NAUGATUCK — It took one week and four games, but the Greyhounds picked up their first win of the season Tuesday night at home against Torrington.
The Greyhounds (1-3) blanked the Raiders (2-2) by a 3-0 margin in a game that was a tale of two halves
A scoreless first half featured fast-passes and back-and-forth play on the crisp turf field as neither team could gain an edge early. Both goalkeepers were kept on their toes as each team rotated goalies throughout the game.
The second half was a complete 180-degree turn from the first one, and it was what Naugatuck needed to save their season early.
Seven minutes into the second half, Kyla Magalhaes took a pass, wove past a defender to create space and was able to chip the ball over the goalkeeper’s head to give the Greyhounds a lead they’d never relinquish.
From there, it was a soccer clinic that provided the Greyhounds with some confidence to carry over into their next game.
In the 66th minute, Hannah Lauer was in opponent’s territory when she used her ball-controlling skills to abuse her defender before launching a shot across her body and into the net for a 2-0 lead in the second half.
Less than a minute after expanding their lead, the Greyhounds were out for more.
Sara Marques took a ball from the faceoff midfield, dribbled to her right, ran past defenders exhausted from chasing the Greyhounds around in the second half and launched a dart from right-to-left past the keeper, who couldn’t do anything but stare as the ball zoomed past her.
A first-half stalemate was split wide open as the Greyhounds put 11 shots on goal against the Red Raiders and tallied their first win of the season.
“It comes down to practicing each day to improve and knowing that we got the first win so we can get more, we just have to push each other,” head coach Sean Dunn said.
The Greyhounds started the season off with a tough slate.
In their opening game of the season Sept. 9, Naugatuck dropped a game in overtime to Woodland 2-1 as Lauer took a pass from Taylor Campos and sent it into the back of the net with seven minutes left in regulation for the lone score.
On Sept. 11 against the defending NVL champions, Watertown, the Greyhounds fell short 3-1 with their lone goal coming from Suzana Amaral with Lauer on the assist.
Over the weekend, the Greyhounds took on out-of-conference opponent Pomperaug, who are a difficult out-of-conference opponent for anyone, and fell 5-1. Lauer scored the only goal for Naugatuck.
“I’d rather have a tough kind of schedule to start with and know that we have to keep building versus winning easy games, thinking it’s natural then we come up against a tough opponent and aren’t ready for it,” Dunn said.
A calm, focused personality on the sideline, coach Dunn was thankful Tuesday night to get the first win of the season out of the way and he can finally breathe a breath of fresh air.
“It felt good getting win number one, it was a long time coming and hopefully we can gain some momentum,” said Dunn laughing.
The Greyhounds will host Oxford Friday before hitting the road to take on St. Paul Monday.