BEACON FALLS — It wasn’t quite an upset, but it sure was close.
The Woodland boys’ soccer squad took on Seymour Tuesday afternoon at home and, for the first time in Woodland’s history, took something home from the matchup that wasn’t a loss.
The game ended in a 2-2 draw after two overtime periods, and the boys seemed to be glad for the change.
And it almost wasn’t a change. For almost 70 minutes, the game rolled by scoreless. In the first half, the ball—not to mention the game—was up in the air as much as it was on the ground.
In the second half, things intensified, and both Woodland keepers—Damien Giordano and Marc Beaulieu—and Seymour keeper Mike Breault, who recorded 12 saves, worked hard to keep the game sealed shut.
Then in the 70th minute, Woodland gave up one goal from Seymour’s Nick Capobianco—then another from Ryan Maher in the 75th minute—and the game seemed to be pulling away from the Hawks.
But forward Christian Pinho answered with a goal of his own off a header not a minute later, and Woodland was back in the game.
And just as the 79th minute ticked off the board and Woodland seemed doomed to a heartbreaking loss, Pinho scored again off a header, bringing the game to the 2-2 draw it sustained throughout two ten-minute, sudden death overtime periods.
These periods saw further intensification. Both teams started recording more fouls as they charged up and down the field, chasing down every ball and hoping the other squad wouldn’t score.
And neither did. As the last overtime period drew to a close, forward and team captain Steve Vaz encouraged his teammates from the sideline, saying “Just hold them off for two minutes; this tie would be like history.”
Head coach Tony Moutinho, though happy with the unexpected outcome, said his team needed to “capitalize on [the opposing squad’s] mistakes” if it wants to win big games like this one against Seymour. He noted that Woodland controlled the first half of the game but failed to finish on any of its many balls into the Seymour danger zone. The same was generally true for the first overtime period as well. Moutinho credited Breault, the Seymour keeper, for “keeping them in the game.”
The draw brings Seymour to 2-2-1 and the Hawks to 2-1-2. Woodland will face an even tougher matchup Friday when it takes on undefeated Watertown on the Indians’ home turf. Moutinho said he thinks Watertown is the only team capable of beating the Naugatuck Greyhounds, who have enjoyed an undefeated record as of Wednesday morning due in large part to the unparalleled success of scorer Tiago Martins, who has compiled 10 goals in four games.