Fiery Hawks making noise


BEACON FALLS — The Woodland girls soccer team is making a whole lot of noise early in the season — much to no one’s surprise.

The Hawks have taken on the fiery, upbeat disposition of their coaches, Cait Witham and assistant Jess Moffo. The Hawks (7-0) are wearing it well, and have outscored their opponents 30-5 through seven games.

Woodland made quick work of Sacred Heart Sept. 23 in a 9-0 win. The Hawks scored a convincing 5-1 win over Jonathan Law of Milford on Monday in a non-league contest; then took down Torrington Wednesday, 4-0.

“We have been very fortunate,” said Witham, who remains optimistic about her team’s chances but is taking nothing for granted. “Getting wins this early in the season is great but it doesn’t get us wins at the end of October. We keep telling the girls they need to earn the respect of their opponent every time they step on that field.”

The Hawks unleashed an onslaught against the Hearts. Jess Rodrigues, Gillian Hotchkiss and Juliana Villano buried two goals each in the back of the net. Val Vinca, Jenna Pannone and Julie Accetura added goals to complete the Woodland scoring. Sonia Sousa and Megen Sirowich contributed two assists each, as Eliza Smith and Sam Plasky added assists.

Woodland’s defense has been pretty efficient, as well. The Hawks have allowed just two goals in the last five games.

Shae Geary, Eliza Smith and Haley Wolfanger have provided a stable defense and goalkeeper Jenna Pannone has been automatic as of late.

“Having Shae back there on defense really gives the rest of the girls confidence,” Witham said. “She is a four-year starter and Jenna (Pannone) has come up with some incredible saves.”

Hailey Borris led the Hawks with two goals in Monday’s 5-1 win over Law. Villano, Hotchkiss and Geary also scored.

Rodrigues had two goals against Torrington. Borris and Sirowich added a goal each versus the Red Raiders.

“We have a good balanced attack,” Witham said. “Our scoring comes from a lot of different girls and that keeps opponents from trying to shut down one or two girls. The girls know if they play their game they can be successful.”

Witham knows the Hawks have to keep their intensity high every time they step onto the pitch.

“No one is going to give us anything just because we show up,” she said. “There is a lot of soccer left to play and it’s a long season. We can’t settle for mediocracy. The one time we show up not ready to play is the time we could end up in the loss column.”

The road ahead isn’t an easy one for the Hawks. The Hawks will host Oxford on Friday at 3:30 p.m. before a showdown at Naugatuck at 6 p.m. Oct. 5.

“It certainly won’t get any easier as we have two really tough opponents coming up in Oxford and Naugatuck,” Witham said. “I know Lisa (Mariano) is going to have her (Naugatuck) team ready and we better be prepared.”