Newtown boys lacrosse holds off Staples
Playing primarily an SWC schedule, the Newtown boys lacrosse team doesn't get too many cracks at the top teams in Class L before the postseason begins. The Nighthawks took advantage of one such opportunity on Saturday and made a big statement.
"We usually don't get to see whether or not we do level up with them," Beauchemin said. "This kind of game gives us confidence that we can be on the same level as (Staples). I know we have the talent and personnel that we can play with those teams."
The Nighthawks (11-4) outscored Staples (11-4) 3-0 in the second period, then had to withstand a hard charge in the final stages to seal the win. Connor Chamberlin, who had a hat trick, scored with 1:08 left to pull Staples to within 7-6.
The Wreckers had multiple chances to tie in the final moments, including a shot that was saved with 33 seconds left. Newtown cleared the ball up the field, only to get called for an infraction, which gave the ball back to Staples.
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Newtown's defense prevented a shot from getting off in the final 20 seconds as the Wreckers worked the ball around the offensive zone, and the Nighthawks celebrated by rushing towards Rospenda -- who has missed most of the season through injury -- after suffering four straight defeats to Staples.
"We weren't patient in the first quarter (on offense)," Staples coach Paul McNulty said. "Newtown is a good team; we've been telling our team how good they are the whole time."
It was fitting that it came down to a single goal, as all of the team's combined seven defeats were decided by one goal heading into the game. The win came in Newtown's eighth one-goal game this season.
"This is a big win for us," Newtown coach Glenn Adams said. "We've been in a lot of one-goal games and recently we've been on the other side of it. This helps builds our confidence and gets us ready for the postseason."
Staples closed to within 6-4 with eight minutes to play on a goal by Tanner Wood. The Wreckers had chances to get closer, but Matt Meyers made the play of the game for Newtown in beating two Staples players to a ground ball before igniting a two-on-one opportunity in transition that Beauchemin finished off with 4:17 left to make it 7-4.
"It was one of those plays where I'm yelling `yellow, yellow' to slow it and they disregard what I say and score it," Adams said. "You kind of go `alright that's what I meant shoot it.' That was a huge play and a huge momentum swing because we were playing a lot of defense at that point."
"I love playing with teammates that can make plays like that," Beauchemin added.
"The shots we took were fine, and we should have taken them, but (Rospenda) made them look easy," McNulty said. "We have to start playing like the fourth quarter in the first quarter; it was too late to make up all of that."