NAUGATUCK — Senior Isabelle Moody didn’t take long to assert herself back into the Naugatuck lineup.
Moody, who missed the last six weeks due to injury, scored a second-half insurance goal and the Greyhounds’ defense controlled the match in a 2-0 win over Torrington on Tuesday night in the borough.
“I was ecstatic,” Moody said. “Scoring a goal is a cherry on top.”
After an 11-day layoff, the Greyhounds (7-2) bounced back from a loss to Woodland with a solid effort on both ends of the field. Moody separated the teams at a key point.
“That goal was a lift,” Naugy head coach Sean Dunn said. “It was still touch-and-go at that point.”
Perhaps more important, the Greyhounds’ younger players showed maturity and intelligence.
“We came out and played a smart game against a physical team,” Dunn said.
Naugy struck early in the first half. Katie Bottinick opened the scoring less than three minutes into the match.
After the goal, the ‘Hounds carried play and stood firm at midfield. Torrington (5-6) struggled to create offense.
Isabella Verrilli, Lauren Piroscafo, and Kaitlyn Deptula stymied the Raiders and limited their scoring chances. Their defense—along with other teammates—has kept them among the best teams in the Naugatuck Valley League.
“Even in our losses, the defense has been consistent,” Dunn said.
Deptula kept Torrington’s top scorer, Alyssa Otis, in check. When Otis did break free midway through the second half, Naugy keeper Kaitlin Carter answered with a save.
“She definitely held her ground,” Moody said of Deptula.
While the defense limited chances, the offense controlled the ball. Intelligent decisions led to scoring chances and a frustrated opponent.
Naugy outshot Torrington, 12-5, and had a 6-0 edge in corner kicks over the Raiders.
“We’ve focused on passing,” Dunn said. “We weren’t trying to make the home run play and tire ourselves out chasing the ball.”
One example of a younger player benefitting from passing was sophomore Alexya Alves, with seven shots against the Raiders. Dunn was pleased to see her get shots off within the framework of the offense.
“We possessed the ball very well,” Moody said. “We’re expecting so much out of the younger players. These last couple weeks we’ve pulled it together.”
In the 56th minute, Kelly Koslosky set up Moody, who slipped a shot past Taylor Howe from 20 yards out.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” Moody said.
That was all the scoring Naugy needed.
Tuesday marked the first of six games between now and Oct. 27 for Naugatuck. Naugy plays at Derby on Friday at 3:30 p.m., then travels out of conference to face Weston on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Moody said the team is coming together at the right time.
“We’re playing for each other,” Moody said. “When we do that it brings out more intensity and our play is so much better.”