Newtown High School’s rematch with Weston in South-West Conference boys’ lacrosse tournament action serves as proof that numbers are merely numbers and the past is the past. The third-seeded Nighthawks were edged by No. 6 Weston 6-5 in quarterfinal round action at Blue & Gold Stadium on May 20.
Newtown had beaten Weston early in the campaign, and did so handily in an 8-2 triumph, but the Trojans turned the tables on the Nighthawks in a tightly contested game.
The Nighthawks nearly came back from a 6-3 fourth-quarter deficit, but late goals by Jake Ball and Dan Hebert weren’t enough and got overshadowed by the home team’s turnover problems. Newtown threw the ball away on multiple late-game possessions. The Hawks also created some turnovers in the waning minutes to give themselves a chance, but they’ll have to wait for the start of state tournament play to resume competition.
“I think anytime you come out and you beat a team pretty big the first time, they almost have the advantage coming out because they don’t really have anything to lose when they come out to the game,” Newtown Coach Glenn Adams said.
Weston benefited from the return of Grey Bradshaw-Mack, a strong defensive player out of the lineup in the regular season clash. The team got two goals each from Austin Drimmal and Sean Fumai.
Newtown continued its strong defensive play. The Hawks held opponents to six goals in four straight games to close out the regular season and limited Weston’s offense enough to give its offense an opportunity to win.
“We came out a little bit complacent in the beginning,” Adams said. “We just didn’t move the ball as well as we had in [the first meeting between teams]. I think we just made too many unforced turnovers, and that was really the story of the game.”
Newtown got three goals from Ball and one apiece off the sticks of Hebert and Alec Beauchemin. Hebert led Newtown with five groundball scoops, and Deegan Beauchemin and Tyler Hanley each had four.
“We dominated possession but when we had it we either threw it away or we just took bad shots and that was really what killed us,” Adams said.
Newtown goaltender Evan Isaacs made 12 saves. His counterpart, Grant Limone, made 13 stops.
“They’ve got a good goalkeeper. You’ve got to make him make saves. I just didn’t think we made him make enough in this game,” the Newtown coach said.
The Hawks will try to rebound in the upcoming state tournament. Adams anticipates a challenging first-round visit to Greenwich out of the tough FCIAC.
“Hopefully we use it as a wakeup call here, that you’ve got to come out ready to play. Because there are no games after that if you lose. Luckily, we do have another game with states,” Adams said.