Greyhounds find their groove

0
23

Naugatuck’s Kyla Magalhaes, right, and Holy Cross’ Caitlin Villano chase after a loose ball Oct. 19 in Waterbury. Naugatuck won the game, 2-0, and the NVL Copper Division girls soccer title. –RA ARCHIVE
Naugatuck’s Kyla Magalhaes, right, and Holy Cross’ Caitlin Villano chase after a loose ball Oct. 19 in Waterbury. Naugatuck won the game, 2-0, and the NVL Copper Division girls soccer title. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck girls soccer team wrapped up the regular season intent on making its mark in the upcoming Naugatuck Valley League tournament. The Greyhounds disposed of Ansonia on Monday by a 5-1 margin with leading scorer Alexya Alves recording two goals, giving her 51 career goals heading into the NVL tournament.

Christina Jando, Angelina Piccirillo and Sandra Dinis also found the back of the net for the Greyhounds (11-5). Kyla Magalhaes and Jessica Case added assists while Cailah Baranowski made three saves in goal.

“The girls have worked hard to maintain a high level of performance,” Naugatuck head coach Sean Dunn said. “We have been playing fairly well right now as we come down the stretch of the season. The biggest challenge for them personally is to maintain their focus for the entire game. When they lose their focus of how we want them to play and how we have been training, then they get unorganized and try to do too much on their own.”

In four of Naugatuck’s losses, one goal separated defeat from a tie or better. Twice the ‘Hounds fell short in 1-0 losses and twice they lost 2-1 cliffhangers. That in itself makes them a very formidable team heading into the league tournament.

In 16 games, Naugatuck has scored 53 goals and has allowed just 12 with nine shutouts as the defense of Taylor Campos, Emma Colucci, Jess Butler, Stephanie Flores and Michaela Pruchnicki has allowed Baranowski to defend the net.

Senior captains Kelly Koslosky and Katarina Gullotta have guided this team back to the NVL tournament where the ‘Hounds are looking to get back to the title game.

“We need to continue to train and play well in this final week of the regular season,” Dunn said. “That way when the tournament begins this weekend we are as prepared as we can be. Throughout the league, it appears that a lot of teams are really putting in a good push to finish the season well and to be performing at the best of their ability. That should make for a very exciting tournament.”

The Greyhounds will be among the top seeds in the NVL tournament and finished the regular season with a 4-1 victory over Woodland Wednesday. Koslosky scored two goals for Naugatuck as Alves and Magalhaes added a goal each. Baranowski stopped five shots.

The Greyhounds open the NVL tournament Saturday at 1 p.m. at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury against Seymour. The semifinals will be held Monday evening at Municipal Stadium and the championship game is scheduled for next Wednesday at Municipal Stadium.