There is a precaution in sports about resting on your laurels. The Woodland boys soccer team has compiled a 12-2 record in capturing the NVL Brass Division title going 8-0 in the division. It marked the first ever boys soccer title at Woodland
On Monday at Municipal Stadium Woodland squared off against 9-5 Kennedy as the Eagles celebrated senior night. That was all the momentum Kennedy needed as they pulled off a1-0 overtime win over the Hawks.
Woodland came in with all the momentum after pulling out a come from behind 3-2 win over Ansonia last Friday with Tyler Carlos scoring the hat trick. Kennedy has had an up and down season but over the past few years they have proved to be a formidable opponent throughout the NVL.
At 4:10 left in the overtime period Andrew Machado lifted a direct kick from 20 yards out over the top of Woodland keeper Patrick Dietz that went off his finger tips into the near inside corner.
That was all the offense Kennedy needed as the defense continued to shut down the Hawks attack as time ran out on Woodland. Kosmas Tsetsos made eight saves in the net for the Eagles with Marc Beaulieu and Patrick Dietz splitting the duties for Woodland stopping 12 shots on goal.
“We didn’t come ready to play today,” said Woodland head coach Tony Moutinho. “Maybe we came in here thinking we were better than we were.”
“It was good that we played the game on this turf so we get use to it for the NVL tournament.”
“Kennedy did a good job defensively and they were a little pumped up celebrating their senior night.”
The Woodland defense did a good job as well keeping the Eagles opportunities to a minimum. Seniors Nick Boccuzzi, Mike Castro and Sean Deegan along with junior Adam Baz and sophomore Michael Costa shut off the Eagles passing lanes.
At 20:45 left in the first half the Hawks moved in for a breakaway opportunity. Lumbardh Packuku stole a ball at midfield and directed a pass to Boccuzzi on the sideline. A return pass to Eric Dietz breaking in the middle of the box created a breakaway only to have the Eagles keeper stand tall and take the shot away.
“We had a few opportunities we just couldn’t finish it off,” explained Moutinho. “Hopefully a game like this showed us that it can all be over just like that and creates a fire in us going into the tournament.”
Seth Stevens and Richard Vadala came on to shore up the midfield for the Hawks but the quickness of the Kennedy defense continued to disrupt the Woodland possessions.
At 21:08 in the second half Matt Moutinho won a ball at midfield. Labinot Mexhuani took it down the sideline with Mike Segala and Vigan Pacuku creating an opening into the box.
Nick Hebert took a pass into the corner but the shot across the front of the goal was batted away by the Kennedy keeper. Both teams missed opportunities in the closing minutes of regulation as the deadlock headed into overtime.
Minutes before the Kennedy game winner Woodland put on a charge inside the box but before the shot was taken the defense swarmed the ball to take it away.
Woodland will finish up the regular season with Crosby at Municipal Stadium on Wednesday to get a little more acclimated to the surroundings before the NVL tournament next week.