Naugy fights through season of challenges


NAUGATUCK — This season was a challenging one for the Naugatuck girls soccer team.

The Greyhounds started the year with two victories before the first of two bouts of injuries led to a four-game slide. Injuries decimated their offense, as the Greyhounds scored one goal in those four games.

“We started the season with three to five girls out with injuries and we just couldn’t seem to get the whole team on the field at any one time,” head coach Lisa Mariano said. “Once we got a few players back it seemed like we had a few more who were dealing with injuries. We did experience a few moments of brilliance but couldn’t seem to hold onto that the whole time.”

It appeared the Greyhounds shook off the adversity midseason when they recorded back-to-back blowout victories over Sacred Heart and Ansonia. Then came another series of injuries that led to a three-game slide in which the Greyhounds were outscored by a 15-5 margin.

Naugatuck ended the regular season 6-10. The Greyhounds earned a spot in the NVL tournament, but missed out on the state tournament for the first time in 20 years.

“Not making the state tournament was a huge disappointment for us,” Mariano said. “But sometimes you have to get knocked down before you can get back up. We did have a few younger players step up into roles they weren’t accustomed to and they did well giving us a solid base to start with next season.”

The Greyhounds will lose seven seniors to graduation: goalie Cassidy Baranowski, Kyla Magalhaes (All-NVL), Nicole Crowley, Kaitlyn Reilly, Kaci Michaud, Kaylea Misiewicz and Leigha Molligi.

The Greyhounds will look to get back to the state tournament next year led by juniors Alyana Sosa (All-NVL), Erin Doris (All-Iron), Macie Best, Abigail Pruchnicki, Hailey Boulanger and Bridget Rosikiewicz.

Mariano will also look to some younger players who gained valuable experience this season to step up.

“Alissa McNeil, a freshman, was a big surprise for us,” Mariano said. “Paige Cruz, another freshman, was also looked on to take a bigger role, and Bridget Rosikiewicz, a junior, was injured for most of the season, came on in the Watertown game and showed that we have some strong players coming back.”