girls lacrosse Rebels’ defense holds off Nighthawks
NEW FAIRFIELD — A pair of walls led the New Fairfield girls lacrosse team to its most impressive win yet to start the year.
The Rebels’ defense kept visiting Newtown at bay for long periods of their showdown Thursday evening. Whenever the Nighthawks managed to create chances, more often than not goalie Rachel Mikolay stood in their way.
Mikolay made seven saves, her defense in front of her locked down during key stretches and the Rebels pulled away in the second half for an 11-7 win over Newtown. Katelyn Sousa, Sydney Colesworthy and Reagan Tenaglia each scored twice for New Fairfield, which outscored the visitors 8-3 in the second half.
“My team did very well picking up the cutters in the middle,” Mikolay said. “They didn’t really have any feeds in the middle; they mostly just drove and our team did well just blocking off their drives, keeping their main scorer out of the eight and that was big for us.”
The battle between the last two SWC champions was tight throughout with the score 6-5 to New Fairfield with 11 minutes to go. The Rebels won a series of draws with the lead and shot more accurately than the visitors to seal the win.
“We shot 6-for-21 tonight,” said Nighthawks coach Maura Fletcher. “They’re talented, aggressive, fast, great in transition and rode the ball well. But we made their goalie look really good. There some mistakes of ours that they capitalized on.”
The tide turned for good midway through the second half as the Rebels fired three goals in quick succession to snatch a 6-4 lead. Nicole Berry scored what proved to be the winner; she briefly left the game in the first half after a blow to the nose.
“Newtown is always an intense game for us,” New Fairfield coach Karen Nell said. “Both teams played really hard and wanted to win; this time we didn’t back down and that was the plan regardless of what the score was.”
Rylee Harrell scored four goals to lead all scorers for the Nighthawks, who suffered their first defeat of the season.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Katelyn Sousa, New Fairfield: Also dished out two assists and was a key component in the Rebels’ defense.
“We’re playing well,” Fletcher said of her team’s 3-1 start. “They just need to move the ball probably better offensively to open up their defense a little more. We were a little bit tight.”
“(Newtown) had to hold the ball for long periods of time,” Nell said. “I’m really proud of the defense because that’s usually when they let down; and they didn’t. They were all engaged and worked really hard as a team.”
NEW FAIRFIELD 11,
NEW FAIRFIELD 3 8 — 11
NEWTOWN 4 3 — 7
Scoring: N—Julia Gevace 1a Allison Kelleher 1g, 1a Elana Sughrue 1a Rylee Harrell 4g Shea Murphy 1g Keeley Kortze 1g. NF—Nicole Berry 1g, 1a Katelyn Sousa 2g, 2a Sydney Colesworthy 2g Daria Bock 1g, 2a Reagan Tenaglia 2g. Goalies: N—Tess Davenport (8 saves); Rachel Mikolay (7 saves). Records: Newtown 3-1 New Fairfield 4-0.