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Shorthanded Laxmen Battle Back For Dramatic Win Over Host Falcons



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REDDING — It’s offense ravaged but not deterred by early-season injuries, Newtown High School’s boys’ lacrosse team bounced back from a season-opening 8-3 loss at tough nonconference foe Briarcliff of N.Y., on March 30 to come from behind and win a 9-8 thriller over host and South-West Conference rival Joel Barlow on April 2.

The Nighthawks, without five starters — including four attack players — overcame a two-goal deficit in the fourth quarter to get into the win column in thrilling fashion.

Aiden Coleman broke the tie, assisted by Connor Breslin, with 1:20 left in regulation. The goal came about 15 seconds after an Andre Sokk takeaway on the defensive end.

Things were tense in the final minute-plus, but Newtown’s defense rose to the occasion to clinch the victory.

“I’m super proud of the young guys for stepping up and scoring,” Newtown Coach Scott Bulkley said.

Nighthawk goaltender Jake Dandrea made ten saves. Strong defense was turned in by Micheal Haddick, Sokk, Alec Budd, Brennan Mayer, and others. Sokk collected a team-high ten ground ball scoops, Budd had eight grounders, Kyle Shirk had six, and Mayer came up with five grounders. Tanner Stergue won 12 of 19 faceoffs.

Newtown built a 5-3 halftime lead led by a pair of net-finders off the stick of Kyle Sullivan.

Barlow’s turnover-causing defense enabled the Falcons to reverse the differential on the scoreboard by taking a 7-5 lead into the fourth.

Without some key goal-scorers, including Tucker Garrity, who is on pace to set the school’s goal-scoring record, the Nighthawks had a big hill to climb, but they fought hard to claw back — twice.

Breslin scored unassisted with 8:44 left, and Trede found the goal just 1:11 later.

Barlow went back in front with 6:32 remaining, but Brett Pierce answered 1:30 later when he bounced home a long-range shot just under the cross bar.

“There were so many times we could have folded the tent, and we didn’t. It’s a true testament to the character of this team,” Bulkley said.

Pierce scored twice, and Breslin, Brandon Manka, and Sokk also hit the back of the net. Sullivan, Breslin, and Pierce each had one assist.

Kyle Sullivan (No. 15) makes a move on a Barlow defender during Newtown's 9-8 win on April 2. Sullivan had a pair of goals in Newtown's comeback victory.
Connor Breslin battles in Newtown’s game at Barlow. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
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