Girls’ Soccer Team Posts Shutouts Against A Pair Of Panther Squads
Whether from Southbury or Monroe, Panthers were completely denied by Nighthawks on the Blue & Gold Stadium turf in consecutive Newtown High School girls’ soccer team home games, September 21 and 23. First, the Hawks blanked Pomperaug of Southbury under the lights, then they took care of business against Masuk of Monroe in a day game in the rain — each win coming by 2-0 scores.
Against Pomperaug, the Hawks registered a goal in each half. The first goal was scored off a corner kick from Leah Morris that was headed in by Sydney Oltran. The second was logged when Ella Morits kept a through ball in play from going over the end line, had her first attempt blocked by the Pomperaug goalkeeper, and then knocked in her rebound. The Nighthawks had a few other chances in the second half that went just wide.
Grace Newsom earned her first clean sheet in goal, stopping their two shots on target in what Coach Adam Bourret said was a great team win.
In the Masuk game, Oltran was set up by Morits, and Sara Premus capitalized on Masuk’s keeper being well out from the goal following a short kick Premus knocked down. Newsom got another shutout with help from a strong back line that featured solid play by Aashini Shetty, Hannah Stowe, and Jamie Rowan. Ana Morris and defensive midfielder Izzy Caron also made big plays to keep the Panthers from doing much.
“Grace Newsom has really stepped up in goal and has been doing everything she needs to,” said Bourret, adding that the defensive unit is doing its collective part in front of her. “They’ve just been playing great together and they’re gelling.”
The wet, rainy at times, conditions can serve as a bit of an equalizer for teams but the Nighthawks made no costly mistakes.
“It’s very good, especially in these conditions, to come away with a clean sheet knowing anything can happen out there,” Bourret said.
Newtown got back at it with a visit to Bethel on September 26 and the Nighthawks and Wildcats played to a 2-2 tie. Bethel scored in the first 15 minutes of the game.
“We had a few good looks at goal in the first half but couldn’t convert. Girls fought hard and never gave up and tied the game at 1-1 with eight to go,” Bourret said. Sydney Oltran was on the receiving end of a Bethel clearance, took the ball inside the top of the box and shot far post for the goal. Two minutes later, Bethel went back ahead off a long throw-in that was blasted in from short range. With four minutes to go, Ana Morris played a cross in from deep that made it over the back line, and Morits won the foot race with the goalie and was able to poke it in.
“A great display of heart and grit, the girls never gave up,” Bourret said.
Varsity Soccer Night In Newtown will take place at Blue & Gold Stadium on Saturday, September 30. It’s a doubleheader with the girls taking on Bunnell at 4 pm, followed by the boys hosting Xavier of Middletown at 6. Newtown Soccer Club players who wear their jersey will get in for free.
Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at email@example.com.