Woodland girls learn lesson from tie

BEACON FALLS — Late last month, Woodland girls soccer coach Cait Witham admitted she was nervous knowing that her squad hadn’t played their best soccer yet with a key matchup with Watertown pending.

The Hawks still might not be at their peak, but the coach felt a whole lot better after that matchup with the Indians on Oct. 5.

“That’s the quietest I’ve been after a game in a long time,” Witham said of the scoreless tie. “It’s the closest they’ve come to playing a full game. They did a good job of communicating. They held Meadow (Mancini, one of the state’s top scorers) scoreless, which is not an easy feat. Defensively, they did everything we set out to do in our game plan. I think it gave them a little bit of confidence moving forward.”

Alanna Carasone made seven saves as Woodland served Watertown its first blemish of the season. The Indians had entered that matchup 9-0 with an average of 5.4 goals per game.

Although the match didn’t enter the win column for the Hawks, Witham said they learned an important lesson on their home turf.

“They know that if they play together and up to their caliber, they can compete with anyone,” Witham said.

Another showdown with the Indians sits in the middle of a busy stretch to end Woodland’s season. The Hawks are scheduled to play seven matches over the final 13 days of the regular year, including a return game at Watertown on Oct. 16. They enter the stretch, which starts Friday at Torrington and continues Saturday at Wolcott, with a 4-1-4 mark.

“I said to them, ‘Although our record isn’t great, as long as each time we take the field we’re improving, I’m OK with that,’” Witham said. “If we keep taking those steps forward and not backwards, by the time we get to the postseason we should hopefully have it figured out.”