team so much better overall.

“Last year, Crosby came in here and beat us and that was a reality check. We needed to come and take control of this game right from the start and we did that in the first half.”

Candido Carrelo, Pedro DeSouza, Marco Rebelo and Brandon Vieira controlled the Greyhounds’ attack with midfielders Christian Jacobi, Sam Rego, Pedro Mendes and Waseem Aljamal winning possessions over the middle.

Naugatuck’s Marco Rebelo (27) runs in to defend against Ansonia’s Xander Viteri (15) Sept. 30 in Naugatuck. Naugatuck won the game, 3-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Naugatuck’s Marco Rebelo (27) runs in to defend against Ansonia’s Xander Viteri (15) Sept. 30 in Naugatuck. Naugatuck won the game, 3-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

The second half got a little chippy as Martins scored his second goal on a penalty kick to up the margin to 3-0. Naugatuck head coach Ryan Kinne began to send wave after wave of players to the scorer’s table to check in as the ‘Hounds took over the game.

Paul Marquardt, Gustavo Nacimento, Dan Pinho and Shawn Walsh entered the game all showing speed and field awareness as the Greyhounds’ opportunities began to increase with eight minutes to play.

Bernardo Arruda scored from the left side of the box with 8:07 left to play. Matt Triscritti put one to the back of the net that drew cheers from the crowd and Felipe Pereira finished the scoring with a goal at under a minute to play for the 6-0 final margin.

“Everyone in the stadium was cheering and it was just a great feeling,” Triscritti said. “Played three years of JV this was my first varsity goal. This is a family and we play to win and it doesn’t matter who scores. The unselfish play is why we are so successful.”

The Greyhounds earned a 3-0 win over Ansonia Sept. 30 led by Martins with two goals and Gabriel Carrelo with one goal.

The Greyhounds will be back in action Friday at Hamilton Park in Waterbury to take on Waterbury Career at 3:30 p.m.  Naugatuck will host Wolcott on Oct. 11.