Woodland boys’ soccer stays unbeaten

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BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys’ soccer team was 3-0 going into Wednesday’s match against Wilby, after recording convincing wins over Sacred Heart and Derby last Friday and Monday, respectively.

The Hawks spread 15 goals over those two matches while allowing only one, a late-game dribbler from Derby’s Max Salazar when most of Woodland’s starters were on the bench.

“I used everybody,” grinned an ebullient Coach Tony Moutinho after Monday’s 7-1 rout of the Red Raiders. “I could have the run score up to 20 goals if I wanted.”

Moutinho said he wasn’t expecting the Derby squad to pose much of a threat.

But the Sacred Heart team, who the Hawks buried 8-0 a week ago, was a different story.

“I was surprised that we dominated [Sacred Heart],” Moutinho said. “They are better than they showed. We had a good game against them, and once the ball starts rolling, it happens.”

Christian Pinho recorded a hat trick in that match as Eric Dietz scored twice and Tyler Carlos, Richie Vadala, and even keeper Marc Beaulieu each slipped a ball past Sacred Heart keeper Jake Martin.

It was Dietz and Pinho who again sparked the Hawks’ offensive spree in their next game, against Derby, as they each scored twice. Nicholas Boccuzzi, Tyler Carlos and Michael Costa all scored, and Derby keeper Will Silvestor saved seven more shots on goal.

The Hawks took only one off-target shot on Monday, striking the ball for 93-percent accuracy and netting 46 percent of their shots.

Moutinho said the Hawks had worked on finishing chances after failing to capitalize on several good balls in last week’s close win over Ansonia.

“We have done that much better lately,” he said. “We have practiced on that all week. And today that worked out, but of course [Derby’s] defense is weak, so that helped.”

In a ten-minute span in the first half, the Hawks netted five of their seven goals in a giddy offensive spree that culminated with a diving header from Carlos off a Lumbardh Pacuku cross. It was smooth sailing from there as Moutinho subbed out the starters and the Hawks mostly rested on their laurels as they continued to dominate the match.

The Red Raiders showed more mettle as they came off the halftime bench. They took six of their seven shots in the last 40 minutes and managed to sneak one by Beaulieu in the 77th, spoiling what could have been a second consecutive shutout rout for the Woodland boys.

Woodland was scheduled to take on Wilby on Wednesday and Seymour on Friday. The Hawks have never beaten the Wildcats but came close last year when the teams tied, 2-2.

In the meantime, Moutinho said, the squad will need to work on communicating and improving their passing game.

“We’re still not communicating,” he said. “We tend to dribble too much before we make the pass and I want to work on that first-touch passing. Let the ball do the running, instead of us.”