Greyhounds eye unfinished business

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By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News

Naugatuck’s Emma Sonski (8) pushes the ball up the field between Woodland’s Katy More (9) and Jenna Mierek (6) during a game Nov. 2 at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — On the surface, finishing the regular season 8-2-1 reflects a successful year. But for the Naugatuck girls soccer team and head coach Lisa Mariano, there is a bit of a feeling that something’s missing.

“We are a little disappointed in the biggest games of the season we didn’t fare well,” Mariano said. “You would think with our record we would be pleased for the most part, but the games against Woodland we weren’t looking for anything else but a win and that didn’t happen.”

The Greyhounds fell to Woodland — the top team in the Naugatuck Valley League Copper Division — 4-3 on a last-second goal and battled the Hawks to a 2-2 tie in their first two meetings.

Woodland won, 2-0, on Nov. 2 in the final regular-season meeting with the Greyhounds.

Naugatuck will likely get another crack at the Hawks in the divisional tournament.  Naugatuck’s semifinal game against Oxford to open the tournament scheduled for Nov. 9 against Oxford. It was unclear whether it will be rescheduled.

“We were hoping to gain a little momentum after another tough loss to Woodland but the game (against Oxford on Nov. 4) was canceled,” Mariano said. “So, now we are looking to get something going in the tournament.”

Woodland’s Sara Alessio (3) controls the ball in front of Naugatuck’s Anissa Simones (27) during a game Nov. 2 at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

The divisional championship game, where the two teams could meet again, is scheduled for Nov. 12.

There have been many successful moments this season for the Greyhounds. Led by six seniors — Kylie O’Donnell, Angelina Oliveira, Victoria Lawson, Aalyiah Henry, Noelle Jacobi and Emma Sonski — the Greyhounds outscored their opponents 47 to 12 and notched five shutouts.

“We had great senior leadership and we will certainly miss what they contributed to the team,” Mariano said.

Just getting on the pitch and playing was a success.

“I didn’t think we would make it this far into the season with so many teams having to shut down at times due to the pandemic,” Mariano said. “So, I am pleased that our girls got to play a full season up until the final game with Oxford.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include information on the cancelation of Naugatuck’s game with Oxford set for Nov. 9 and a scheduled change in date for the championship game.