BEACON FALLS — The Woodland golf team overcame a major hurdle May 18 at Western Hills in Waterbury when they knocked off two-time defending NVL champion Holy Cross for the second time this season.
The Hawks pulled out a down-to-the-wire 172-174 win over the Crusaders on the strength of Mike Erickson, who shot a medalist round of 37. Solid scores of 44 from Ryan Warner and senior Will Flormann, and a 47 from Julian Perino got Woodland past Holy Cross.
“That was certainly a boost in the arm defeating Holy Cross for the second time,” Woodland head coach Bill Carangelo said. “Will Flormann came through for us big time and it was his score that helped us to get past Holy Cross.
“He’s (Flormann) a big guy who can drive the ball, but it all comes down to keeping the ball in play. If he shoots the average of a number five player somewhere around 49 we don’t win that match. He gave us a solid score of 44 and that was the difference.”
Woodland came back to shoot the second-lowest round of the season in a convincing 168-265 victory over Crosby on May 20. Erickson was on his game again shooting a medalist round of 37.
Warner came up big with a 40 and Zachary Crowell hit a solid round of 44. Flormann got the most out of his round shooting a 47.
Woodland improved to 13-1 after beating Kennedy, 171-238, at Western Hills in Waterbury. Erickson led the way with a 39. Warner (42) Crowell (42) and Owen Harris (48) filled out the scorecard for the Hawks.
The Hawks are the surprise team of the NVL season, but their head coach isn’t surprised at all.
“I’m not surprised at where we are at,” Carangelo said. “I knew coming into the season that we would be competitive. I’m pleased at where we are at this point because we have been getting great support from our number four through six golfers.”
Carangelo said the difference this year has been consistency with the fourth and fifth golfers.
“In the past we have been able to put up solid scores one through three but it was finding consistency in the four and five spots,” he said. “There would be a ten-stroke difference and that would be the factor between winning a match and losing a match. This year between Owen Harris, Crowell and Perino we have been seeing that consistency that is landing us in the win column.”
The Hawks, who are currently ranked 11th in the CIAC Division III, will close out the season Monday at East Mountain versus Sacred Heart, before swinging for a league title June 4 at the NVL championships at the Watertown Golf Club.
“You can only take four golfers to the NVL tournament,” Carangelo said. “So these last two matches I will be using the four-five and six guys to see who is going to take the No. 4 spot.”
Carangelo said his Hawks will see what they’re made of at the NVL championships.
“The true test of how good we have become will be determined in the NVL matchup,” he said. “We expect to compete for an NVL title and then do as well as we can in the state tournament.”