NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Greyhounds scraped together an overtime win after the Hawks defense shut them down for 68 minutes.
Most expected this matchup an automatic win for the Hounds, who brought their nearly-immaculate record to 7-0-1 with the win. The Hawks stood at 3-3-1 going in, and the inexperienced squad seemed no match for the formidable Hounds, led on offense by star scorer Tiago Martins.
But the Hawks “really wanted this one,” said head coach Tony Moutinho, because Naugatuck is just “one of those teams we never come close to beating.”
And it sure showed. In minute 26, Hawks forward Christian Pinho netted a header off a corner kick from Matt Moutinho, bringing the match to the 1-0 score it stood at for most of the game.
Naugatuck dominated possession throughout the match, but Hawks keeper Damien Giordano, who recorded 16 saves on the night, and the Woodland offense stayed rock-solid for most of the game. At one point the Hawks allowed Naugatuck three corner kicks in a row— but the Hounds just couldn’t finish.
That is until Augusto Clari netted Naugatuck’s late answer in the 78th minute. Three Woodland defenders were in goal and managed to clear the ball before it touched net. But the ball had crossed the line, and the damage was done.
Then after five minutes of the sudden-death overtime period, Naugatuck’s Manny Nobre scored the unassisted golden goal, bringing the game to its expected conclusion after a close match.
“They played their hearts out,” Moutinho said of the Woodland squad. He chalked up the loss to a weak presence in the midfield, where Woodland struggled to win balls from the bigger Naugatuck team.
They’re going to keep attacking, keep coming at us,” Moutinho said of the Hounds. “This was a learning experience, and we’re going to grow.”