OT Thriller! Nighthawk Field Hockey Team Knocks Immaculate From Unbeaten Ranks
Just when it looked like Immaculate of Danbury’s field hockey team might remain unbeaten and escape with its tenth shutout victory of the season, Newtown High School’s hard-working squad got the game-tying goal late in regulation, then won it in overtime, 2-1 on Katie Goyda’s clutch goal at Blue & Gold Stadium on October 14.
The Nighthawks dominated for much of the second half, pressuring Immaculate’s tough defense again and again. Finally, with 4:51 remaining in regulation, Kat Trammel banged home only the fifth goal the Mustangs have surrendered this season.
Megan O’Rourke sent a long pass up the right sideline. Piper Coleman got the ball and moved it to Megan Goyda, who sent the ball into a group of players in the circle. Ali Kelleher was in the mix, as the Mustangs couldn’t clear, and Trammel capitalized.
Immaculate tried hard to reclaim the lead and generated a trio of penalty corners in the final 2:30 of regulation, including one as time expired. Solid defense by O’Rourke, Camryn Griffin, and Elizabeth Salley, and the work of goaltender Rebecca Filiato sent the game into overtime. Filiato made a game-saving leg pad stop on Immaculate’s final chance.
Early on in the seven-on-seven, ten-minute extra session, Filiato made the final of her seven saves, and both the goalie and Griffin dove to break up Immaculate’s great opportunity during a scramble.
“I was shaking for parts of it. I was so nervous,” Filiato said.
Goyda got the winner just 3:13 into OT, moments after narrowly missing a chance to end it. Aniko Walsh intercepted a pass on the left side near the center line of the field and sent the ball to Katie Dirga in the middle. Dirga then moved the ball to Goyda on the right side. Goyda had Immaculate’s goaltender out of position, but her shot was blocked by a Mustang defender.
Soon thereafter, Jenna Reilly got possession and passed to Goya, who scored short side from the right of the cage.
Newtown avenged last year’s 3-2 overtime defeat at Immaculate, which went on to win the South-West Conference championship. The Hawks improved to 9-2 overall (6-2 in the SWC); Immaculate dropped to 13-0-0-1 (8-0-0-1). It marked the first time this season the Mustangs have surrendered more than one goal.
It was a rare Sunday night high school event, made necessary by rain and tight schedules as the season winds down, and an unusual Immaculate loss; the team’s first in-conference defeat in more than a calendar year.
“Beating the number one seed in the SWC is really nice,” said Walsh, adding that a supportive sideline and crowed helped the Hawks to victory. “I feel like on and off the field we had a lot of energy.”
“It boosts our intensity and confidence so much,” Filiato said of Newtown beating Immaculate.
The Nighthawks have lost only to Pomperaug of Southbury (10-1-2-0 overall) and Bethel (7-6 overall) heading into October 15 action. The victory over the Mustangs was significant in that is shows Newtown can come out on top against the best in the conference.
“Now that we know we can beat them, it’s a big confidence booster,” Walsh said.
“We played really hard. It shows what we can do. I think our team really played together,” Newtown Coach Stephanie Kearns added.
Against Immaculate, the Hawks had strong offensive pressure from Izzy Butler, Kelleher, Trammel, Dirga, and Goyda, among others.
The Nighthawks, beginning with an October 16 visit to New Milford, have four games remaining before the start of the SWC playoffs.
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