Girls’ Soccer Team Blanks Cheshire
Clinging to 1-0 lead, Newtown High School’s girls’ soccer team continued to pressure Cheshire’s back third before finally breaking through for a pair of goals just over a minute apart. The quick net-finders propelled the Nighthawks to a 3-0 victory over their out-of-conference opponents at Blue & Gold Stadium on October 13.
The Nighthawks improved to 8-1-2, and Cheshire, out of the Southern Connecticut Conference, dropped to 5-3-3.
Emma Curtis played a big part in the win, making her way through the Cheshire defense for a first-half tally, then assisting on another, via her corner kick from the left side, for Newtown’s final goal. Karsen Pirone headed in the send from Curtis less than nine minutes out of the halftime break. The corner came about thanks to the efforts of Curtis, who let go of a shot that was knocked out of bounds. Curtis returned the favor after Pirone had set her up in the opening half.
The second net-finder was scored by Ally McCarthy, off an assist from Sydney Howard.
Newtown goalkeeper Julianna Stavola made seven saves, and her performance included a pair of sliding efforts in the final ten-or-so minutes. Stavola charged out to her right to break up a play, then went left and corralled the ball to negate another Cheshire try, preserving Newtown’s sixth shutout of the campaign.
“We talked at halftime about being less reactive and taking more initiative,” said Newtown Coach Marc Kenney, adding that his team’s second-half play in the offensive third was the best he’s seen in a few games.
The defense is always rock-solid.
“When we communicate and play hard we do a good job back there,” Kenney said. “Our ability to defend has sort of been a staple of the program over the last ten to 12 years.”
Kenney, whose team extended its unbeaten ways to seven (6-0-1) against Cheshire, liked where his team stood heading into the regular season’s stretch run.
“I feel like we’re finding our groove in a tough season. We’ve had a bunch of injuries; we’ve had a bunch of cancellations,” Kenney said.
Necessitated by Mother Nature’s rain and makeup games, the Hawks were slated to play three games in four days this week, visiting South-West Conference foe Joel Barlow of Redding on October 15, then hosting Brookfield the next night, and entertaining Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport in an afternoon contest at Treadwell Park two days later.
“Next week’s really tough. We’ve just got to get through it,” Kenney said. “Hopefully we find ourselves in the same position we’re in right now.”
All that’s left after these contests are visits to Bunnell of Stratford on Saturday, October 20, at noon, and a visit to New Fairfield, October 24, at 6 pm. Then, it’s on to the conference playoffs.
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