Newtown High School’s girls’ soccer team had rebounded from a 1-0 loss, on the road, to the New Milford Green Wave on October 3 with a 2-1 win at Portsmouth, RI two days later. The Nighthawks tied visiting Brookfield 1-1 on October 8.
New Milford’s only goal was scored in the 25th minute by Sierra Grazia and assisted by Rachel Weir. Newtown goalkeeper Alyssa Ruefenacht had six saves in the losing effort. New Milford’s goalie Tara Lynch had three saves in the victory.
“We came out flat, we didn’t play hard and that certainly caused problems for us, being that New Milford came out strong and played really hard. We have to move on and turn the page for our game on Saturday,” NHS Coach Marc Kenney said.
With the loss, Newtown fell to 6-2-1 and New Milford improved to 7-2-0.
Over this past weekend, Newtown traveled to Portsmouth, RI to participate in a Sandy Hook School benefit game at Roger Williams University against Portsmouth High School. Newtown came out victorious, beating Portsmouth 2-1.
Portsmouth got on the board first with a goal from captain Leah Hibbad in the seventh minute of the game.
After Hibbad’s goal, the game was all Newtown. The Nighthawks responded with two unanswered goals in the second half of play. Brenna Kelly scored, and Sarah Lynch assisted the first Newtown goal in the 52nd minute. The second goal was scored by Kerry Scallon and assisted by Kelly in the 75th minute of the game.
“Our performance Saturday was the opposite of how we played Thursday. All of the things that we didn’t do Thursday, we did Saturday, and when we play like we did Saturday, we’re a really good team,” Kenney said.
Portsmouth’s coach Jim Blaess reached out and wanted to do something to assist the town. That something turned into a game that actually counted for both teams in their state tournament seedings and a more than $4,000 donation from the Portsmouth team to the Newtown International Center For Education program.
All of the ten hotel rooms used by the Nighthawks were donated to the team, the charter buses were donated, and playing at Roger Williams University was completely free of charge for both teams. In addition, Roger Williams hosted a barbeque for both teams following the game.
“This was the single best experience I’ve ever had as a coach. My team bonded and became close with the Portsmouth team. I can’t even put it into words how gratifying it was to watch,” Kenney said.
With the win, Newtown moved to 7-2-1, and Portsmouth dropped to 5-2-1.
After being postponed due to rain on October 7, the Nighthawks visited a tough Brookfield team. Sarah Lynch scored off a corner kick as Newtown and Brookfield finished in a 1-1 tie. Brookfield stands at 4-2-5 and the Hawks carried a 7-2-2 mark into an October 10 game against Lauralton Hall of Milford. The Nighthawks, after visiting Oxford on October 12, return home for a battle with Immaculate on Tuesday, October 15. The teams will play at Blue & Gold Stadium at 7 pm.