Hawks earn first state tourney win

0
42
Woodland’s Christian Poirier (10) shields Wolcott Tech’s Hunter Siebert from the ball Tuesday during the first round of the Class M tournament in Beacon Falls. Woodland won, 6-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Woodland’s Christian Poirier (10) shields Wolcott Tech’s Hunter Siebert from the ball Tuesday during the first round of the Class M tournament in Beacon Falls. Woodland won, 6-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys soccer team has put together quite a few successful seasons under head coach Tony Moutinho, but a win in the state tournament has eluded the Hawks.

That changed on Tuesday.

No. 10 Woodland defeated No. 23 Wolcott Tech, 6-0, in the first round of the Class M tournament for the program’s first state tournament win.

“After being in the postseason 12 times in 15 years, we finally got it off our backs,” said Moutinho following the win.

“We have never been able to get over the hump,” Moutinho added. “We have been in games decided by PKs and overtime but this is our first ever win in the state tournament.”

The Hawks (13-2-3) went right at it scoring at the 21:50 mark when Senol Music grabbed a loose ball in the box and sent it to the back of the net for the 1-0 lead over Wolcott Tech (8-8-1).

Woodland struck again four minutes later. Maciej Lewicki sent a shot from the sidelines into the box that Wolcott Tech goalie Kurt Wilson bobbled and the ball found its way into the goal for a 2-0 lead.

Midfielders Joshua Powanda and Dante Polletta began to come away with their share of 50/50 balls over the middle. That opened up the passing lanes for Jack LaPerriere and Christian Poirier.

Woodland’s Timothy Mendes (11) battles with Wolcott Tech’s Josh Santiago for the ball Tuesday during the first round of the Class M tournament in Beacon Falls. Woodland won, 6-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Woodland’s Timothy Mendes (11) battles with Wolcott Tech’s Josh Santiago for the ball Tuesday during the first round of the Class M tournament in Beacon Falls. Woodland won, 6-0. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Xavier Gibson, Tim Mendes and Ryan Wilson shored up the defense out in front of keeper A.J. Oliveira, who fended off a handful of shots in the first half.

Devon Polletta and Cole Barrows added unassisted goals to give the Hawks a commanding 4-0 lead at the break.

“We don’t have a go-to guy on offense and I think that is what opened it up for us this year,” Moutinho said.

The Hawks tacked on second half goals from Andrew Spofford and Anthony Barreira to finish off the program’s first state tournament win.

“Credit the defense that has been phenomenal all season. I think the biggest difference this year is we are not just looking to one or two players to score. We are sacrificing opportunities to play as a unit and take the best shot and that has been working out real well for us,” Moutinho said.

Woodland will host No. 26 Plainville on Thursday at 2 p.m. in the second round.