Woodland boys match expectations early

BEACON FALLS — Expected to be a serious contender for the Naugatuck Valley League boys soccer championship, Woodland affirmed those expectations with a strong first week and a half of the season.

The Hawks went 2-0-1 through their first three matches, including a pair of shutout wins against league opponents. The only blemish was a 2-2 tie against nonleague opponent Brookfield.

Despite the likely season-ending back injury to Maciej Lewicki, who would have been one of the league’s top scoring threats, Woodland has found other sources of offense so far. Jason Claiborn tallied a pair of goals in a 3-0 win to open the season against Sacred Heart on Sept. 7, and he added another in the 2-2 tie against the Bobcats on Sept. 8.

The Polletta brothers, Devin and Dante, have also been heavily involved. Devin scored a goal in both of Woodland’s first two matches, and Dante recorded a goal and two assists over the first week. Matthew Iannone, Cole Barrows and Omar Turshani also found the back of the net to open the season, while Ryan Lamb made six saves to post a pair of shutouts in the NVL contests.

Woodland coach Tony Moutinho could not be reached for comment.

The Hawks will face Crosby on Friday. Next week, the Hawks will play Ansonia on Tuesday before a crucial match Thursday against defending NVL champion and Class LL runner-up Naugatuck.