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The thrilling come-from-behind overtime win over Fairfield Warde in the Class L state tournament’s qualifying round was the highlight in Newtown High School’s boys’ lacrosse team’s campaign. But the Nighthawks had some positive takeaways in the regular slate, as well as in the season-ending 17-7 loss to host Ridgefield in the Class L bracket’s first round, on May 31.
The 13th-seeded Nighthawks held a third-quarter lead over No. 4 Ridgefield, a tough FCIAC squad, before running out of gas.
Mark Hall scored twice, and Tucker Garrity, Evan Eggleston, Layton Harrell, Scott Bauer, and Colin McCafferty all had a goal. Mason Colon was stellar in the cage with 11 saves.
The highlight of game, Coach Scott Bulkley said, was when sophomore Carson Ivey replaced Colon in goal, due to a penalty on the starting netminder. Ivey made a huge save, on his first play at the varsity level, that led to a goal on fast break.
The emergence of underclassmen has Bulkley optimistic about what’s ahead for the program. Newtown loses ten seniors, many of whom played key roles in this year’s campaign, which included handing South-West Conference rival and eventual champion New Fairfield its first loss, late in the regular season.
Newtown, which went 9-7 during the regular slate, overcame a strong graduating class the year before to win the SWC championship, in Bulkley’s first year with the team. With many players getting their feet wet on the varsity stage this spring, and the Hawks competitive, and at times successful, against the best of the SWC, things are looking bright for next year and beyond.
“Very excited about the future of this program. A lot of lessons were learned this year and we will only come back stronger next year,” Bulkley said.