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Nighthawks’ Field Hockey Season Begins With FCIAC Clashes



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Tough matchups to start the season are testing Newtown High School’s field hockey team and new Coach John Savage out of the gate. After consecutive games with FCIAC teams Trumbull and Fairfield Ludlowe, the Nighthawks take on South-West Conference rival Masuk of Monroe, which returns almost all of its lineup from last year, in back-to-back clashes.

The Nighthawks began things with a 2-1 setback to visiting Trumbull, at Blue & Gold Stadium, on September 10.

After a scoreless first half, Ellenore Schoen was set up by Rachael Albrecht for a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the third quarter. Trumbull answered with a pair of goals less than two minutes apart late in the third, and that was all she wrote.

The Hawks did not go down without a fight. Albrecht set up a chance that led to a penalty corner opportunity with about seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Shannon Hegarty set up and took a penalty corner with just under six minutes remaining. Newtown could not capitalize.

Newtown held Trumbull to just a pair of tallies despite the Eagles generating more chances.

“I thought it could have been more than that but the kids stayed tough,” Savage said.

Newtown’s coach said both of Trumbull’s goals resulted from instances in which players did not mark opponents. When in possession of the ball, the Hawks need to move it around, push pass with power, and find open lanes when making those passes, the coach said.

“The fight’s there. We have to learn to correct our mistakes though,” Savage said. “There are a lot of things that if we change we’ll be okay.”

Usually a defender, Brooke Bulkley stepped into the center midfielder role in the absence of a starter, and contributed both defensively and on offense, and trailed on the team’s penalty corners, Savage said. The coach was also particularly pleased with the efforts of right midfielder Ellie Meyer. “She played with heart and created some opportunities,” Savage said.

NHS fell 4-1 to visiting Ludlowe on September 13. Meyer scored the lone Newtown goal on a nice flick. Savage said overall play improved and that the team is headed in the right direction.

Newtown was scheduled to face Masuk on the road on September 14 and at home three days later; read about the games in the September 23 print edition of The Bee.

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

Shannon Hegarty, right, battles for control during Newtown’s 2-1 loss to Trumbull at Blue & Gold Stadium, on September 10. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Brooke Bulkley, right, defends during Newtown’s clash with Trumbull.
Jenna Lagan, right, moves the ball out of the defensive end of the field.
Ellie Meyer looks to settle a bouncing ball as the Hawks go on the attack against the Eagles.
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