Nighthawk Girls’ Booters Establishing Identity: Finding Ways To Win Games
Newtown High School’s girls’ soccer team has found a variety of ways to win while extending its unbeaten streak to four games at the midpoint of the regular season.
The Nighthawks, after edging Immaculate of Danbury, and Joel Barlow of Redding by 2-1 scores, added to their win total to close out September with a 1-0 blanking of host New Milford on the last day of the month and then toppled visiting Suffield 5-1 at Blue & Gold Stadium on October 2. NHS went back on the road to play New Fairfield on October 5 and prevailed 3-0 for its fifth consecutive victory to improve to 7-2.
Against New Milford, Katie Rowan was assisted by Ella Moritz for the lone goal. Newtown Coach Marc Kenney was pleased that his team found the net against an opponent that “packed it in defensively.”
Suffield was 6-0, having outscored teams 26-1 coming in. The Nighthawks jumped out to a 4-0 halftime lead and cruised behind a Riley Powers hat-trick and a tally by Mortis.
Three assists by Rowan and assists by Skyler Howard and Moritz helped the Hawks to their second 5-1 win of the fall. NHS accomplished the same outcome in game one, against Naugatuck. Goalkeeper Ryann Heim-Sherwood made a couple of impressive saves, including a diving stop early in the contest.
“Suffield is historically one of the best teams in the state. They have a history of winning games — that’s for sure,” Kenney said.
The New Fairfield game marked Newtown's third shutout win of the campaign. Heim-Sherwood made three saves. Izzy Caron, Mortis, and Rowan (on a penalty kick) had the goals.
In the earlier wins over Immaculate and Barlow, NHS found a way against tough South-West Conference rivals.
“It’s always an intense game against them,” Kenney said of playing Immaculate, adding that the Mustangs are well-coached by Nelson Mingachos.
“The key for us was being able to score first,” said Kenney, whose team built a 2-0 lead on net-finders from Bella Gerace and Rowan.
A waning-seconds goal by Powers propelled Newtown past Barlow in another nail-biter.
At this point of the season, Kenney is pleased to see his squad finding ways to put teams away and pull out the close contests — finding its identity.
“They’re buying in 100 percent. They’re loyal to each other, they’re loyal to me, they’re loyal to what we’re trying to do,” Kenney said.