It would have been easy to understand why Newtown High School’s girls’ soccer team got off to a slow start this season. If they did, that is.
The Nighthawks, despite having lost ten players, including six starters, to graduation a year ago, seem to have not missed a beat. Newtown picked up a pair of shutout victories this past week, blanking host Bethel 2-0 on September 14, then toppling visiting New Fairfield 6-0, in the rain, at Treadwell Park on September 19.
Coach Marc Kenney’s Hawks carry a perfect 5-0 record into Friday’s visit to Brookfield, set for 3:45 pm.
“I think the key for us is getting off to a good start,” said Kenney, referring not to the season at this point in time — the Hawks have checked that off their to-do list — but rather in each game.
In the win over New Fairfield, Newtown struck for a pair of goals in the opening few minutes and cruised to their third shutout of the campaign.
Scoring early on in contests can set the tone for the entire contest, Kenney believes.
“That really puts the other team on their heels no matter who the opponent is,” the coach said. “It’s hard to come back from that. It takes the wind out of their sails a bit.”
Emma Curtis had two goals, and Sarah Houle, Carly Swierbut, Grace Corcoran, and Faith O’Hara also recorded goals. Houle, Swierbut, Karsen Pirone, and Keeley Kortze all notched assists.
Kenney liked the team effort against Bethel. All 21 healthy players on the roster saw playing time in this game.
In the win over Bethel, Curtis scored unassisted less than 15 minutes into the game and Swierbut scored on a breakaway off a Curtis assist as the Hawks took care of business in the opening half.
Freshman goalkeeper Julianna Stavola had six saves.
“An absolute key for us was Grace Corcoran, Sarah Houle, and Keeley Kortze winning virtually every single ball in the air, putting their midfield and backs under pressure constantly,” Kenney said of the victory over Bethel.
The Nighthawks, following the visit to Brookfield, will host Bunnell of Stratford at Blue & Gold Stadium on Tuesday, September 26, beginning at 7 pm.