Newtown High School’s girls’ soccer team — just as it did during the previous Thursday through Tuesday stretch — had a win, loss, and tie this past week. The Nighthawks, following a scoreless deadlock with Lauralton Hall of Milford on October 10, clobbered Oxford 6-2 two days later, then fell 2-0 to Immaculate at Blue & Gold Stadium on October 15.
The Nighthawks carried an 8-3-3 overall record into an October 17 visit to Pomperaug of Southbury. Newtown will close out the regular season Monday, October 21, when Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport visits NHS for a 3:45 pm contest.
Immaculate remained unbeaten dating back to a season-opening setback to Weston last fall thanks to a pair of Paige Davis goals less than a minute apart early in the game.
It was Senior Night and Newtown’s seven final-year players were honored before the contest.
“We got off to a rough start. Maybe it was the emotion of Senior Night — maybe not,” Newtown Coach Marc Kenney said. “I’m certainly happy with our effort.”
Kenney added that his players did a much better job of collectively going forward with the ball in the second half. NHS goalkeeper Alyssa Ruefenacht made ten saves — double the number of stops made by her counterpart, Ashley Houghton.
In the win at Oxford, Dale Shearin and Sarah Lynch both netted two goals, and Lindsey Jagoe and Makenna Cerney each scored.
With the South-West Conference playoffs just around the corner, Newtown is on the cusp of earning home field advantage awarded to the top four teams, for the quarterfinals of the eight-team bracket. The Nighthawks, Pomperaug, and Lauralton began the week within two points of each other and jockeying for the fourth, fifth, and sixth spots — with seventh-place Weston not far behind and third-place New Milford not far ahead of the pack. Unbeaten Immaculate and one-loss Joel Barlow of Redding are poised to claim the top two spots.
“It’s a huge advantage for us,” Kenney said of earning a first-round home tilt if his team is able to do that. “It’s huge. Look at this place — this is the nicest stadium in the SWC.”
That said, Kenney knows his team will have its work cut out once in the postseason — home or away. The SWC semifinals are held at neutral site Brookfield and the championship — regardless of which teams make it — will be held in Newtown.
“Home field advantage is certainly not going to win you a title,” Kenney acknowledged.
But it can’t hurt in serving as a stepping stone to getting to the conference title game, making the final week of the regular campaign a big one for the conference rivals. Stay tuned.