Things are beginning to heat up for the Newtown boys lacrosse team. Newtown won its fourth straight game and raised its record to 7-2 on Monday night with an 11-5 home victory over Southington (7-3).
"We came out and played all four quarters, which is what we tried to do," said Nighthawks senior co-captain Kyle O'Connor. "We wanted to play a complete game."
Newtown overcame a 2-0 deficit in garnering the victory.
Southington came out strong with junior Zach Wholly scoring only 1:20 into the game. Wholly then set up senior Casey Sage for a goal to give the Blue Knights a 2-0 lead with 9:11 remaining in the first quarter.
"We fell behind because we did things we don't normally do," said Nighthawks Coach Glenn Adams. "Once we made the adjustments, the first quarter ended at 2-2 and we kept the intensity up."
Only 17 seconds after Southington's second goal, junior Louis Thompson (one goal, two assists, two ground balls) got Newtown on the board with a goal off a pass from junior Colby Summerlin. Classmate Ryan Korth tied it 2-2 with 2:34 left.
The Nighthawks took the lead for good on senior Dylan Heubner's goal from Thompson with 10:12 to go in the half. Heubner (two goals, seven ground balls) attacked the net all night and was effective in getting to the loose balls.
"You have to dodge hard and get to the cage," said Heubner. "If you can't get it the first time, you know how to get it the second time."
Thompson set up junior Tim Dalton (one goal, one ground ball), which made it 4-2 with 8:01 left. Korth (three goals, one ground ball) scored two goals down the stretch to make it 6-2, which was the score at the break with classmate Will Northrop (one assist) setting up his second goal.
"Just dodging hard and getting into our sets and doing what we do best were the keys," said Korth.
Newtown knew how important it was to attack in the second half and opened up the scoring in the third quarter on Heubner's goal with 11:06 remaining to make it 7-2.
The Blue Knights didn't quit and cut the lead to 7-4 before the Nighthawks responded with 3:31 to go on freshman Dan Hebert's (two goals, two ground balls) goal.
O'Connor (four ground balls) and senior co-captain Colin McNamara spearheaded the defense. McNamara's stats weren't reflective of his performance as he shut down Southington's top attackers.
Classmate Mike Mouchantat (eight ground balls) was clutch in the trenches. Also contributing were seniors Zach Dent (two ground balls) and Ralph Sergiovanni (one ground ball), juniors Max Nacewicz (three ground balls) and Dan Sclafani (two ground balls) and sophomores Tom Murphy (one ground ball), Justin Brophy (one ground ball) and Will Fletcher (one ground ball).
Although Newtown had the edge in play, Southington outshot the Nighthawks, 22-20. Junior goalie Brandon Body made 16 saves for Newtown. Senior Dylan Platt (six saves) and Billy Thompson (three saves) were in net for the Blue Knights.
Summerlin helped put the game out of reach by scoring a goal late in the third and midway through the fourth quarter and then set up Hebert for a goal from point-blank range with 3:13 left in the game.
"We have to take our time, run our offense and do everything at our own pace," Summerlin said.
Southington scored a garbage-time goal in the waning moments.
Although the Nighthawks won, they aren't resting on their laurels just yet.
"This boosts our confidence but we want to play better because we made mistakes and want to improve," said O'Connor.
Adams said, "I think it's big after we beat New Milford. We want to get better and this is a big step forward."