NEW FAIRFIELD — The field at New Fairfield High School hasn’t been too kind to the Nighthawks in recent years. Newtown High School’s boys’ lacrosse team almost earned a win their last year, but fell a goal short. Newtown, didn’t have to wait long to erase some tough memories from the home of its South-West Conference rivals. The Hawks got fifth-year Coach Glenn Adams his first regular-season victory at New Fairfield, a 9-5 win in the rain, in the season opener on April 11.
Granted, the Hawks don’t play there every year, but the team hadn’t won a regular season game in New Fairfield in at least a handful of tries dating back to about the last decade (results on casciac.org go back only as far as 2007). None of the current players had any success at the often wind-chilled field up on the hill.
But all of that has changed now.
“It just feels good to get back here and get a win on this field. We owed them one,” said Newtown senior Jake Ball, one of three Nighthawks to score twice in the victory.
Ball, Ryan Sullivan, and Alec Beauchemin all hit the back of the net twice, and Deegan Beauchemin, Bubba Condon, and Brad Kretz also scored in an at-times very physical battle.
Adams saw plenty of areas in which his team needed to improve, but noted, “We were riding really well.”
That strong defensive play limited New Fairfield’s chances and helped first-year starting goaltender Jon Rospenda (ten saves) log the victory.
Ball had three assists, and Deegan Beauchemin also had a helper in the win. David MacKinnon led Newtown with eight ground ball scoops among his team’s 30 pickups. MacKinnon was key in helping the Hawks get possession throughout the afternoon, winning eight of nine faceoffs.
Newtown earned another win by edging New Milford 12-10 in the home opener, at Blue & Gold Stadium, the next day. Alec Beauchemin, Conrad Morris, and Ball all scored twice, and Rospenda made 11 saves.
Following a visit to Weston on April 17, the Hawks will return home to face Conard in a potentially difficult nonconference battle at Blue & Gold Stadium on Saturday, April 19, at 2 pm.
“Conard’s a very good test for us early in the season,” Adams said.
Ball notes that the Hawks want to have success not only in the conference but in the state tournament and that scheduled games with out of conference teams Conard, East Lyme, Hall, Norwalk, Xavier, and Glastonbury stand to help prepare them for challenging games in the playoffs.
“We want to go out, play those other teams, and get some good experience against them,” Ball said.
The experience factor is why Adams schedules these games. “Those are going to be big,” the coach said.
So, too, are the in conference battles. Newtown, after tangling with Conard, will visit Pomperaug of Southbury and always tough Joel Barlow of Redding in South-West Conference games, April 21 and 24, respectively. Then comes a stretch of four straight out of conference games, beginning with East Lyme’s 2 pm visit to Blue & Gold on April 26.