Boys’ Soccer Team Gets Morale Booster With Shutout Victories Over Wave And Rebels
Having been on the short end of three consecutive 1-0 outcomes, Newtown High School’s boys’ soccer team was proving to be competitive but in need of some goals. The Nighthawks got just that early on against visiting New Milford, at Blue & Gold Stadium, on September 30. Newtown established a 2-0 halftime lead on the way to a 3-0 victory.
Jake Gonski scored twice and Calvin Lucas added a goal in the second half. Mark Sadowski and Justin Zemo provided assists. Goalkeeper Yarema Stasyshyn made some tough saves, including a diving stop with 12 minutes left to preserve the shutout of the Green Wave.
“It definitely feels good to get some goals and get the win,” Gonski said.
“It definitely helps morale. ... It’s the first of many,” captain Hunter Baillargeon said.
Although the Nighthawks certainly look to feed off wins, the team can look to its previous game, a 1-0 loss to Joel Barlow of Redding two days earlier, as a possible turning point in the season. This lineup, mostly new to varsity, had a strong showing despite defeat in that one, Coach Ryan Lyddy said.
Newtown’s coach said the team discussed its goals and finding its identity and had a few days of really good practice sessions that spilled over into the Barlow matchup.
“We’re one pass away from being a really good team. That’s what we’ve been working on every day,” Lyddy said.
Newtown beat New Milford to 50-50 balls and seized control of the game.
“I think we really outworked them,” Sadowski said.
Gunnar Bozentko said the team’s passing, formation, finishing in the front third, as well as marking players and dropping back on defense were all keys to the win over New Milford.
Lyddy has been impressed with the growth of Stasyshyn, a sophomore, both on the field and as a person. He pointed to strong defensive play of John Moxham, Connor Dullinger, and Brendan McAnaspie in helping to earn the clean sheet. Josh Prudhomme, like McAnaspie a freshman, also came up big. Greg Gargano worked hard all over the field, and Mateo Moura was instrumental in Newtown’s control of the ball, Lyddy added.
Newtown improved to 4-4-1 this fall with a 1-0 blanking of the visiting New Fairfield Rebels on October 5. Bozentko had the lone net-finder. NHS visits Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport on Friday, October 8 at 4 pm.
Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.