Newtown High School’s boys’ soccer team, the No. 5 seed in the South-West Conference Tournament, traveled to Redding to tangle with No. 4 Joel Barlow in the tourney’s quarterfinals on October 24. Newtown, after beating the Falcons twice late in the regular season — holding Barlow to just one goal in those two games — fell behind 2-0 in the opening half and couldn’t overcome the early deficit. Barlow prevailed 2-0 to advance to the semifinals. Newtown’s girls’ volleyball team finished as the SWC’s No. 2 seed behind Masuk of Monroe. The Nighthawks will host No. 7 New Milford on Monday, October 27, at 5:30 pm in the quarterfinal round. The winner advances to the Wednesday, October 29 semifinals, slated for 5 pm at neutral site Masuk High.
In a battle of unbeaten South-West Conference football rivals, Newtown High School’s football team shook off some mistakes and penalties and overcame a tough Brookfield squad for a 21-14 victory at Blue & Gold Stadium on October 24. Newtown improved to 7-0 and Brookfield fell to 6-1 in a rematch of last season’s conference championship game, won by Newtown. The host Nighthawks scored all of their points in the opening half as Nick Rubino and Jaret DeVellis both scored on a three-yard runs, and Jacob Burden hooked up with Julian Dunn on a 17-yard TD pass. Newtown fell behind for the first time this season when the Bobcats cashed in on a fumbled punt return for an early score. Newtown turned the ball over with an interception on the next possession, but the defense held strong throughout most of the rest of the game.
Newtown High School’s field hockey and girls’ soccer teams concluded their regular seasons on October 22, with the field hockey team hosting Bethel and the soccer team visiting Pomperaug of Southbury. The field hockey team, with a 2-1 win over Bethel, locked up a state playoff spot. The Nighthawks defeated Brien McMahon of Norwalk 3-2 at Blue & Gold Stadium on October 21, then edged Bethel at home two nights later. Newtown needed a win and at least a tie in its final two games to clinch a state playoff berth with a minimum .400 winning percentage. The soccer team went into its final game having won three straight contests and looking to bolster its state playoff positioning.
Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team heads into the South-West Conference playoffs riding high, having won eight straight matchups with SWC opponents, and the Nighthawks will look to carry that success over into the conference tournament, set to begin on Monday, October 27. The Nighthawks finished 11-2 in SWC play and carried a 13-4 overall mark into the season finale, a nonconference clash with visiting East Lyme, set for 5:30 pm on Friday, October 24. Among the bigger wins during Newtown’s streak was a hard-fought victory over visiting Joel Barlow of Redding on October 17. Newtown overcame a 2-1 deficit to prevail 3-2 (25-19, 25-27, 21-25, 25-17, 15-10). Barlow had beaten Newtown 3-2 earlier this fall, as well as each time the teams met going back to the 2011 season. “We haven’t beaten them in three years so it’s nice to finally get a win against them,” said senior Tonya Tucker. “That gives us a huge confidence boost,” adds fellow senior Clara Whaley. Barlow and Newtown both stood at 10-2 in conference play after the match. Newtown’s other really big win this fall was a four-setter over Weston, which also carried a 10-2 mark into the final week’s action. Only Masuk of Monroe (12-1) has a better record. The win over Barlow was aided by strong fan support, captain Kyle Dandrea believes. “We had a lot of fans. I think that hyped us up a little more,” she said.
Newtown High School’s girls’ swimming and diving team concluded the regular season with a 94-81 win over visiting Masuk of Monroe on October 21. Newtown jumped out to the early lead against Masuk as the 200 yard medley relay team of Megan McDonald, Annika Fagerholm, Eliza Eggleston, and Mandy Mele finished in first place with a time of 1:59.98.
In control of their own destiny, but also down to the wire, members of the Newtown High School boys’ soccer team stepped up and locked up a South-West Conference playoff berth with a 3-0 win over Notre Dame-Fairfield, under the lights at Sacred Heart University on October 20. Blake Jarvis, Clay Gattey, and Shane Gattey all scored in the team’s final conference game of the regular season.
They hadn’t lost a game in 48 consecutive tries dating back to the start of the 2011 season — one shy of tying Cheshire’s state record — running all over their Naugatuck Valley League opponents and some others in state playoff games, en route to a trio of Class S state championships, along the way. On October 17, the Ansonia Chargers, a storied football program with 19 state championships, ran into the South-West Conference’s Newtown High School’s football team and saw a chance at making history get stopped. The host Nighthawks stuffed Ansonia’s running attack throughout the night and prevailed in a 14-8 nail-biter. Newtown improved to 6-0 this year and is starting to build a winning streak of its own, and Ansonia fell to 5-1.
Sure, Ansonia High School’s football team isn’t in the South-West Conference so a win over Newtown High in the October 17 game (7 pm kickoff at Blue & Gold Stadium) would only impact Newtown’s state playoff positioning. But a victory by the Nighthawks would mean more than just impacting state postseason seeding for Ansonia. Newtown’s opponent has won 48 straight games — just one shy of tying Cheshire’s state record, set in the early/middle 1990s. “We know and the whole state knows how good of a team Ansonia is,” Newtown wide receiver and defensive back Julian Dunn said. “I think it’ll be a heavyweight fight.”
Newtown High School’s girls’ volleyball team won its sixth straight match on October 15, defeating host Immaculate of Danbury 3-0 (25-17, 25-13, 25-11). Kyle Dandrea had seven kills and four digs, Alexa Reilly added four kills, and Sarah Bender had 17 assists and five aces. The Nighthawks defeated host Bethel 3-1 (25-16, 25-14, 23-25, 25-13) a day earlier. Dandrea had 14 kills and three digs, Molly McCoy had 30 assists and five kills, and Tessa Leon-Gambetta had seven digs.