BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys soccer team saw its season come to an end last Wednesday in a 1-0 loss to Ellington in the second round of the Class M tournament.
“We had a good run,” Woodland head coach Tony Moutinho said. “This is the second year in a row we won a game at the state level and now we want to build off of that.”
No. 11 Woodland (12-6-1) defeated No. 22 Wolcott Tech, 5-2, in the first round to earn the trip to face No. 6 Ellington.
The Hawks will lose 10 seniors to gradation, but the 17-year head coach is optimistic about next season.
“We will lose a large senior class, but only three starters,” he said. “We have a lot of experience and talent coming back. We did have our troubles scoring at times and need to develop that go-to guy.”
The Hawks scored four goals or better in nine of their 12 wins but were shutout in each of their six loses, a trend that coach Moutinho would like to address in the offseason.
Woodland will need to find players to fill the void of losing senior captains Senol Music and Jack LaPerriere and all-around threat Christian Poirier. All three were four-year players.
The Hawks will also need to replace senior goal keeper Andrew Spofford, who tallied two shutouts this season.
“Ryan Lamb will be a junior next year, and I think he will be ready to step into the role as goal keeper,” Moutinho said.
Woodland will also lose seniors Brandon Filippone, Emilio Dule, Nick McCusker, Eldin Redzovic, Kelmend Packu and Juliano D’Amelio.
Woodland will lean on the talent and experience of junior captain Ryan Swanson to lead the way next season along with junior Maciej Lewicki, who led the team in scoring in most games.
Junior Josh Powanda has been an effective playmaker along with sophomore brothers Dante and Devon Polletta. Sophomores Jason Claiborn and Cole Barrows have also found their way into the scoring mix, and any one of these players could emerge as the go-to guy next season.
“We do return some very skilled players that we can build around,” Moutinho said. “In spite of losing a large group of seniors we are going to raise the bar next season. With what we have coming back I think we have a chance at being one of the top two teams in the league and competing for a championship.”