Woodland looking to find its groove early on
BEACON FALLS — No matter whom the Woodland boys soccer team’s defense paid attention to last Thursday, someone else was there to tack on another goal for Naugatuck.
Five Greyhounds scored goals and another three added assists as Naugy hammered the Hawks, 7-0, to cap a tremendous first week of the season.
“They have every position covered,” Woodland coach Tony Moutinho said of Naugatuck. “There’s not one weak spot on that team. They pass the ball around and the kid that’s receiving knows what to do with it. Every team has a couple of weaknesses, but Naugy doesn’t have one.”
The ‘Hounds scored three times in the first half, the first coming less than 10 minutes into the game when Danny Silva blasted the first of his two goals with a perfect shot just inside the right upper-90.
Josh Corbo and Adam Branco added goals over the next 20 minutes to make it a 3-0 Naugatuck lead, but longtime Greyhounds coach Art Nunes wasn’t thrilled with his team’s first-half play.
“We got complacent where it started getting a little easy to go,” Nunes said. “The players decided to do it their way instead of our way. The message was given very loudly and clearly at halftime that they would either do it the right way or not play.”
Naugatuck’s starters apparently chose the route that allowed them to keep playing, because they flew out of halftime and scored three goals in the first 20 minutes of the second frame.
Fernando Branco sent home the first goal of the second half. Nine minutes into the action, he took a touch in the middle of the box from Ygor Silva and fired inside the left goalpost for a 4-0 lead.
Two and a half minutes later, Fernando Branco lofted a ball from the right sideline into the box, where Danny Silva made one touch close to his body before he fired past Woodland goalkeeper A.J. Oliveira for a 5-0 Naugatuck lead.
Adam Branco and Danny Mendes added goals before the 65th minute had arrived. Ygor Silva led the Greyhounds with three assists while Fernando Branco, Joe Martins, Josh Corbo and Tyler Saad all tacked on helpers.
Oliveira and Brandon Ocepnik combined to make 13 saves for the Hawks.
Along with the eight goals Naugy scored in its season-opening, 8-1 win over Ansonia, the Greyhounds poured on 15 goals in their first week. Still, Nunes thinks there is plenty of room for improvement.
“We’re concentrating on being in the right spots and using the width of the field and our speed to our advantage,” Nunes said. “We’re getting the opportunities, but now we have to focus on finishing them.”
Naugatuck improved to 3-0 on the year with a 6-0 win over Crosby on Wednesday. The Greyhounds begin a three-game road trip Friday at Derby.
Woodland is 0-3-1 on the season. The Hawks lost 2-1 to Oxford on Monday. Dan LeClerc scored his second goal of the season for the Hawks, and Ocepnik turned aside 13 shots. They fell 4-2 to Derby on Wednesday. The Hawks will host Holy Cross on Friday.
“We’re progressing,” Moutinho said. “We’re coming along. Day by day, we’re getting better.”