Log In

Reset Password

Marty Dunn’s Hat-Trick Ignites Second-Half Rally Against Visiting Amity



Text Size

“Pass the ball to Marty,” one fan hollered from the Blue & Gold Stadium stands, leading to an appreciative, collective chuckle, as the Nighthawks gained possession of the ball.

Marty Dunn, after all, had just recorded a natural hat-trick (three unanswered goals) to help bring Newtown High School’s boys’ lacrosse team back from a 3-2 halftime deficit on the way to an 8-4 win over visiting Amity of Woodbridge under the lights on May 4.

Newtown’s three-goal standout continued to factor into the offensive pressure but other Nighthawks, after Dunn’s clutch tallies gave them a 5-3 advantage, hit the back of the net to pad the lead; the Hawks scored six straight times in the second half before Amity got a goal late in this physical contest. By then the Hawks had seized complete control and were on their way to a feel-good win despite having absorbed some hard hits, some of the illegal variety.

Dunn took a backdoor pass from Sean Reilly in close and converted to tie the game at 3-3 just 1:04 out of the halftime break. Newtown gained possession and Amity committed a penalty soon thereafter; down a man, the Spartans saw Dunn capitalize again, this time when he picked up a loose ball and scored for a 4-3 Newtown edge with 7:40 to go in the third quarter. Nick Stockwell hit the post as he was hit illegally; another Spartan penalty on the play led to Dunn bouncing home a man-up net-finder with 1:17 left in the period.

There was more of the same early in the fourth with Marcus Gerace scoring despite taking hard check, making it 6-3 with 7:43 to play. Cole Stockwell added to Newtown’s lead in transition after he forced a turnover on the defensive end and took a pass from Charlie Massett and connected with 6:28 to go. Nate Pickard had a night to remember as he scored his first varsity goal with 3:25 left to cap Newtown’s scoring barrage.

Possession, as always in lacrosse, was key in this outcome. Newtown faceoff specialist Fisher Stites won 11 of 16 draws. And the Hawks fought for loose balls to add to possession time and, ultimately, pressure on the Amity net.

“We worked hard in the middle of the field. We won the ground ball battles,” said Newtown Assistant Coach Sean Wallace, whose squad collected 35 total ground balls, led by six scoops from Brady Macey and four apiece from Stites, C.J. Manfredonia, J.J. Haddick and Charlie Dunn, along with a trio of ground balls from Nick Stockwell.

Stites and Gavin Doyle both netted goals. Massett logged three assists, Reilly finished with two assists, and Marty Dunn and Nick Stockwell each had an assist. Goaltender Blake Ballard made seven saves.

Marty Dunn’s goals were the focus of attention since not only is scoring three a nice accomplishment but also because given the timeliness and how the quick trio of goals changed the game.

“He sees the field very well,” Wallace said of Dunn.

“It felt great,” Dunn said. “We just had the energy. The energy was unmatched from any game we’ve had.”

Wallace noted that the coaches made halftime adjustments and the players came through.

“Great job by our coaches to find opportunities and great job from our players to execute,” Head Coach Tony Fitti said.

Ball movement was a big part of the turnaround. Specifically, the Hawks changed the direction they moved the ball to Marty Dunn. “Overall great decision-making versus the Amity zone. We were able to let the ball do the work, crisp without stick work, and when we had shooting opportunities we made them pay,” Fitti said.

Newtown improved its record to 6-7 and on the cusp of state tournament qualification with three games to play. Wallace noted that the Nighthawks needed just one more win to get into states and that he has confidence in the group regardless of the record.

“We just need to get into the dance and ruin someone’s day. We’ve got the guys to do it,” Wallace said of the potential for the Nighthawks to pull off an upset or more and make a postseason run.

Newtown got that playoff-clinching victory with a win over visiting Notre Dame-Fairfield on May 7. The Hawks cruised to a 15-1 win behind Nick Stockwell’s four goals and two tallies each by Stites and Marty Dunn. Stites had eight ground balls and Marty Dunn six grounders.

The Hawks have won two straight following an 8-2 setback to visiting Pomperaug of Southbury on May 2. Newtown, after visiting New Milford on Thursday, closes out the regular season Saturday, May 11, when Brien McMahon of Norwalk visits at 7 pm. This is the team’s 15 For Life Foundation fundraiser game.

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

Marty Dunn (No. 17) scored three times to spark Newtown’s 8-4 comeback win over visiting Amity of Woodbridge at Blue & Gold Stadium on May 4. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Nate Pickard scored his first varsity goal in the win.
Fisher Stites won 11 of 16 draws in the win over Amity.
Drew Bradley looks to make a play on the offensive half of the field.
Charlie Massett helped the Hawks to a comeback win.
Brady Macey moves the ball into the offensive half.
Marcus Gerace, left, looks to get past a defender.
Comments are open. Be civil.

Leave a Reply