Boys’ Soccer Team Welcomes Rest After Tie With Bethel
A full week’s rest between games was a welcomed break in the schedule for Newtown High School’s boys’ soccer team. Sure, it may be just three weeks into the campaign, but it has been an extra busy stretch for the Nighthawks, who had played two games in as many days in late September and have been battling some bumps and bruises.
“It’s a short season, but three, four games a week you definitely need some down time to separate yourself from the sport,” Newtown Associate Coach Justin Stevens said after the Nighthawks settled for a scoreless tie with visiting Bethel at Blue & Gold Stadium on September 26.
Duncan O’Leary was back after sustaining an injury two games earlier and sitting one out, and he played well, anchoring the defense against Bethel. The Nighthawks had a bulk of the game’s scoring chances but couldn’t put one home.
“We certainly had the opportunities to put the game away early,” said Stevens, noting that the opportunities included Tanner Trede’s blast off the crossbar.
In the second half, Jalen Minter made a series of impressive moves to get around defenders and deep into Bethel’s end of the field but had his bid for a goal partially blocked by the Bethel defense. That led to one of a pair of corner kick chances in a 60-second span late in the second half.
The Nighthawks used control in the midfield and patience to push the ball forward in this game. They have tinkered with using an extra forward or two in an effort to put pressure on opposing defenses, but have used a more traditional approach with two or three forwards in most games due to its on-field personnel.
On the whole, Newtown is making strides this season, Stevens believes.
“You can see progress. You can see we continue to make progress as a team,” Stevens said. “We’re hoping we can string some wins together here. I think it’s going to be a tight battle this year with respect to where teams stack up.”
The Nighthawks carried a record of 2-3-1 into Thursday’s game against Masuk of Monroe.