Tourney roundup


The state tournament runs for the Naugatuck and Woodland soccer and volleyball teams came to an end last week.

Boys soccer

No. 4 Naugatuck fell to No. 5 Hall, 5-0, in the Class LL state tournament quarterfinals Nov. 15.

After taking a one-goal lead into halftime against Naugatuck (18-2-2), Hall (16-1-2) showed its ability to turn opportunities into goals by scoring twice in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second half.

The Warriors added two more in the final 40 minutes and eliminated the Naugatuck Valley League champion Greyhounds.

“To be in this position, winning 18 games, winning an NVL title, to be in this position in the quarterfinals, it was a very successful year and it’s something we should not put our heads down about,” Naugatuck coach Ryan Kinne said.

Naugatuck advanced to the quarterfinals with a comeback, 4-2 win over No. 13 New Milford Nov. 13.

Trailing New Milford by two goals with 29:18 to play in regulation, the Greyhounds rallied to force overtime, where Samuel Daniel scored twice as Naugatuck outlasted New Milford.

“It’s my senior year. This is my last year, so I was thinking if we lost today, there’s going to be no practice, nothing,” Daniel said after the second-round match. “I was like it’s my last time, it’s my last chance to go forward and get my team the victory.”

The comeback for Naugatuck began with Chris Akinduro’s goal on a loose ball with 24:45 left in regulation.

With less than four minutes to play in regulation, Daniel played a cross into the box. Akinduro, New Milford keeper Ian Donahue and another Green Wave player collided. Qaseem Zia collected the loose ball and fired it into the goal to knot the match at 2-2 with 3:31 to play.

Naugatuck defeated No. 29 Crosby, 3-0, in the first round Nov. 11

Simon Diaz, Mateus Filho and Akinduro all scored for the Greyhounds, and David Green made six saves in goal.

No. 4 Woodland made it the quarterfinals of the state tournament for the first time in the program’s history.

Woodland’s run ended in the Class M quarterfinals with a 2-1 loss to No. 12 Ledyard Nov. 15.

Woodland (18-4) mounted a comeback in the second round to make history.

Woodland’s Sean Hussey scored the game-tying goal with 16:22 left in regulation and freshman Alex Farr scored 4:33 into overtime as the Hawks rallied past No. 13 Northwestern, 3-2, Nov. 13.

“It feels amazing,” Hussey said after the second-round match. “I was very confident. I knew our team would come back and win this game and make history. They gave us a challenge in the first half. We came out a little sleepy, but I knew we would be able to win, which we did.”

Cole Barrows gave Woodland a 1-0 lead with 27:21 left in the first half. But Northwestern evened the score just over two minutes later and took the lead six minutes into the second half.

Woodland beat No. 29 Norwich Tech, 5-0, in the first round Nov. 11.

Devon Polletta led the Hawks with two goals. Hussey, Jason Claiborn and Luca Cambra added goals for Woodland. D.J. Mulligan made one save in goal.

Girls soccer

No. 13 Woodland lost in the second round of the Class M tournament to No. 4 Weston, 3-1, Nov. 14.

Woodland (11-5-3) defeated No. 20 Immaculate, 3-1, in the first round of the Class M tournament in Beacon Falls.

Aries Bell, Paige Letourneau and Sara Alessio each scored for Woodland against Immaculate. Jillian O’Neil and Jenna Mierek had assists. Isa Mejias made six saves in goal for the Hawks.

No. 14 Naugatuck’s run ended in the second round of the Class L tournament with a 2-0 loss to No. 3 Pomperaug Nov. 14.

Pomperaug scored with 30:06 left in the first half and made it 2-0 as the first half wound down.

Greyhounds coach Lisa Mariano lauded the effort put in by the Panthers.

“They’re a strong team. Every time they touch the ball, they look to go forward, and we were just on our heels tonight,” Mariano said. “I don’t know what happened. We didn’t come to play.”

Naugatuck (10-6-3) rolled past No. 19 Rockville, 5-0, in the first round of the Class L tournament Nov. 12.

Aalyiah Henry led the Greyhounds with three goals. Paige Cruz and Emma Sonski each had a goal. Sydney O’Donnell made three saves in goal and Saige Winslow had one for Naugy.


No. 4 Naugatuck lost, 3-1 (25-14, 16-25, 25-18, 25-23), to No. 13 Platt in a Class L second-round match Nov. 14 at Naugatuck High.

Naugatuck senior Brielle Behuniak totaled nine kills, eight assists and 10 digs for Naugatuck (21-3). Kaylee Jackson added 10 kills and Jordyn Hunt had 11 digs.

It was an up-and-down match for both teams as the Panthers dominated the first and third sets while the Greyhounds, who earned a bye in the first round, controlled the second set.

The final frame was back and forth and knotted at 23 before Platt clinched it and sent the Naugatuck Valley League champions home much earlier than they anticipated.

“It’s a tough loss for us,” Behuniak said. “We’ve been working so hard all season. We won NVLs with such a great bunch. I love working with those girls.”

No. 5 Woodland fell to No. 12 Weston, 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-10, 25-23) in the second round of the Class M tournament Nov. 13.

Eleyna Beutel led Woodland (17-5) with 10 kills, and Mary Pelkey had five kills, 11 assists and 10 digs.

Most of the sets were back-and-forth clashes that could have gone either way. Woodland won the second set thanks in part to an opening 8-0 run. After Weston cruised to a win in the third set, Woodland led the fourth set 20-17 before Weston rallied with an 8-3 run to seal the match. But the Hawks, who earned a bye in the first round, walked off the court with their heads held high.

“I think we had a great season,” Pelkey said. “We really learned how to bond as a team and stick together. I think that is the most important part of all.”