It nearly ended only a few times along the way. There was a nail-biting outcome here or there, including some conference tournament battles, but the Newtown High School girls’ lacrosse team always found a way to keep its winning ways against South-West Conference opponents alive. Finally, after nearly seven full seasons, and parts of eight campaigns, of SWC dominance, the Nighthawks tasted defeat at the hands of a conference foe.
The Nighthawks certainly didn’t go down without a big fight, falling 17-16 to host New Fairfield on April 30.
“We got out to a 4-0 lead about two minutes in. It’s disappointing to get up that quickly and kind of let it slip away,” said Newtown Coach Maura Fletcher, adding that she credited the host Rebels for battling back and outplaying the Nighthawks.
A pair of yellow cards handed out to Newtown team members left the team two players down for nearly three minutes late in the game, assisting the Rebels in their victory.
Newtown got five goals from Meaghan Brophy, and three each from Kristie Vos Winkel and Caroline Kingsley in the loss. The team is a little banged up, with some players not at full strength at the moment, Fletcher said.
The Nighthawks have their sights on continuing their SWC dominance when it counts the most — in the postseason tournament. The overall streak may have ended, but the team’s string of conference championships remains intact, and the Hawks are going for consecutive crown No. 9 this spring.
“I’d rather have the loss in-season than at tournament time,” Fletcher said.
The fact Newtown was unbeaten against conference teams for so long is a testament to the ability of the players and reshaping of each team as the coaching staff adjusts to changes in strengths and weaknesses.
“We’ve just had a lot of success with our youth program and getting good athletes to play,” Fletcher said.
Now the focus is on getting better and gearing up for the postseason.
“We still have a lot to play for. And we still have a lot of tough games ahead of us,” the Newtown coach said.
The Hawks host nonconference opponent Wilton on Saturday, May 4, when the Warriors visit Blue & Gold Stadium for a 7 pm contest. NHS also has nonconference battles with New Canaan, Simsbury, and Cheshire on the slate. Another potentially tough SWC opponent awaiting the Hawks is Bethel.
The Hawks carried a 5-4 overall record into Thursday’s scheduled game at Notre Dame-Fairfield.
Fletcher says she is hopeful that her team members, despite suffering some losses, will realize the tough schedule stands to pay dividends come playoff time.
Newtown topped visiting Joel Barlow 18-8 on April 25. Julia Trudell scored five goals and added an assist. Brophy had a four goals and one assist, and Caroline Kingsley also hit the back of the net four times.
In a 15-11 loss to Glastonbury on April 27, Brophy had four goals and an assist, Erin Kenning scored three times and added an assist, and Tressa Scott had two goals and three assists.