NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck boys soccer team clung to a 1-0 lead early in the second half last Friday versus Seymour when the flood gates opened.
A couple of down pours early on made the field slick as players slipped their way to loose balls trying to maintain possession. The sky grew darker and more threatening with each minute that ticked off the clock in the second half.
It was only a matter of time before the torrential rain opened up on Veterans Field to finish what it started. That’s when Naugatuck got the break they were looking for — an insurance goal at the 38:55 mark in the second half.
Jake Corbo found himself in the right place at the right time. He collected a rebound off the post and buried it to the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
Just as the 2-0 advantage appeared on the scoreboard the sky opened up and deluge poured down.
The Greyhounds responded like sharks in a furry. Naugatuck pelted Seymour keeper Peter Ragaini with a relentless barrage of shots and one after another they found the back of the net as the Greyhounds raced past the Wildcats to a 6-1 win.
“Once we scored the second goal we knew we had to hit them quick,” Naugatuck head coach Art Nunes said. “It caught them off guard a bit and we were able to take full advantage.”
Ragaini did his best to fend off the sudden attack. He made a save on a point blank shot, but as he slipped to the turf the ball popped loose. Michael Campos was on the prowl and ripped a shot to the back of the net for a 3-0 lead with 33:21 left to go.
Four minutes later in a blinding rain Candido Carrelo appeared out of nowhere and sent a blast past the diving Ragaini for a 4-0 lead. Ragaini was shaken upon the play and went to the sidelines.
It didn’t take long for the ‘Hounds (6-0-3) to welcome Seymour’s (6-2-1) new keeper, Bryan Merrit, into the fray. Andrew Carroll wound up and sent one to the back of the net for a 5-0 advantage with 28:46 to play.
The wheels had officially come off the wagon for Seymour as the Wildcats just tried to survive the onslaught at that point. Aren Seeger assisted on the Greyhounds’ last goal of the game when Christian Jacobi sent the sixth goal into the net.
The Wildcats averted the shutout on a goal from Jon Pinto, but there would be no Seymour comeback. The Naugatuck defense of Devon Curtis, Felipe Dutra, Gabriel Carrelo and David Ruela handled possessions out in front of keeper Rabbi Ahmed, who has allowed only four goals through nine games.
“We have defined the roles of our four guys on defense and that has been the strength of the team,” Nunes said. “Rabbi has made some fantastic saves for us but it all starts with the four guys back there.”
Pedro DeSouza got the scoring going with 3 minutes to go in the first half off an assist Yan Silva. The offensive eruption was a welcomed sight for Naugatuck, which had only scored 12 goals in eight games coming into the contest.
“We have been doing a lot of work in practice,” Nunes said. “We have been changing rotations trying to get the offense going and things are starting to come together.
“We had been rushing in the final third so far this season trying to do too much and players have been out of position to finish. Moving the ball side to side has opened up a few more opportunities and to have six players score shows that they are beginning to understand their roles a lot better.”
Nunes said the Greyhounds must remain focused.
Naugatuck will face an improved Crosby (8-2) team Wednesday. The Greyhounds will close out the week at Holy Cross on Friday at 3:30 p.m. and face Wilby Oct. 20 at Municipal Stadium.
“We can’t lose our focus,” Nunes said. “We need to take it one day at a time and one game at a time.”