State Champions Honored At Blue & Gold Stadium
It’s been ten years since both of Newtown High School’s soccer teams captured state championships in the same season — an incredible feat the program celebrated during halftime of the boys’ game, the second in a twin bill for the girls and boys at Blue & Gold Stadium on September 27.
Former players and coaches walked out to midfield and were acknowledged by a large crowd that mostly packed the bleachers for the games.
“It’s a testament to a whole bunch of stuff, starting with the youth program in this town,” Newtown Coach Marc Kenney said of the fact both teams won titles in the same season. Kenney has been coaching the girls’ squad since 2007 and directed the girls to another title just a couple of years ago.
Assistant Coach Laura Mclean, who has been with the team throughout all of these years, recalls the championship season, capped by a victory over Trumbull, fondly.
“The bond the girls had was just incredible,” Mclean said.
One of the team members from that squad, Alex Konneker, admits she didn’t think it could happen — until it did.
“It was crazy — something I never thought we were capable of,” she recalls. “It seemed like something that’s unreachable. Then, all of a sudden, you’re holding the trophy.”
Also hard to believe, for some of the players, is how many years have passed since the dual championship run.
“It’s crazy to think it’s been ten years already,” said Matt Taylor, among the 2004 team members to participate in the ceremony. “It’s something you’ll never forget.”
Taylor’s best memory from that season: Capturing the title with a 3-1 triumph over Norwalk in the pinnacle game.
Teammate Chris Hoagland says the win that stands out the most for him was the 2-1 victory over Manchester in the quarterfinals. “It was a great win that we had that propelled us deeper into the tournament,” he said.
Marcus Tracy, who went on to play professionally after college, reminisces about his team’s 7-1 rout of Staples of Westport in the semifinal round.
“I just remember it was a really fun game for everybody on the field,” said Tracy, adding that a lot of different players contributed on the score sheet. “Confidence was flying high.”
“Obviously the group was a special group,” said Brian Neumeyer, who coached that lineup and continues to lead the Nighthawk booters today.