Woodland boys advance to NVL final

Woodland’s Maciej Lewicki (5) sprints past Naugatuck’s Saul Pujola (1) on his way to score his first goal during a NVL boys soccer semifinal game Tuesday at Crosby High School. -Jim Shannon/Republican-American

WATERBURY — Woodland coach Tony Moutinho had just two words for his team after the NVL boys soccer semifinal Tuesday at Crosby’s Jimmy Lee Stadium: “Mission accomplished.”

Maciej Lewicki scored two goals and Ryan Lamb made 11 saves, a few of them spectacular, as the No. 2-seeded Hawks (13-2-3) defeated No. 3 Naugatuck, 2-0.

Woodland returns to the NVL title game for the first time since 2014.

“We’ve been waiting, it was four years ago,” said Woodland central defender Ryan Swanson of the last trip to the final. “It was my freshman year. And we’ve wanted it ever since. We’re just really ready. We’ve got all the pieces this year.”

Lewicki took advantage of two Naugatuck (11-4-3) defensive miscues to score in the ninth minute, and then again in the 43rd. After that it was time to defend.

Lamb made eight of his 11 saves in the second half, including a one-hand save on a blast by Kareen Morris.

Woodland’s Julia Accetura, right, and Watertown’s Madeline Daigneault battle for the ball during a NVL girls soccer semifinal game Tuesday at Watertown High School. -Emily J. Reynolds/Republican-American

“I’ve got to give credit to all the guys who stand in front of me,” Lamb said. “When they do need me I try to come through.”

The Hawks will play No. 1 Watertown, a 4-0 winner in the other semifinal game over No. 5 St. Paul, on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Naugatuck High School for the championship. The teams met once in the regular season, a 2-1 win for Watertown on Oct. 5.

In the girls tournament, No. 5 Woodland fell to No. 1 Watertown, 2-0, in the semifinals Tuesday at Watertown High School.

The game was scoreless at halftime before Watertown’s Emma Kite scored twice in the opening seven minutes of the second half to give the Indians the win.