Round of Applause
Four Woodland teams are on pace for the best seasons in school history, and three of them have yet to lose. The Woodland boys soccer squad is 11-0-1 and is on the verge of winning a second-straight Naugatuck Valley League Brass Division title behind the stellar play of Eric Dietz and Co. Meanwhile, the Woodland girls soccer team is 10-0-3 and is just a few wins away from clinching its first-ever division title and first championship of any kind since winning the 2004 league championship. Heading indoors, the Woodland volleyball squad is 14-0 and can clinch its second division title this week. Last but not least, the Woodland swim team is one of the top-three teams in the league with a 9-1-1 record. The school-best records for each sport: boys soccer, 13-6 (2010); girls soccer, 14-3-3 (2004); girls volleyball, 20-3 (2009); girls swimming, 9-3 (2009). It looks like some of those records are going down.
Word from the Woods
So far, so good for the Woodland boys soccer team, which stayed undefeated in its only match of the week. The Hawks beat Wilby, 5-2, on Tuesday in Beacon Falls to improve to 11-0-1. For the second time this season, Eric Dietz scored five goals in a game. “He’s just so much faster than everyone,” Woodland coach Tony Moutinho told the Republican-American. “He has such a knack for the goal. He is just one of those players who could always find the back of the net.” Mike Segala earned two of the assists while Nick LaPerriere, Kevin Kozera, and Mike Costa chipped in one each. Marc Beaulieu and Patrick Dietz combined to make seven saves for Woodland. The Hawks lead Watertown (8-2-3) in the Brass Division and will face the Indians in the regular-season finale on Oct. 26. Before then, Woodland faces Seymour on Thursday, Crosby on Friday, and Ansonia on Monday. Winning all three of those matches will clinch the team’s second-straight Brass championship.
The Woodland girls are still unbeaten after posting a 1-0-1 record last week. The Hawks blanked Seymour, 3-0, last Friday in what was Woodland’s seventh shutout of the season. Keri DeBiase scored two second-half goals for the Hawks while Audra Blewitt also scored and Riley Shaw had two assists. Rizvani made three saves to preserve the shutout. On Tuesday, Woodland tied nonleague opponent Bunnell, 2-2. DeBiase netted both goals on assists by Marissa Macek and Steph Dumond. Rizvani made five saves for the Hawks, who are now 10-0-3. Woodland’s two most important remaining games come consecutively at Watertown on Friday and against Wolcott on Monday. The Hawks tied both teams in their first meetings of the season. If Woodland wins both games, it will clinch the program’s first-ever Brass Division championship.
Girls Swimming and Diving
The Hawks kept pace with Torrington and Watertown as the top three teams in the league this week by reeling off three more victories to improve to 9-1-1 this season. Last Wednesday, Woodland beat Seymour, 92-83, before beating Sacred Heart, 100-80, on Friday. On Tuesday, Woodland beat St. Paul, 84-66. Against the Falcons, event winners included the 200 medley relay team (Emily Trumbley, Carolyn Luddy, Anna Boris, Brianna Christiano), Jen Tavares (100, 200 free), Sydney Corneau (50 free), Kim Thrasher (diving), Chrissy Leeper (100 fly), and Katie-Jean Hinckley (500 free). Last Friday, Dayna Chucta set a school diving record of 219.29. Woodland hasn’t lost since Sept. 30 against Watertown and has four more regular-season meets before the NVL trials in Novemeber. The Hawks were set to host Sheehan on Wednesday before welcoming Lyman Hall on Friday. Woodland finishes the slate with two road meets, at Kennedy on Tuesday and West Haven on Wednesday.
The Woodland boys and girls competed in their final regular-season meet of the season last Wednesday at Seymour High. The boys lost to Holy Cross, 17-44, and Seymour, 25-30, while the girls beat Seymour, 15-50, and Holy Cross, 27-28. For the boys, Joe Reynolds was the top finisher (seventh, 18:11) while Ian Chamenko (ninth, 18:33) also cracked the top 10. For the girls, Mary Sardinskas finished second in 20:22. Steph Kiley (third, 20:41), Miranda Moffat (seventh, 21:53), and Melissa Kiley (10th, 23:19) also finished in the top 10. The boys finished the regular season 4-7 while the girls finished 8-3. Both teams were set to compete in Wednesday’s NVL championships at Veteran’s Park in Watertown. Check mycitizensnews.com for results of the meet.
