WATERBURY — The Naugatuck defense allowed just four shots by the Crusaders Saturday at Municipal Stadium, as the Greyhounds remained undefeated with a 3-0 win. The Naugatuck seniors celebrated along the sidelines as the final seconds ticked off the clock, having swept Holy Cross for the first time in their careers.
“I was wondering what they were celebrating,” Naugatuck first year head coach Jose Sendra said. “It’s a long season, and we didn’t win any championship that I know of. But I guess beating Holy Cross twice in a season for the first time is a big deal.
“This has always been a big rivalry, and the girls went out there and really dominated on defense today. I didn’t think our passing game was as sharp as the first time we played them. But we did finish off our opportunities.”
At 28:42, Isabelle Moody took it out of the corner and found Sarah Magnamo 15 yards in front of the box. Magnamo used a little fancy footwork to break free, kicking the ball behind her with the heel of her foot.
She then quickly turned on the ball weaving past a defender and beating Holy Cross keeper Suzanne Heston to the right post, the shot settling into the back of the net for a 1-0 advantage.
Five minutes later, Naugatuck was on the attack again, as Sara Tarsi charged the right side of the box. Heston came out a little too far to defend, and Tarsi fired it into the open net for a 2-0 lead.
The Crusaders found little opportunity to get back in the game with Andrea and Kelly Markure holding down the fort on defense, along with Isabelle Verilli and Tori Pisco. Greyhounds keeper Jessica Johnson stopped all four shots to record her third shut out of the season, as Naugatuck improved to 4-0.
The passing game may not have been at its top form, according to coach Sendra, but the ball-handling skills showed by Naugatuck simply overpowered the Crusader defenders.
Nicole Sambrook took the ball away from a Holy Cross attacker and weaved her way around two defenders charging into the box. Sambrook took aim at the far post, beating the keeper at the point of attack.
The shot slammed into the post and trickled backwards into the net for a 3-0 advantage with 15:16 left in the game. Holy Cross got off only one shot in the second half, as the Naugatuck defense sealed the victory.
Naugatuck will host Norwich Free Academy Wednesday and St. Paul Friday before getting tested next week, facing undefeated Watertown and Torrington.