NAUGATUCK — With a 5-0 lead over Kennedy late in the first half of Tuesday’s season opener, Naugatuck boys soccer coach Art Nunes wasn’t pleased with what he saw on the field.
He wasn’t disappointed with his team’s lack of scoring in the final 16 minutes of the first half, when most of the Greyhounds’ starters were getting an early halftime rest. In fact, it was almost the opposite — Naugy was getting too aggressive.
“Some of the guys we had in there were a little goal-hungry and just wanted to run out front without running our plays and staying within our system,” Nunes said. “That’s not how we should be playing.”
But those few minutes were just about the only thing Nunes could frown upon as his squad started the season with an 11-0 victory over the Eagles.
Adam Branco scored the game’s first three goals within the first 12 minutes, knocking in the first two on assists by Patrick Alves and the third on a pass by Tyler Saad.
Danny Silva netted the team’s fourth goal in the 17th minute from another Saad pass, giving Naugy a 4-0 lead.
Fernando Branco scored the first of his four goals on a Silva pass with 16 minutes to play in the first half, handing the Greyhounds a 5-0 lead they took into the break.
The Brancos combined to score the first four goals of the second half, too. Fernando beat Kennedy goalkeeper Jonathan Alvarado in the 45th minute to make it a 6-0 game before Adam took an assist by Ygor Silva to stretch the lead to 7-0.
Fernando’s final two goals came within 89 seconds of one another as he used passes by Isaque Monteiro and Jason Goja to make it a 9-0 advantage.
“They’re starting to understand what their role is in the middle and when to turn to goal and when to use their teammates so they can finish their goals,” Nunes said of the Brancos. “Sometimes both of them try to overdo things and go through people. Today they understood how to do it right.”
Goja was heard throughout the game shouting instructions from his sweeper spot. The senior captain is one of just a few starting upperclassmen.
“He brings tremendous field smarts and an understanding of the feel of the game,” Nunes said. “Sometimes he’s exuberant in trying to get them to calm down and make a pass. His four years of varsity experience have done him a world of good. He played up front for three years and now I’ve moved him to the back and he’s been an excellent sweeper so far.”
Ygor Silva and Jason Szarzynski netted the game’s last two goals.
The Greyhounds, tabbed by many as the Naugatuck Valley League favorite, will visit St. Paul on Friday before hosting Ansonia next Monday and Wolcott next Wednesday.
“We need to do our things,” Nunes said. “We have to make teams work to stop what we do instead of us working on what they do.”