Boys’ Booters Outscore Naugatuck In 4-3 Thriller
Newtown High School’s boys’ soccer team saw its offense thrive with a five-player front in the season opener, a 4-3 win over visiting Naugatuck, at Blue & Gold Stadium, on September 14.
After tinkering with a more offensive-minded approach than is typical with soccer in the first half, regularly using three and four forwards on the way to a 1-0 lead at the intermission, the Nighthawks pushed it in the second half and the goals came in bunches.
Newtown and the visiting Greyhounds, in fact, combined to score four goals in less than eight minutes out of the break.
Jack Petersen scored twice off headers, and Joe Premus and Jalen Minter also found the back of the net.
A Nighthawk tally just bit past the midpoint of the second half extended the lead to 4-2, and that proved to be the difference.
Minter finished a pretty give-and-go exchange with Premus for Newtown’s fourth goal, with 16:41 remaining. This retuned the favor as Minter assisted Premus for the lone first-half marker.
Minter, bidding to push the lead to three, got behind the defense and took a shot that grazed the outside of the left post five minutes after his goal.
The Greyhounds got to within a goal with 8:49 to play, but Nighthawks goalkeeper Rick Irving came up with a quick-reaction kick save moments later to help preserve the win.
Irving made a leaping stop of a shot headed for the top corner to help protect a 3-2 lead with 23:25 left among his several denials.
The Greyhounds scored only 1:27 into the second half, setting the tone for the final wild 40 minutes of action.
Ryan Ruddy’s free kick from 35 yards out on the left side was headed in by Petersen with 34:25 to play.
It took Naugatuck just 20 seconds to tie the score again, and Newtown under two minutes after the equalizer to go back in front. A ball played by a Naugatuck defender back to the goalkeeper was mishandled, and Petersen was there to head the ball in for a 3-2 Nighthawk lead with 32:17 to play.