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Field Hockey Team Unbeaten In South-West Conference Play, Locks Up Top Seed



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In a battle for the top seed in the South-West Conference Tournament, Newtown High School’s field hockey team made clear who the team to beat is, blanking visiting Pomperaug of Southbury 3-0 in the regular-season finale, at Treadwell Park, on October 25. That capped off a perfect season in conference play; NHS finished 11-4 overall.

The Nighthawks are scheduled to host Immaculate of Danbury in the conference quarterfinals on Thursday, October 28 at 5 pm. The semis are set for Tuesday, November 2, for right to play in the championship game two days later.

Izzy Butler had all three Nighthawk goals, Reagan Schoen had two assists, and Summer Harrell also had an assist in the win over Pomperaug, which previously only lost in conference play to Masuk of Monroe, in overtime. Goaltender Cailyn Sullivan made three saves, including a pair in the final seconds to preserve the shutout.

Newtown was coming off a 5-0 loss to Greenwich on October 23. The Hawks blanked Joel Barlow of Redding 2-0 on October 20. Butler scored in the first minute of the game, assisted by Schoen, and scored another, set up on a cross by Harrell. Newtown earned six shutout victories this season.

“I’m proud of them — they earned it,” Newtown Coach Ellen Goyda said of her team clinching the top spot in the conference.

Goyda said her team will have to come out playing well to advance in the conference tournament, noting that a flat start put her squad in a 1-0 hole to Immaculate through one quarter of play before the Nighthawks turned it on for a 6-1 triumph on October 15.

“On any given day and every single time we step on the field everybody wants to get us,” Goyda said.

To prepare for a run in the conference tourney, Goyda scheduled games against six tough nonconference foes. Newtown went 2-4 in those contests, winning one in the waning seconds and the other in overtime.

“I think it’s paying off,” Goyda said of facing those tough opponents. “We’ve just got to come to battle. As long as my starters are healthy I think our chances are good.”

The question is how many of the starters can be out of action with the Nighthawks still in good shape. The Hawks will not be at full strength with senior defender Maddy Twitchell out for the season after suffering a broken finger in a 2-1 overtime win at Fairfield Ludlowe on October 16. Schoen, another leader on the team, sustained a hand injury in the Pomperaug game. Goyda said the next day that Schoen plans to play through some pain. The coach is also confident in her substitutes and depth of the lineup.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Ali Powers moves the ball through the middle of the field during Newtown’s 3-0 win over Pomperaug, at Treadwell Park, on October 25. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Shannon Haggarty, left, battles for possession.
Summer Harrell, left, defends in the Pomperaug game.
Shannon Kelleher makes a move toward the goal as Maggie LaBanca looks on.
Rachael Albrecht, left, defends against Pomperaug.
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