It would be easy to excuse members of the Newtown High School girls’ soccer team for having a lot of confidence and for starting to think repeat. Last year’s state champions have a new look with a mostly different starting lineup, but the Nighthawks picked up where left off a year ago — coming out on top game after game. They were unbeaten in five straight tilts to begin the season, but won’t make the mistake of believing they still don’t have a lot to prove.
The winning ways were highlighted by a dominant 4-1 triumph over a generally challenging Masuk of Monroe at Treadwell Park on September 19.
“It’s a big win,” said Coach Marc Kenney, adding that the rivalry between the teams gives the matchup a little extra special meaning.
Lindsey Jagoe and Sarah Lynch had first-half goals, and Jess Keller and Dale Shearin hit the back of the net in the second half. Lynch played a significant role in the last three goals — she got behind the defense and took a shot that was stopped and Keller banged home the rebound early in the second half. Lynch then crossed the ball from deep in the right corner to find Shearin standing near the far post for the final goal, less than five minutes later. Keller and Madeline Sieber had assists in the opening half of play.
“We did a good job, I think, of getting forward in numbers,” said Kenney, adding that good things stand to happen with Lynch and Keller up front.
Good things happened for the Nighthawks throughout the start of the campaign, and they’re feeling positive.
“We’re getting our confidence up. We’re playing really well together,” Jagoe said.
Newtown blanked visiting Weston 3-0 on September 24. Lynch scored twice and added an assist, and Kerry Scallon added a goal. Alyssa Ruefenacht had ten saves in goal in her first game back since injuring her leg against Bethel on September 11.
Kenney said he’s seeing indicators that this group can do something special at the end of the campaign, but is cautiously optimistic.
“I’m starting to see signs of that,” Kenney said of his squad showing it could be a threat in the postseason once again. Newtown reached the South-West Conference finals two years in a row. “We’re not there yet. We’ve got a long way to go.”
The Nighthawks are getting into the meat of their schedule now, Kenney points out. Newtown was scheduled to visit unbeaten Joel Barlow of Redding on September 26. After hosting a .500 New Fairfield squad at Blue & Gold Stadium at 7 pm on Saturday, September 28, the Hawks will take on a pair of teams that carried three wins into this week’s action — Bunnell of Stratford and New Milford.