NAUGATUCK — The Red Dogs of Naugatuck’s youth soccer league are two wins away from a title.
The Naugatuck U-13 youth soccer team will take on Glastonbury in the Connecticut Cup State semifinals at City Hill School on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Head coach Joe Campos along with assistant coaches Rob Black, Dave Ranno and team manager Stacey Carroll have guided the Red Dogs through three victories to reach the final four.
The Red Dogs used an explosive offensive presence to turn back Simsbury by a 10-1 count, and then shut down Fairfield in an 8-0 victory.
That put Naugatuck into the quarterfinal round against Avon. The Red Dogs continued to play their stifling defense led by Marcus Ruff, Tyler Kusmit, goalkeeper Branden Hawks, Diogo Cruz, Tim Belden, and Parker Wade.
The Red Dogs battled Avon in a scoreless tie nearly through two overtimes. Michael Campos punched the Red Dogs’ ticket to the semis after sending a penalty kick into the back of the net with two minutes left in the second overtime.
“That was the best game that we played all season,” Campos said. “In fact the other coach for Avon said it was a classic.”
Campos attributed the team’s run to defense and passing.
“Our defense has been really on its game allowing only one goal in three games in this tournament,” Campos said. “Our goal keeper has been phenomenal and our offense has been passing the ball and putting it in the net.”
The Red Dogs have outscored the opposition 19-1 led by a potent offense that can put the ball in between the pipes. Michael Campos is at left forward with Alexander Matos at right forward and Mauryico Dasilva at center forward.
Mario Mancini at left midfield, Jose Guardiano center midfield and Sean Harnish at right midfield control possessions and open up the passing lanes for the quick scoring Red Dogs.
Adding to the Dogs offensive presence are forwards Andrew Carroll, Mason Lopes and Kevin Alves along with midfielders Robert Black and Dan Crowley.
“We are looking forward to the game on Saturday,” Campos said. “We know as we move on in this tournament the teams will be tougher. But we have a good offense and a defense and the kids refuse to give up.”