SEYMOUR — It’s not the type of start to the season the Seymour High girls soccer team was hoping for during the offseason.
A year after qualifying for the NVL tournament and missing the Class M state tournament by one game, the Wildcats wanted to get off to a fast start — definitely not 0-2.
“We are not going to quit,” said Seymour senior captain Melissa Gagliardi as she walked off the field Tuesday night after a tough 4-2 NVL loss to Naugatuck. ‘We have a young team, but we are going to keep on battling. We are going to have a successful season. We are going to gain more confidence.”
After controlling the ball most of the first half, Naugatuck finally found paydirt when senior Hailey Boulanger scored off an assist from freshman Noelle Jacobi. The Wildcats, however, went into the half only trailing 1-0 despite being outshot 11-1.
The Wildcats, however, were not done having trouble defending Boulanger. The speedy forward doubled the Greyhounds’ lead 20 minutes into the second half, but Seymour sophomore McKenzie Collins capitalized on a long ball 10 minutes later to bring the Wildcats back to within a goal.
Boulanger notched her third goal of the game with 2:34 left to play to make it a 3-1 game, but once again Collins found a hole in the Greyhounds’ defense for a goal with only 1:15 left on the clock. That was the last shot the Wildcats had in the closing minute as Jacobi scored just before the final horn.
“We knew Seymour is a team that is going to keep fighting,” Naugatuck coach Lisa Mariano said. “They kept fighting the whole game. It’s great to have somebody with Hailey’s speed and confidence. We missed some shots in the first half, but we were creating the shots. You can’t score if you don’t take shots.”
‘We played two teams to start the season that really possess the ball well,” said Seymour coach Gary Freeman, whose team lost to Woodland 4-1 in the season opener. “Naugatuck really passes the ball well and under control. We need to control the ball better.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
It’s tough to argue with choosing a player that scores three goals in a tight win and may have had two more if not for some big plays from the Seymour defense. Boulanger was an offensive force the entire game and her relentless pressure on the defense was the main reason she was able to find the back of the net three times.
Seymour junior keeper Malyssa Kubik had a strong game in front of the net, despite giving up four goals. She was under constant pressure in the first half with Naugatuck controlling play and firing numerous open shots.
“She played very well for us,” Freeman said of Kubik. “She cut off a lot of angles and got to a lot of balls.”
The Wildcats return to action on Thursday night at 6:30 against NVL foe Sacred Heart at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury. The Greyhounds next game is Friday afternoon when they will play host to Woodland.
NAUGATUCK 4, SEYMOUR 2
RECORDS: Naugatuck 2-0; Seymour 0-2.
GOALS: N—Hailey Boulanger 3, Noelle Jacobi; S—McKenzie Collins. ASSISTS: Jacobi. SHOTS: N—20; S—8. SAVES: N—Sydney O’Donnell 6; S—Malyssa Kubik 16.