Boys' Soccer Team Unbeaten To Begin The Season
Newtown High School’s boys’ soccer team is undefeated six games into the regular season behind new Head Coach Ryan Lyddy. The team continued to defend its home turf with a 1-1 tie against the visiting Rebels of New Fairfield at Blue & Gold Stadium on October 15, then shut out host Abbott Tech of Danbury 4-0 on October 20.
During the scoreless first half of the NHS-New Fairfield game, both teams displayed intense defense and ball possession resulting in numerous shots on goal and free kicks. Lyddy commented that the ball movement the Nighthawks maintained in this match was the best they have had all season as the players continue to get better every day.
Less than five minutes into the second half, Jack Petersen got his head on a corner kick from Ryan Ruddy that was then shot in by Tanner Trede. This combination from three of the four senior captains gave the Nighthawks a spark to maintain their lead.
“With all of this COVID stuff, they organize the guys, they are leaders, they are leaving everything on the field, and off the field they are doing a nice job in school in the classroom. So I can not be more happy for them,” Lyddy said of his captains.
Lyddy and his staff interchanged many players in their positions, allowing for underclassmen such as sophomore Greg Gargano to capitalize on team performance and effort.
“Greg Gargano played an excellent game. He is a little guy up top which kind of changed the game to spark that first goal,” Lyddy said.
Senior goalkeeper, Connor Mandarano played the entire game and came up with multiple saves and deflections to keep the Rebels out of scoring range and turn down their multiple shot attempts. Strong defense from Clayton Kunzweiler, Sam Edwards, and Petersen continued into the second half as they fought through the Rebels' late goal, with just over ten minutes left in the match, to keep the score tied at 1-1.
Late attempts to put the Nighthawks ahead by Jake Gonski and Ruddy were thwarted by the Rebels' defense.
“Unfortunate goal, but we had multiple opportunities to put one in to put them away. It didn’t happen, but you know sometimes a tie feels like a loss and that’s what these guys feel like. But they are still undefeated, they are still doing well, they are positive, so you can’t ask for anything more,” Lyddy said.
The Nighthawks defeated the Abbott Tech Wolverines as Tyler DiMartino scored twice, and Trede and Gonski each scored.