Newtown team to face alumni in soccer benefit

NEWTOWN - Several star-studded generations of Newtown High boys soccer players, including the one of the current state championship variety, will come together on one field on Thursday night as the 2004 Newtown team faces the Newtown soccer alumni in a 7 p.m. fund-raising exhibition match at Blue and Gold Stadium.

Among the players scheduled to appear for the alumni team is
John Ball of the Cleveland Force , who helped his Major Indoor Soccer League team reach the league championship round last month, where it fell in double overtime to the Milwaukee Wave in the final game.

Ball, a member of Newtown's 1990 state Class L championship team, scored a team-high 30 goals and 61 points this past season at Cleveland, including one goal in the nationally-televised MISL final.

Also set to play for the Newtown alumni are present collegiate players Mike Troy ( Fairfield University ), Ryan Tracy (Pennsylvania), Matt Pachniuk and Ian Walker (Wheaton), and Derek Miles (Eastern Connecticut). Former collegiate players from coach Brian Neumeyer 's early teams at Newtown in the late 1990s who are expected to appear include Rich Engel , Brian Gosling and Brett McEvoy.

All-American forward Marcus Tracy , a 2005 Wake Forest recruit, will head the 2004 state Class LL championship Newtown team. Tracy scored 38 goals this past season and finished with a school-record 100 goals for his career. He is presently a member, long with Newtown teammates Brian Miles and Nick Mentesana and Brookfield's Joe Boa , of the Beachside Soccer Club 's state champion U-18 team.

"It's an honor to be able to play with the (alumni) that have given Newtown a name over the past years,'' said Marcus Tracy. "We know them pretty well through camps and other training, so it's just going to be fun. It will be competitive, but it will be a lot of fun.''

Admission to the match is free but donations to the Newtown soccer program can be made at the stadium gate.