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Big Goals: Field Hockey Team Looks For Record-Setting Season



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Coming off a season in which it scored what Coach Stephanie Kearns believes is a program season record number of goals (last year’s Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) results show 64 cage-finders between regular and postseason), Newtown High School’s field hockey team is looking for even more.

Junior Katie Goyda, whom Kearns said accounted for 44 of her team’s tallies — also believed to be a season record — is back to lead the offense.

Defender Camryn Griffin and goaltender Gigi Marino are the team captains. The Nighthawks are also led by seniors Katie Dirga, Kat Trammel, Meghan O’Rourke, Kelsey Pearson, Olivia Steare, Jenna Reilly, Abi Tainter-Gilbert, and Aniko Walsh.

The Hawks graduated a handful of players, but most of the starting lineup is back as they look to build off last year’s 13-2 regular slate and run to the Class L state tournament semifinals.

“We have a lot of returners who work well together. It will be a lot of fun to see how they connect in a game situation,” Kearns said.

The coach wants to see her team go deeper into the state playoffs. That, of course, would mean a trip to the championship round and possibly a banner raising when all is said and done.

Both tourney exits were tough ones for the Hawks last fall. In the South-West Conference tournament semifinals, NHS fell 2-1 to eventual runner-up Immaculate of Danbury. The Nighthawks were seeded fifth in the state bracket and, after wins over Hamden and Enfield in the first two rounds, were edged by top-seeded Cheshire 3-2 in overtime. Cheshire went on to lose to second-seeded Staples of Westport in the final.

The road to what Kearns and her team are hopeful is the state pinnacle begins on Thursday, September 12, when Watertown visits Treadwell Park at 4 pm.

Three straight scheduled games late in the season are among those of significant interest for Newtown: An October 10 visit to defending SWC champ and perennial powerhouse Pomperaug of Southbury, beginning at 7 pm; an October 16 visit to Blue & Gold Stadium from Trumbull at 6 pm; and an October 17 clash at Immaculate at 4 pm.

Last fall, Pomperaug handed Newtown one of its two regular-slate defeats in a 2-0 outcome, NHS defeated FCIAC foe Trumbull 2-1 in overtime, and the Hawks handed Immaculate its first and one of just two defeats in a 2-1 overtime thriller in mid-October.

In an earlier game of interest, Bethel visits Treadwell Park for a 4 pm game on October 2; the Hawks will look to avenge a 2-1 setback to the Wildcats last season.

Katie Goyda, Camryn Griffin, and Camryn Powers go for the ball as Assistant Coach Russ Davey and Head Coach Stephanie Kearns (with baby Caroline, under the umbrella) look on during practice at Treadwell Park. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Shannon Kelleher, left, runs with the ball as Jenna Reilly defends and Victoria Stevensen joins the play. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Maddy Twitchell defends during practice. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Field hockey captains are Gigi Marino and Camryn Griffin. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
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