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Overtime Win Among Closely-Contested Conference Battles For Laxmen



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Newtown High School’s boys’ lacrosse team was involved in close contests with South-West Conference rivals this past week, highlighted by a nail-biting then a 7-6 overtime victory against visiting Bethel on April 11.

Charlie Massett scored the decisive goal, set up by Marcus Gerace, capping off a combined ten-point performance by the two Nighthawks. Massett scored twice and assisted on a pair of tallies and Gerace netted three and assisted on three others. Kyle Ruddy and Nick Stockwell also scored for the Nighthawks.

“It just shows us we have a lot of grit down the stretch and we never quit,” Massett said of the Nighthawks pulling out this down-to-the-wire (and then some) game.

Brady Macey and Asher Williams both came up with five ground ball scoops, Cole Stockwell had four ground balls, and Fisher Stites, Luke Gagnon, and Gerace all had three grounders. Newtown won ten faceoffs and goaltender Blake Ballard came up with ten saves.

“That was a good victory. There were some ups and downs — we battled some adversity,” Newtown Coach Tony Fitti said.

The Nighthawks played in chilly, windy, rainy-at-times conditions against Masuk of Monroe, also at Blue & Gold Stadium, under the lights on April 13. Masuk prevailed 10-7 despite a strong battle from the Hawks in another tightly-contested clash against town neighbors.

Masuk led 5-4 late in the second quarter and scored again in the waning seconds to carry a two-goal lead and some momentum into halftime. Masuk added to its lead early in the third and was up 7-4 before a pair of Nighthawk tallies about 1:30 apart midway though the stanza brought the Hawks back to within a goal. Luke Stewart and Kyle Ruddy both hit the back of the net in short time and a Masuk unnecessary roughness penalty at the same time as Ruddy’s net-finder gave NHS a minute of player advantage time.

Masuk killed off the penalty but lost the lead late in the third when Gerace finished a nice passing sequence for his second goal of the night. Gerace was assisted by Ruddy and Massett also helped set up the goal. It was 7-7 with 1:44 left in the quarter.

That was the third and final tie of the contest. Masuk scored with just ten seconds left in the third and added two in the fourth. A couple of late-game unnecessary roughness calls on the Hawks hurt the home team’s chances of coming back again.

Gerace scored twice and Ruddy, Sean Reilly, Gavin Doyle, Massett, and Stewart each added one. Ruddy and Gerace both had two assists and Stites added a helper. The Hawks won 11 of 18 faceoffs. Macey led the way with six ground ball scoops, Ruddy collected five, and Stites four. Ballard made five saves.

Host Brookfield doubled up Newtown 10-5 on April 16. The Nighthawks, following Thursday's visit to New Fairfield, go to Immaculate of Danbury Saturday, April 20 at noon, and return home Tuesday, April 23, to take on Joel Barlow of Redding at 7:30 pm.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Luke Stewart takes on a pair of Masuk defenders during a 10-7 loss to the Panthers at home on April 13. Stewart had a goal in the game. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Kyle Ruddy, left, protects the ball as Masuk defends.
Fisher Stites, left, turns the corner on an opponent.
Marcus Gerace (No. 15) holds possession as a Masuk player competes.
Gavin Doyle, left, races toward the Masuk goal with control of the ball.
Nick Stockwell, left, keeps the ball out of reach of a defender.
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