DERBY — There was little surprising about Woodland’s easy, 6-0 victory over Derby on Tuesday afternoon at Witek Park. The Hawks poured in their goals in the first half, let off the gas in the second, and didn’t allow a score for the fourth time in five games.
The only surprise may have been how Woodland head coach Joe Fortier summed up the game.
“I thought we could have played better,” Fortier said. “You don’t want to embarrass anyone and blow anyone out, but you don’t want to pick up bad habits. We didn’t necessarily want to score more goals, but we were getting beat to balls.”
Those issues didn’t hurt the Hawks, who built up a 5-0 lead in the first half thanks to a hat trick by Steph Dumond.
Woodland missed a half-dozen scoring opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the game before finally getting on the board. Audra Blewitt took a ball deep in the left side of the box at about the 11-minute mark before taking a shot that was deflected by the Derby keeper. Dumond was in the perfect spot for the weak rebound and tapped it in for a 1-0 lead.
Just a minute later, Dumond made a few shifty moves at the top of the box and fired a strike to the left side of the net for her second goal in 60 seconds.
The Hawks poured in another flurry around the 20-minute mark started by an impressive bender fired by Arianna Caruso from near the end line on the right side of the box. The ball hooked inside the far post for a 3-0 lead.
On the ensuing possession a minute later, Jehna Kemp lobbed a pass intended for Blewitt, but it sailed over her head to the Derby keeper. She couldn’t corral it, but Dumond was there again for an easy rebound and score to complete her hat trick and give the Hawks a 4-0 lead.
Later in the first half, Alaina Nedderman drilled a lofty corner kick into the box which initially went off the hands of the Derby keeper, then off Blewitt’s knee before Kemp cleaned it up with the goal for a 5-0 advantage.
Woodland’s playmakers—Kelly Boucher, Kelly Sherman, Steph Dumond, and Keri DeBiase—all exited the game about halfway through the first half, giving the rest of the team a chance to fill in. Fortier thought that illustrated his team’s play so far this season.
“As a team, we’ve had more than one player stepping up,” Fortier said. “We lost an all-stater in Raven Palmerie but I think we’re a better team because of all the experience we have on the field. We have girls who have played three and four years out there now.”
The Hawks added a goal late in the second half when Blewitt tacked on her first goal from inside the box.
Woodland only allowed Derby to make one substantial run toward goal but Alma Rizvani was there to stop all three shots on the series, sprawling from the right post at first before diving in front of the left post to clean up the mess.
The Hawks outshot Derby, 16-0, in the first half and 27-3 overall.
Fortier attributed Woodland’s strong play in the center of the field to his team’s perfect, 5-0 start.
“I think up the middle we can compete with anybody,” Fortier said. “We have a great goalie, great defense, great center-mids, and great stoppers. We have people with tons of experience and playing time. Kelly Boucher has never played center-mid but she’s become one of the best in the league. There’s no better than Keri DeBiase in this league. I’d take her over anyone. She’s making great passes and it makes us a better team.”
Woodland is on the verge of starting the tough portion of its schedule. They play Oxford tonight and a Friday game at Wolcott, the Hawks host two of their biggest games of the season next week. They’ll play Watertown on Monday and Holy Cross on Oct. 5.