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Program Effort Keys Laxmen’s First-Round State Playoff Win



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You’ve heard of a team effort. How about a program effort?

That is what Newtown High School boys’ lacrosse had in the week leading up to a 15-2 Class L State Tournament win over visiting Enfield on May 25. The No. 12 Nighthawks scored early and often to defeat the No. 21 seed at Blue & Gold Stadium under sunny skies and advance to the Wednesday, May 29, visit to No. 5 Simsbury in the second round at 7 pm.

Newtown Coach Tony Fitti said junior varsity players and freshmen joined the varsity squad in practice in the week leading up to this game. Those players along with varsity substitutes were paramount in the team’s success, Fitti said.

“They work hard every single day. They deserve a lot of credit,” said the coach, noting that their efforts in practice helped get the Nighthawks ready for battle.

Newtown worked the ball well with nice passing leading to good scoring chances they cashed in on, highlighted by 11 assists on those 15 tallies.

“The ball movement was really good. We got a lot of guys on the scoresheet,” Assistant Coach Kevin Sheahan pointed out.

Nick Stockwell, Marty Dunn, and Nate Pickard each had a hat-trick with Stockwell also assisting on three goals, Dunn assisting on two, and Pickard setting up another. Marcus Gerace logged two goals and three assists, Fisher Stites scored twice, Charlie Massett had a goal and an assist, Kyle Ruddy found the back of the net, and Gavin Doyle assisted on one tally.

The Nighthawks were on their game in all facets, including the all important possession piece with face-off specialists Stites and Luke Gagnon combining to win 15 of 20 draws. Brady Macey collected eight ground ball scoops, Stites had six, and Pickard and Ruddy each had four.

“I think all season we’ve been trying to progress to this point to peak at this time,” Sheahan said.

The winner of Newtown-Simsbury advances to the state quarterfinals. Regardless of the outcome against Simsbury, the Hawks, who stand to have a bulk of their players coming back next year, can build off the progress they have made throughout this spring.

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

J.J. Haddick (No. 21) defends during Newtown’s 15-2 win over visiting Enfield in State Tournament action on May 25. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Kyle Ruddy looks to make a pass.
Marcus Gerace (No. 15) makes a move on a defender.
Asher Williams scoops the ball for the Nighthawks.
Gavin Doyle moves upfield with the ball.
Nate Pickard makes his way past defenders.
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