Hawks make NVL take notice

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Woodland’s No. 1 golfer Mike Erickson watches his tee shot on the first hole at Oxford Greens May 7 during the Woodland Invitational. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Woodland’s No. 1 golfer Mike Erickson watches his tee shot on the first hole at Oxford Greens May 7 during the Woodland Invitational. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The question heading into the golf season was not if the Hawks could be competitive, it was how good could this team be?

That was answered loud and clear on the first Monday in May when Woodland knocked off Holy Cross, the two-time defending NVL champs. The win marked the first time that the Hawks beat Holy Cross on the links.

Mike Erickson led the way shooting a 37 in the 179-186 win over the Crusaders at Oxford Greens. Zach Crowell hit a solid 46 with Ryan Warner and Owen Harris checking in with scores of 48.

Woodland followed up with the big win over Holy Cross by shooting a season best 166 in a win over Abbott Tech as Erickson matched his season best with a round of 36. Warner knocked in a 40 with Harris and Julian Perino finishing with rounds of 45.

The Hawks suffered their first loss, 174-195, to Watertown on Monday. Warner led the way for Woodland shooting a 48. Tom Labbe shot a 37 to lead Watertown and was the only golfer to break the 30s on a very blustery day at Crestbrook.

Erickson came through with a 49 as did Crowell and Perino for Woodland at Crestbrook.

“The win over Holy Cross was huge and it certainly got us noticed in the league,” Woodland head coach Bill Carangelo said. “But we had a chance to do some damage against Watertown as they shot a 174, a very beatable score. However, we came through with our worst round of the season.”

Carangelo added, “We just finished seven matches at Oxford and to play at Crestbrook can be very challenging. We are not that familiar with that course, but the guys played their best and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.”

Woodland responded well after the first loss of the season, earning a 173-181 victory over St. Paul on Tuesday. Erickson hit a 40 with Warner and Crowell coming in with scores of 42, and Perino getting a 49.

Woodland’s No. 2 golfer Ryan Warner watches his tee shot on the first hole at Oxford Greens May 7 during the Woodland Invitational. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Woodland’s No. 2 golfer Ryan Warner watches his tee shot on the first hole at Oxford Greens May 7 during the Woodland Invitational. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

The Watertown match came a few days after the Hawks hosted the Woodland Invitational, which brought some of the toughest programs in the area together in an 18-hole shootout at Oxford Greens May 7.

The invitational brought 17 teams to Oxford including three other competitors from the NVL: Watertown, Naugatuck and Torrington. Pomperaug and Newtown tied for first with a score of 319.

Woodland finished seventh at 369 as Erickson shot a 76, the second best score of the day. Pomperaug golfer Michael VanDerLaan was the medalist at 70. Newtown golfer Colin Patrick shot the only other round in the 70s with a 78.

The team of Perino and Warner finished second with a 70 Thursday at the Stigberg Memorial Tournament at Farmingbury Hills in Wolcott.

The Hawks improved to 10-1 Thursday after beating Kaynor Tech, 183-225, at Oxford Greens. Crowell was the medalist for the round with a 40. Erickson (44), Warner (45) and Owen Harris (54) rounded out the scoring for Woodland.

The Hawks have a rematch versus Holy Cross on the road set for May 18.

“It won’t get any easier as we have a rematch with Holy Cross on Monday at Western Hills,” Carangelo said. “I’m sure on their home course they will shoot a lot better and we can’t have anything near a fifty if we are going to stay with them.”