Sports


Newtown High Boys' Soccer Team Blanks Pomperaug, Falls To Masuk And Strives To Learn From Defeat

Published: October 12, 2017 at 12:00 am

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Jalen Minter (No. 6) battles with Masuk's Kyle Konkol. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Jalen Minter (No. 6) battles with Masuk's Kyle Konkol. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Brendan O'Hara traps the ball with his chest. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Brendan O'Hara traps the ball with his chest. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Adam Faley controls the ball. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Adam Faley controls the ball. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Grant Moxham gets his head on the ball. Goalkeeper CJ Trivers looks on. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Grant Moxham gets his head on the ball. Goalkeeper CJ Trivers looks on. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Thomas Briscoe (No. 21) settles the ball as Ryan Hodska defends. Newtown's Nick Weiland looks on. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Thomas Briscoe (No. 21) settles the ball as Ryan Hodska defends. Newtown's Nick Weiland looks on. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Jalen Minter (No. 6) battles with Masuk's Kyle Konkol. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Jalen Minter (No. 6) battles with Masuk's Kyle Konkol. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Rilind Limani, right, races for the ball along side a Notre Dame player. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Rilind Limani, right, races for the ball along side a Notre Dame player. (Bee Photo, Hutchison)
Sure, the 2-1 setback at Masuk of Monroe on October 10 could have been chalked up as an acceptable loss to a really strong team; the Panthers came into the contest, after all, like Newtown with only one loss - and have established their winning ways in mostly dominant fashion.

But Nick Booth, coach of Newtown High School's boys' soccer team, views this as a learning experience from which his team must get better if it is to make noise in the upcoming South-West Conference and state playoffs.

The Panthers played their over-the-top long ball style to build an early 2-0 lead, scoring twice in the opening seven minutes, and hung on. Newtown fell to 8-2-1 and Masuk improved to 9-1-1.

Booth noticed his Nighthawks playing more to Masuk's long-kick style and getting away from its bread-and-butter: ball control, short passes, and moving the ball out to the flanks or to other open spots to create chances.

"We can't play like that," Booth said. "We lost our way. It's a lesson for our guys because we can not play that way. We've got to keep the ball or we're not going to get our way."

The Nighthawk coach said Masuk's approach is a bit unusual but that its collective size makes the team effective at it. He added that Newtown will see some unfamiliar teams in state tourney play, so this was a good test for his squad.

"We've got to control the tempo of the game. We've got to improve our style and not allow teams to dictate the flow of the game," Booth said. "We have to prove we can get it done in one of these games," Booth said.

Another likely tough challenge was a Thursday, October 12, visit to unbeaten Joel Barlow of Redding, the only team to defeat Masuk, in a 1-0 nail-biter, beginning at 4 pm.

Jack Oltran scored late in the first half of the Masuk game to give the Hawks some life and, to their credit, they had some momentum in the second half but could not break through. Nighthawk goalkeeper CJ Trivers made six saves to keep his squad in the game.

Oltran also scored in a 1-0 win over visiting Pomperaug of Southbury, on October 5. The net-finder was set up by a throw-in from Adam Farley. Trivers made eight saves.

The Hawks will host Immaculate of Danbury on Tuesday, October 17, beginning at 6:30 pm. After visiting Stratford on Thursday, October 19, at 7 pm, NHS will host Old Lyme on Saturday, October 21 at 6 pm.

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This Week's Poll

Newtown Cultural Arts Commission is presenting or coordinating on six weeks of special events. Which event are you looking forward to the most? (Visit our Features page for a full story with details about all of these events.)

“In The Bag” exhibition, on view to September 28
0% (0 votes)
The Lords of 52nd Street concert, September 14
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Arts Festival weekend, September 15-16
50% (1 vote)
“An Evening of the Arts,” September 15
50% (1 vote)
“The Fox on the Fairway” production by Town Players of Newtown, weekends September 21-October 13
0% (0 votes)
“The Main Street Replica Project,” launching September 25
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series screenings of “The Blues Brothers,” September 30
0% (0 votes)
Photography display “In Our Rearview Mirror” by Marleen Cafarelli, et al, October 1-30
0% (0 votes)
“Love, Laughter, and Rhubarb” with Tinky Weisblat, October 3
0% (0 votes)
Newtown Day, October 6
0% (0 votes)
The 3rd Annual Newtown-Sandy Hook Restaurant Week, October 8-14
0% (0 votes)
Basket weaving workshop with Tina Puckett, October 13
0% (0 votes)
“Courageous Conversations in A Complex World,” October 17
0% (0 votes)
Live at ETH: David Wax Museum concert, October 19
0% (0 votes)
The 2nd Annual Fall Carnival at Fairfield Hills, October 19-21
0% (0 votes)
Connecticut Author’s Reading Series, October 21
0% (0 votes)
Natalie’s Open Mic, October 21
0% (0 votes)
“The Wordsmiths,” October 24
0% (0 votes)
Pianist Konstanza Chernov, October 28
0% (0 votes)
Someday Cinema Series double feature screenings of “Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Beast with Five Fingers,” October 29
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 2