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In the eyes of the field hockey competition in the South-West Conference, Newtown High School is the team to beat. After all, the Nighthawks are the defending SWC champions.
The Hawks, however, know better than anybody that anything is possible come playoff time. Despite being the eighth seed — the last team into the SWC postseason bracket — ran the tourney table with a trio of triumphs over foes they had lost two in the regular slate. And the Hawks realize that was a year ago, and rosters change. The Hawks lost a handful of key players to graduation.
“It’s a completely new season,” Coach Stephanie Kearns said. “We graduated some strong players, but we also have some new players this year stepping up to fill those shoes,” Kearns said.
Among those shoes that have to be filled are that of the goaltender. A pair of cage protectors, Olivia Steare and Gigi Marino, are in the mix for time as the last line of defense.
The captains are forward Hana Rosenthal, midfielder Danielle Samson, and defender Olivia Butler. Among the key returnees is forward Alison Kelleher
Newtown’s season begins with a pair of road contests: A Monday, September 11, visit to nonconference foe Ridgefield at 4 pm, and a 5:15 visit to Weston the next day. The home opener is set for Tuesday, September 19, when New Milford, the team Newtown beat in last year’s SWC semifinals, comes to Blue & Gold Stadium, starting at 7 pm.
Read the full article in the September 8 print edition of The Bee.