By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck boys soccer team finished the regular season on a strong note by putting the last three games into the win column.
The Greyhounds earned a 1-0 victory over Watertown on Nov. 3 to end the regular season. Chris Akinduro scored for Naugy off an assist from Ahmed Aljamal. Jon Almeida saved five shots in goal for the shutout.
The Greyhounds (7-2-1) looked to keep that momentum going heading into the NVL Iron Division tournament, which is set to start play Nov. 10-11.
“I feel the seniors helped to set the tone for the season,” senior captain Jay Barth said. “We set the bar high and the rest of the team responded. The chemistry we had from day one helped us to improve each day and we are looking forward to the tournament.”
Along with Akinduro and Barth, the Greyhounds have a deep senior class including Mateus Filho, Dan Davy, Tim Rosa, Ryan Galiette, Chad Mahler, Radsir Vaughn, Jon Jimenez, Justin Carroll, Iago Ohnesorge and David Naulaguari.
The Greyhounds played as well as they have all season during the three-game win streak, outscoring their opponents 12-4.
For the season, Naugy scored 43 goals. The Greyhounds surrendered 12 goals on the strength of a defense led by Manny Silva, Ryan Kenelly, Adrian Szmitko and Gabe Williams. Senior keeper Almeida and Dan Anderson have split duties in the net.
Naugatuck’s two losses were both shutouts against undefeated Holy Cross. The Greyhounds’ hope of claiming the division title will very likely involve a third match with the Crusaders. The tournament final is scheduled for later this week.
“We struggled to score both times against Holy Cross because we weren’t finishing,” said Silva, a junior captain. “But we have been playing with more consistency over these past three games.”
“Holy Cross is a very good attacking team and Patrick (Osiecki) is a very good player,” he added. “Our defense needs to lock him down and direct the traffic and get the ball to the middle. We have been doing a better job of that over these last few games.”