Greyhounds claim Copper title

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Holy Cross' Caitlin Villano, left, and Naugatuck's Kyla Magalhaes chase after a loose ball Saturday in Waterbury. Naugatuck won the game, 2-0, and the NVL Copper Division girls soccer title. –RA ARCHIVE
Holy Cross’ Caitlin Villano, left, and Naugatuck’s Kyla Magalhaes chase after a loose ball Saturday in Waterbury. Naugatuck won the game, 2-0, and the NVL Copper Division girls soccer title. –RA ARCHIVE

WATERBURY — Naugatuck High’s Lexi Alves is a handful. Saturday the senior striker scored two first-half goals two minutes apart to lead the Greyhounds to the NVL Copper Division girls soccer title with a 2-0 victory over Holy Cross.

Naugy (9-5) has found its game just as tournament time arrives. The Greyhounds have won seven of eight Naugatuck Valley League games.

“We came out flat, maybe, expecting more,” Alves said of the uneven results this season. “We had a reality check coming back.”

Naugy’s reality looks good now. Alves scored in the 25th minute when she was sent away on a pass by impressive freshman Kyla Magalhaes. Then Angelina Piccirillo did the same with a deft through pass.

Both times Alves, who scored career goals 48 and 49, was sent in cold on Cross keeper Michelina Gagliardi (13 saves).

Two minutes. Two shots. Two goals.

“She’s very talented,” said Cross sweeper Keili Sullivan. “You have to stay next to her. She’s quick.”

All nine Naugatuck victories this season have come by shutout. Keeper Cailah Baranowski (four saves) praised her defense of Taylor Campos, Emma Colucci, Stefania Flores, Michaela Pruchnicki and Magalhaes. “And Jess Butler. No one gets past her,” Baranowski said. “They played great. They don’t give up. They work hard. They’re tough.”

Cross had its moments. In the opening five minutes, sophomore striker Kylie Rice got behind the Naugatuck defense twice, but Baranowski made the stops.

The NVL tournament begins Saturday.