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Newtown High School’s boys’ soccer team blanked visiting Bethel 2-0 at Treadwell Park, on September 14. Jack Oltran had both of Newtown’s goals, and Tom Shkreli brought a nice effort to the middle of the field, Newtown Coach Nick Booth said.
Newtown improved to 4-0 to begin the campaign with another 2-0 win, September 19 at New Fairfield. Owen Baillargeon had both of the goals.
Booth said after the win over Bethel that he was particularly pleased with the way the Nighthawks defended as a team.
“We defended really well. If we can clean it up offensively and play better we can be a really, really good team,” Booth said.
The back line was so strong that goalkeeper CJ Trivers did not have any challenging saves to make but, Booth noted, it can’t be overlooked that his keeper made all of the routine plays look simple.
“He gives the group confidence,” said Booth, adding that Trivers placed his kicks well to help move the ball up the field.
Newtown’s coach tapped some of his bench and said he plans to continue to get more players time on the field in upcoming games.
“Everybody’s working really hard. We have a very deep roster so we can get guys on the field,” said Newtown’s Adam Farley, who did his part to generate chances for the Hawks in the win over Bethel.
Booth’s focus of his postgame talk was on the importance of his squad not taking anything for granted and not reading into how upcoming opponents have matched up against supposedly weaker or stronger teams.
“I don’t want anybody looking at any results and looking into it. These games are going to be all over the place. The focus is on us,” the coach told his players.
Booth said there seems to be a lot of parity in the South-West Conference, and there is no telling how one team might match up with another. Newtown, for example, narrowly beat Notre Dame-Fairfield (2-1 with a late comeback), and Notre Dame beat the same Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport team that Newtown blanked 5-0 by a much closer 2-0 margin. For what it’s worth, and to Booth’s point, Bethel played Masuk of Monroe to a scoreless tie and Masuk toppled Notre Dame 7-0.
The Bethel contest was a hard-fought game chock full of hard slide tackles, grabbing and clutching, and a bit of heated exchange between the SWC rivals.
Oltran was carded twice and Booth said he liked the intensity and passion on the part of his captain, but also wants all of his Nighthawks play hard and also stay composed when things get a bit testy.
“You can’t play this game without a little emotion,” Booth said.
The Nighthawks will host Brookfield at Treadwell Park on Friday, September 22, beginning at 4 pm.