Every time Newtown's boys lacrosse team scored in Wednesday's South-West Conference semifinal, Weston had an answer. Until the fourth quarter.
Top-seeded Newtown hung on to defeat fourth-seeded Weston, 11-9. Newtown (16-2) will meet New Fairfield in the SWC championship game Friday at Weston. The Trojans (11-6) turn their attention to defending their Class S championship.
Richie Miller had three goals for Weston, while Lyle Mitchell had two goals and two assists. Matt Brooks, Jack Scheufele, Peter Robbins and Grey Bradshaw-Mack also connected. Jesse Laico and Daniel Rogers had assists, while goalie Alex Peyreigne stopped 18 shots.
"It was 50-50 groundballs and groundballs as a whole,'' Weston coach John Matthews said. "They got most of them. I'm proud of how hard my kids played. They came out flying and they played hard for 48 minutes."
Newtown struck for two quick scores in the first three minutes before Weston responded on goals by Mitchell and Brooks. That set the tone for the rest of the game. Newtown would take the lead, and each time Weston responded. The game was tied 5-5 at halftime, and a goal by Miller with 2:49 left in the third quarter tied it at 8-8. That was the last tie for Weston, which never led.
Newtown pulled ahead on a goal by Justin Brophy (four goals) with 20.9 seconds left in the third quarter. Lewis Thompson scored 49 seconds into the fourth quarter, and the Nighthawks controlled possession for most of the seven minutes. The final dagger came on Colby Summerlin's goal with 4:25 left. Robbins scored 19 seconds later, but the Trojans ran out of time.
"I had a good feeling going into this game,'' Matthews said. "I thought our team would play well, and they did. But give Newtown credit. They scored the goals when they had to."
Two trouble spots for Weston showed signs of improvement. Despite surrendering 11 goals, Weston's defense played well in spurts. It held Newtown to just one goal during a stretch of nearly 12 minutes in the first half. Weston's offensive execution was also much better, although it did try to force some passes that resulted in turnovers.
"I thought if we held them to eight goals, we'd have a chance to win,'' Matthews said. "They got some goals in transition that hurt us. We forced some things on offense but we were trying to be aggressive. We thought we could challenge their defense. I'll take that any time."
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