Boys' Soccer Team Beats Bethel And Settles For Disappointing Deadlock
Coming off a 2-0 win over visiting Bethel on September 26, Newtown High School’s boys’ soccer team had a quick turnaround and a fast start — including a goal by Clay Gattey, assisted by Blake Jarvis, only 8:30 into the match — when Weston came to Blue & Gold Stadium the next night.
Unfortunately for the Nighthawks, that was their only net-finder despite more than double the chances Weston manufactured. The Trojans scored late to salvage a 1-1 tie. It was a disappointing outcome for the Hawks, who stood at 2-3-2 this season following a game they thought they should have won.
After a late-game surge by Weston, Newtown came alive for a chance to snap the tie. Gattey got behind the defense and made good contact on a bouncing ball, but hit it just over the cross bar with 1:25 to go.
Throughout the contest, nice, quick touch-passes by Gattey, Paul O’Leary, and Michael Cook, among others, gave Newtown a decisive advantage in ball possession and opportunities.
Newtown goalkeeper Alex Daignault made only four saves — Weston keeper Dylan Weiss had ten — but some were big, including a diving stop on a second half free kick. Newtown defender Forrest Weatherby also came up with a blocked shot.
“This one’s frustrating. This one feels like a loss,” said Tommy Shaker who, along with Gattey scored in the win over Bethel, at Treadwell Park.
“It seems more like a loss, but I’m sure we’ll bounce back from it,” senior captain Gattey said.
The Nighthawks had a tall order in their next contest, a clash with unbeaten New Milford at Treadwell Park on September 30. Newtown fell 4-0 but still has half of its season ahead.
Newtown Coach Brian Neumeyer would like to see more urgency to win on the part of his players, many of whom are new to the lineup this fall. “We had opportunities to score,” he said of the Weston game. “But, in order to get that final goal and make that final push we have to do a little bit more.”
Senior captain Gentian Limani notes that while the team has to put away more of its scoring chances to come out on top, he’s seen some overall improvement from the start of the campaign. After a 4-0 win over Bunnell of Stratford to begin the campaign, the Hawks tied Bethel then lost two straight before defeating Bethel.
“We’ve turned around the intensity,” Limani said following the Weston game.
Neumeyer was pleased with the performance in the Bethel rematch. “We needed something. I think we played extremely well,” he said.
After the tough tie with Weston and loss to New Milford, Newtown will again try to get back to winning ways with back-to-back games against different Panthers. After a visit to the Pomperaug of Southbury Panthers on October 2, the Hawks will host Masuk of Monroe when those Panthers go to Treadwell Park for a 3:45 contest on Monday, October 6. Newtown returns to Blue & Gold Stadium to tangle with Joel Barlow of Redding under the lights on Wednesday, October 8, for a 7 pm game.
“If we can get on track we have a very, very good technical team,” Neumeyer said.