Slow start for Naugy girls soccer

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BY KEN MORSE
The Naugy girls soccer team started the season with two of the top teams in the NVL, Watertown and Holy Cross. The saying that in order to be the best you need to play the best certainly doesn’t apply to a team that is rebuilding with seven freshmen out of a 17-player roster.
The Greyhounds were outmatched on Sept. 8 in a 9-1 loss to 2022 NVL runner-up Watertown. Senior Layla Nemeth had the only goal for Naugy.
“We only have two seniors,” said Naugy coach Cristina Sendra. “Layla and Ava DeFilippo lead the younger players with four juniors who can help in that leadership role, as well.”
Defensively is where Naugy needs to close the gap. Junior goalkeeper Griffin Carroll is in the net with the backfield of DeFilippo, Nemeth, junior Hallie Ortega and freshman Jaylynn Ramsay.
“The girls realize it’s a rebuilding year,” added Sendra. “They know that if they work hard they will improve but it may take some time to see some success, as far as games in the win column (go).”
Naugy did show a fighting spirit when they battled in the second half of the Holy Cross game Sept. 12, which ended in an 8-3 loss. Nemeth scored her second goal of the season with junior Charisma Gardner and freshman Lola Desousa adding goals.
“It was a tough first half, but I was encouraged with the way we handled ourselves in the second half,” Sendra said. “Junior Isabella Gilchrist is our center-mid and her experience is what we need to try and maintain possessions.”
Sophomores Ariel Martinez, Monica Reyes-Pita, Takaliah Ellis-Wiley and Emily Ky give Naugy a little bit of depth while the group of freshmen is looking to establish themselves in a varsity role.
“The way the girls responded after we talked at halftime in the Holy Cross game was a plus and showed me they are eager to improve,” said Sendra. “It definitely shows some promise for the future, but it’s hard to gauge that when you start out taking on the NVL runner-ups for the past two seasons.
“I think once they gain a little bit of experience they are going to start to come into their own. Jaylynn Ramsey really showed what she is made of and gave us a great effort out there. That gives us something to build on.”
The Greyhounds concluded the first full week of the season on Friday at Danbury. Naugy will be hosting Seymour on Sept. 18 and will have a rematch with Watertown at home on Sept. 20.