NAUGATUCK — In some ways, the 2011 season hasn’t been typical for Naugatuck soccer. The Greyhounds haven’t blown out every opponent and they aren’t undefeated. But in at least one way, they haven’t skipped a beat.
Both are Naugatuck Valley League Copper Division champions.
The boys clinched rather unceremoniously last week with wins over Sacred Heart, Torrington, and Derby while the girls won a definitive clincher on Monday with a 3-0 win over Holy Cross.
Division championships—in what were supposed to be somewhat subpar seasons after heavy graduation losses—aren’t bad at all.
The Naugy girls blanked the Crusaders to win another Copper title. It was the Greyhounds’ ninth shutout of the season, and they’ve only allowed goals to Watertown and Woodland, the top two seeds in the league tournament.
Katie Bottinick and Taylor Campos scored off corners before Alexya Alves netted a goal on a Carla Gomes pass to account for the Naugatuck scoring.
The ‘Hounds don’t mind being a bit overlooked behind the Indians and Hawks entering the NVL tournament, where Naugy will be the No. 3 seed.
“We are under the radar, which is a pretty good thing,” Isabella Verrilli told the Republican-American. “They are not expecting us to come out strong, but they have another thing coming.”
“I like to be underestimated,” Bottinick also told the Rep-Am. “We know we’re in the mix. We’re looking to be in the final.”
After the Greyhounds’ 1-0 victory over Sacred Heart on Tuesday, they sit at 11-4 with their final regular-season game on Thursday night at Watertown.
The boys started 1-2—unheard of in the borough—but have rebounded strongly to sit at 10-4-1. Their final regular-season match was scheduled for Wednesday against Torrington.
The ‘Hounds cruised to wins over Sacred Heart (4-1), Torrington (4-2), and Derby (7-0) last week to clinch the Copper title.
Seven different players scored for Naugy in the win against Derby while Adam Branco scored two goals against both Torrington and Sacred Heart.
The Greyhounds will also be a top-four seed in the NVL tournament, which starts Saturday.