Woodland girls shut out Naugy


Woodland’s Riley Shaw is all smiles after scoring her third goal against Holy Cross last Wednesday. The Hawks followed up their 4-3 win over Holy Cross with a 2-0 shutout of Naugatuck last Friday to improve to 9-0-2 on the season. RA ARCHIVE
NAUGATUCK — After the Woodland boys’ monumental, 6-2 victory over Naugatuck last Friday afternoon, the day was only half finished. They packed it up in Beacon Falls and the soccer caravan rumbled north up Route 8 to the borough for Naugy-Woodland II.

In the borough, the Woodland girls continued the school’s momentum by mounting a remarkably efficient, 2-0 blanking of the Greyhounds.

And by the way, we love our football in the Valley, but take this to the bank: There were more spectators at the girls soccer game Friday night at Naugy than the football game on the upper field.

Back to soccer, Woodland (9-0-2) put on yet another superb display of soccer. Early it was mostly Naugy (6-2), but feisty keeper Alma Rizvani made the key saves, and then the opportunistic Hawks scored.

In the first half, it was Stephanie Dumond streaking down the left touchline, sent away by a pass from Jamie Minoski. Dumond’s blast from the wing lifted the Hawks (8-0-2) to a 1-0 lead. In the second half, it was a Dumond cross that Keri DeBiase redirected into the Naugy goal.

Rizvani’s play in a goal made the difference early, but as she deferred the credit.

“Our defense had a phenomenal game,” Rizvani said. “They spread wide and stopped the through balls. This would not have been a 2-0 game without them.”

DeBiase agreed.

“It all starts with the defense,” DeBiase said. “We can play it wide, and we can play to the middle. We have talent throughout the field.”

Is this Woodland’s year? Well, it is still a bit early to stake a title claim. But something Dumond said hints that the Hawks have a clue about how to play these final three weeks leading to the tournament.

“We look to each game as if it is the last,” Dumond said. “This is one game, and that’s it.”

Woodland had no trouble continuing its momentum into this week with a 3-0 victory over St. Paul. Audra Blewitt scored twice, DeBiase had a goal and two assists, and Kelly Boucher notched an assist in that game.

The Hawks will put their unbeaten record on the line in two more home matches within the next week. On Friday, Woodland hosts Seymour before the Hawks take on another nonleague challenge when they host Bunnell on Oct. 19.

Naugatuck, meanwhile, had a week off following its loss to Woodland and will next play Friday afternoon at Sacred Heart. The ‘Hounds have four games set for next week, starting with a home match against Torrington on Tuesday night before three-straight road games.