Woodland’s Tony Moutinho and Naugatuck’s Ryan Kinne both said their boys soccer teams played some of their best games all season in the second round of the state tournaments last Thursday.
Neither team won.
No. 9 Woodland succumbed to No. 8 Windham, 2-1, in Class M, while No. 11 Naugatuck fell to No. 6 Danbury, 1-0, in Class LL.
“We probably had our best game of the season,” Moutinho said. “We just couldn’t find the net. As I told the kids at the end of the game, this game can be very cruel. Sometimes the best team doesn’t always win, but they should be proud of the way they played and the season we had.”
Woodland (14-3-3) finished as the Naugatuck Valley League runner-up and reached the second round of the Class M tournament with a 2-1 win over No. 24 Aerospace last Wednesday. In that victory, Maciej Lewicki and Josh Powanda scored the Hawks’ goals while Ryan Lamb made three saves.
Naugatuck (12-5-3) fell short in its bid to win a sixth straight NVL title and reach a second consecutive Class LL final. After the Greyhounds shut out No. 22 Newtown in last Wednesday’s first round on the strength of Jay Barth’s goal, Naugy couldn’t find the net against Danbury. Malamin Jallow scored the game’s only goal, while Brandon Sampaio stopped six shots for the ‘Hounds.
“(The loss) was a tough one to swallow,” Kinne said. “We gave up a goal early when we were settling in. When we finally got our footing about 15 minutes in, we were terrific and went toe to toe with a terrific team and were unfortunate not to get an equalizer.”
Both the Hawks and the Greyhounds should be in the championship mix again next season. Woodland will have to do it without Moutinho, who will retire after 17 years with the program. Kinne expects Naugy to bounce back with a talented group.
“This was a talented team with a good mix of experience and youth,” Kinne said. “We have some very talented freshmen and sophomores that have bright futures and we look forward to getting back and competing for NVL and state titles again next year. The careers of this senior class are second to none, and I wish them nothing but the best moving forward.”