Naugy, Woodland set for early-season match

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The NVL girls soccer season is barely a week old and Greyhounds and Hawks are preparing to face off on the pitch Friday.

Both teams come into the fray with something to prove. The Hawks were cruising along last season looking to defend their NVL title before getting knocked off by Holy Cross in the semifinals of the league tournament on PK’s.

Injuries decimated Naugatuck’s roster the past two seasons, and the Greyhounds are looking to show that they have more than one shooter to ignite an offense worthy of a title shot.

Each team showed the ability to find the back of the net in their season opener.

Woodland made quick work of Seymour last Saturday to pick up a 4-1 victory.

“Seymour was a lot more physical than they were last year,” Woodland head coach Cait Witham said. “I thought our defense played well.”

“We had some good chances attacking their goal and we are still finding out what is going to work for us up front,” Witham added. “We did a good job of getting it down there, but then we don’t always make the right decisions. But that will come with time.”

Haley Andrews, Shannon Pruzinsky, Jill Barbarito and Julia Accetura scored the goals for the Hawks. Barbarito, Pruzinsky, Andrews and Megen Sirowich had assists. Alanna Carasone made five saves in the net to lead the Woodland defense against the Wildcats.

Naugatuck opened up last Friday in resounding fashion, earning a 7-0 win over Torrington.

Paige Cruz scored two goals and lent an assist to spark the offensive attack for Naugatuck against Torrington. Mia Rotatori, Hailey Boulanger, Nicole Jacobi and Alissa McNeil also scored goals for the Greyhounds.

Sydney O’Donnell (1 save) and Tsering Dhondup combined for the shutout in the net.

“We are coming along,” Naugatuck head coach Lisa Mariano said. “The good news is we have a few scorers, and it’s not all on one player to get it done.

“The defense did a good job keeping Torrington from mounting an attack, and our keepers combined for the shutout. It was a good way to start the season, but we need to stay focused and get better with each game and each practice.”

On Tuesday, Naugatuck improved to 2-0 with a 4-2 win over Seymour, while Woodland dropped to 1-1 on the year with a 2-1 loss to defending NVL champion Watertown.

The Woodland-Watertown game was scoreless at halftime before Watertown’s Meadow Mancini scored two second half goals.

Woodland cut the lead to 2-1 with a goal in the 71st minute as Megen Sirowich converted a Shannon Pruzinsky cross, but the Hawks couldn’t find the back of the net again. Carasone made five saves on the day for the Hawks.

“I think we put in a lot of effort,” Sirowich told the Republican-American after the game. “Watertown is a tough team, and we have to come in and play hard. They are fast up top and have a really good keeper. We knew it was going to be tough. We just wanted to put in a lot of effort, and I think we did a good job of that today.”

Naugatuck will host Woodland on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Next week, Naugatuck will host Holy Cross on Tuesday and visit Derby on Friday.

The Hawks will head to Brookfield on Saturday. Next week, Woodland will host Derby on Tuesday and St. Paul on Friday.