Newtown High School’s girls’ soccer team had its season come to a end in a 2-1 overtime loss to visiting Newington in the Class LL state tournament’s first round at Blue & Gold Stadium on November 4. After leading 1-0 at the half, No. 16 Newtown gave up a goal in the second half and the game winner in overtime against No. 17 Newington. Newtown put up a good fight against Newington, playing stellar defense throughout the entire game. Makenna Cerney scored Newtown’s goal, which was assisted by Jess Keller.
Newtown finished off the year with a regular season record of 9-4-3 and clinched the number six seed in the South-West Conference tournament, then nearly upset No. 3 New Milford before falling 2-1 in a game that remained tied through 20 minutes of overtime and had to be decided in penalty kicks.
Over the course of the regular season, Newtown played very well, scoring as many as seven goals in a game and never giving up more than three goals in one game throughout the 16-game season. Along with only giving up 16 goals all season, the Newtown offense accounted for 40 goals in the team’s favor.
The Nighthawks recorded many big wins this year, perhaps none as memorable as their game in Portsmouth, RI in October. Newtown beat Portsmouth 2-1 in a memorable Sandy Hook Elementary School tribute game.
“This season was so memorable for me. Obviously, the past year has been an emotional one. That game was the single best experience I’ve ever had as a coach I can’t even put it into words how gratifying it was to watch,” Newtown Coach Marc Kenney said.
In addition, among the highlights was Newtown’s commanding 4-1 win over rival Masuk of Monroe back in September.
The team overcame graduation to many of its players from the group that reached the South-West Conference tourney title game and won a state championship, bouncing back to reach the SWC tournament once again and having a very successful season overall.
“On the heels of a state championship the expectations were quite high, but the graduation of ten seniors gave a lot of new kids the opportunity to play,” Kenney said.
These “new kids” did an excellent job making their mark on the team this season. Newtown’s goalkeeper, Alyssa Ruefenacht, and forward, Sarah Lynch — both juniors — were among many players that played huge roles contributing to Newtown’s success throughout the entire season.
Following this season, the Hawks will lose seven seniors: Dale Shearin, Michaela Guinee, Taylor Zingaro, Kerry Scallon and captains Anna Northrop, Tess Murray, and Lindsay Jagoe.
“The seniors, especially my captains Anna, Lindsey, and Tess, have meant so much to this program. I will miss them all so much,” Kenney said.