Sports


Return Of Starters Helps Girls’ Soccer Team Knock Notre Dame From Unbeaten Ranks

Published: October 02, 2018 at 04:27 pm

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Emma Curtis, left, races after the ball during Newtown’s 2-1 win over visiting Notre Dame-Fairfield, on September 29. Curtis had a goal and an assist in the game. —Bee Photos, Hutchison

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Carlie Smith, left, and a Notre Dame player battle for the ball.

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Ally McCarthy boots the ball forward.

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Julia Gerace leaps to get her head on the ball.

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Goalkeeper Julianna Stavola kicks the ball.

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Laura Augenbraun, right, fights for the ball.

With some of the injured regulars back in the fold, and with help of the emergence of up-and-coming players, Newtown High School’s girls’ soccer team handed visiting Notre Dame-Fairfield its first loss of the season with a 2-1 triumph at Blue & Gold Stadium on September 27.

Forward Emma Curtis, in her first game back after missing three weeks with an injury, had an immediate impact. Curtis assisted Carlie Smith, who headed home her corner kick insert, for a 1-0 lead in the first half. Curtis added a goal, which proved to be the difference, for a 2-0 lead in the second half, and the Nighthawks held on.

Newtown improved to 4-1-2 overall, and the Lancers fell to 6-1.

“That’s a big win for this program,” Kenney said.

The Nighthawks, however, are not getting caught up in the level of competition. Regardless of the opponent, the Hawks set out to do their thing and try to earn a victory.

“We had a job to do. Just go out and do it,” is the mentality, Newtown Coach Marc Kenney said.

That has not been so easy given the sidelined player circumstances.

Midfielder Karsen Pirone returned for the game prior, a scoreless tie with host Masuk of Monroe on September 20. Sydney Howard was back in the fold this week, but midfielder Faith O’Hara remained sidelined. Kenney said those who are back still need to get into complete game shape, and he is looking forward to everybody returning to field and, eventually, full strength.

But when some players return, others get hurt. That has been an unfortunate theme for Kenney and company. Captain and midfielder Keeley Kortze missed some recent action with an injury, as the Nighthawks have been somewhat plagued by various ailments from the start of the season. Kenney said that since the season-opening 2-0 win over Amity of Woodbridge on September 8, at least one starter has been out of action for each game.

Freshman Ally McCarthy has stepped in and stepped up, as have sophomore Julia Gerace, and juniors Colleen Phaneuf and Smith.

“Offensively, we’re staring to click a bit. I like our effort,” Kenney said.

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