The Naugatuck boys rebounded from a pair of losses last week to win two-straight to open up this week. The Greyhounds beat Sacred Heart, 4-1, on Monday before taking out Torrington, 4-2, on Tuesday. Against the Hearts, Adam Branco had two goals, Nolan Kinne tallied a goal and two assists, Jason Goja scored, and Josh Corbo and Billy Kiely each added assists. Anthony Pohorilak and James Bell combined to make five saves for Naugy. On Tuesday, Branco again led the Greyhounds’ charge with two more goals and two assists. Kinne and Goja also scored again while Ygor Silva chipped in with an assist. The two goalkeepers combined for eight saves. The ‘Hounds are now 9-4-1 with two home matches remaining, on Friday against Derby and on Wednesday against Torrington. Naugy can clinch the Copper Division title by beating the Raiders next Wednesday.
The Greyhounds’ chances at making the NVL and state tournaments may go down to the final week of the season, as Naugy currently sits at 5-7 with six matches to play after losing a pair of matches to Seymour and Kennedy over the last week. Last Wednesday, the Wildcats swept Naugy, 3-0. Sarah Chandler led the ‘Hounds with four kills and two aces while Lauren Andreoli added two aces. On Tuesday, Naugy fell to the Eagles, 3-1. Steph Barry had 18 assists and five digs for the ‘Hounds while Lani Chucta added six digs and Courtney Quarles had five blocks and four kills. Naugatuck faces five of its final six matches on the road, including a doubleheader at Wilby on Thursday before hosting senior night against Crosby on Friday. Naugy finishes with matches at Torrington, Woodland, and Holy Cross at the end of next week.
Girls Swimming and Diving
Naugy improved to 4-2 on the season with an 88-75 victory over St. Paul last Friday. The Greyhounds won every event, including the 200 medley relay team (Erica Spino, Maria Carranza, Madison Wilson, Amanda Miller), Rachel Fox (200 free), Rebecca Doback (200 IM, 500 free), Miller (50 free), Bianca Antrum (diving), Wilson (100 fly), Martina Niebrzydowski (100 free), the 200 free relay team (Barbara Martins, Wilson, Mariah Somohano, Miller), Emily Krueger (100 back), Carranza (100 breast), and the 400 free relay team (Miller, Martins, Elizabeth Walsh, Doback). Naugy stays home on Friday when it hosts league power Torrington at 6 p.m. The Greyhounds will also welcome nonleague opponent Masuk on Monday night.
Both the Naugatuck boys and girls clinched Copper Division championships in their final regular-season meets last Wednesday at Veteran’s Park in Watertown, but the Greyhounds both suffered their first defeats of the season. The boys rolled past Wolcott (21-40), Wilby (18-41), and Sacred Heart (15-48) but narrowly lost to unbeaten Watertown (27-31). Muad Hrezi won the race in 15:36 while Nick Moriello (third, 15:59) and Dan Schumacher (seventh, 16:34) also placed in the top 10. The girls beat Sacred Heart (17-43) and Wiby (15-50) but lost to Wolcott (19-40) and Watertown (21-34). Jordyn Allen was the only Greyhound in the top 10, finishing fourth in 20:36. The boys finished the regular season 10-1 while the girls finished 9-2. Both teams were set to compete in Wednesday’s NVL championships at Veteran’s Park. Check mycitizensnews.com for results of the meet.
CN Athletes of the Week
Kenny Mo’s pick
The Naugatuck boys soccer team came into this season without a clear-cut go-to guy to lead the scoring. Naugatuck struggled in the early-going, falling to 1-2 on the season for the first time in over a decade. Several players have stepped up to put the ball in the net. But one player has been in the middle of it all and that Naugatuck’s Adam Branco.
As the postseason nears, Branco helped Naugatuck rebound from its latest loss to Pomperaug with a pair of wins early this week. Naugatuck defeated Sacred Heart, 4-1, on Monday with Branco scoring two goals to lead the way. On Tuesday, Branco again put the team on his back by scoring two goals and assisting on two more in a 4-2 win over Torrington. For the season, Branco has scored 12 goals with seven assists.
Whenever a team has the luxury of returning an all-state athlete, the expectations are going to be high the following season. For Woodland’s Dayna Chucta, living up to those expectations hasn’t been much of a problem.
The senior diver has helped the Hawks get off to the best start in program history as the team sits at 9-1-1 entering the final week and a half of the regular season. Chucta has consistently put up some of the best scores in the NVL and broke the school six-dive record last Friday against Sacred Heart. Chucta’s new record is 219.29, and she’ll have a chance to break the 11-dive record in the championship meets next month.