Nobody is mistaking the NVL for the CCC, FCIAC, SCC or SWC in boys soccer.
The Naugatuck Valley League is not as deep, talent-wise, as those other conferences but the teams at the top feel they can contend with anyone from the best conferences in state tournaments.
To that point, in games against the top two teams from the SWC, Watertown (8-2-1) beat Pomperaug 2-1 and tied Weston 2-2, this season.
“It is not the SWC, SCC or FCIAC but the top part of the conference is a talented group,” Naugatuck coach Ryan Kinne said. “Woodland is a very good team, Holy Cross is a very good team and Watertown, who we have not played yet, has some good results. The top part of our conference is talented and can compete on the state level.”
Naugatuck, Holy Cross, Watertown and Woodland should be the top four seeds in the NVL Tournament.
Naugatuck (10-1-1) is currently on top of the NVL standings without a loss in conference.
The Greyhounds have four games left, including a matchup with Watertown next week.
The one loss was a 4-3 defeat to Newtown from the SWC with the tie coming against Barlow, also from the SWC.
Holy Cross (10-1-2), which lost to Naugatuck 2-1 last week, has only allowed six goals all season behind a solid defense and stellar goalkeeping by Aidan Nixon.
“There is a lot of parity across the board,” Holy Cross coach John Teixeira said. “A team that plays with heart and works 110%, anything can happen. I am impressed with how we have taken it to the next level in the second year under a new philosophy and formation. This is where we gel and start playing our best soccer in the most important time of the year.”
Woodland (9-2-0) dropped a 1-0 decision to the SWC’s Brookfield, but beat Portland from the Shoreline Conference 2-0.
Windham senior Alfonso Vazquez became the state’s all-time leading goal scorer, tallying his 127th career goal.
Vazquez scored five goals in Friday’s 6-1 win over Killingly, to break the record.
The previous mark of 126 career goals was held by Joe Nielsen of RHAM, set in 1988.
CHALLENGING ABBOTT TECH
Before losing 1-0 to Platt Tech last Thursday, Abbott Tech had rattled off 10 wins in a row.
The team currently sits at 10-2-0, second place in the CTC.
More importantly, the team is vying for a top seed in the upcoming CIAC Class M Tournament.
Right now, they are the No. 6 team in Class M.
What are they doing to prepare themselves for states?
They are taking on some of the better teams out of the SWC, hoping to see a higher level of competition heading into the postseason.
In three of its final four games, Abbott Tech will face New Fairfield (4-6-1), Pomperaug (9-2-1) and Weston (8-0-3) with the first two of those games being on the road.
Weston is the No. 4 team in Class M starting this week while Pomperaug is contending for a top seed in Class L.
Abbott Tech will close the season facing Prince Tech/University (10-1-) out of the CRAL, currently the top seed in Class L.