Season in Review: Nonnewaug Soccer Reigns Supreme


Photo Credit: Chung Family

Nonnewaug goalie Dylan Chung, makes a diving save, one of many key plays the junior keeper made throughout the team’s historic 2021 run.

Ben Stewart, Sports Reporter

WOODBURY — The Nonnewaug boys soccer team clinched the Berkshire League championship just 13 games into the 16-game season after a 2-1, hard-fought victory over Shepaug on Oct. 22. Nonnewaug not only won its title-clinching game, but the team also made school history and headlines around the state by earning the top seed in the Class M state tournament.

“We felt very confident offensively, and defensively we are the team to beat,” junior goalie Dylan Chung said. “As the No. 1 seed, everyone wants to beat us, but we just have to show them why we are the team to beat.” 

In the title-clinching match, Nonnewaug took a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute when Andrew Greene scored. Aiden Colby scored the game-winning goal in the 68th minute, while Lane Faison scored for the Spartans. The Chiefs had only given up four goals all season, compared to 53 goals scored.

“We have been practicing, but since states it has been different. We all really want to win so we have been giving it our all; it’s really competitive,” Chung added.

The Chiefs may have won the BL title, but their accomplishments didn’t end there.

“I personally have worked hard this off season to better all parts of my game; this includes getting into indoor facilities and the weight room multiple days a week,” junior Brett Davino said. “I know of many other players who have done similar things and some guys are finishing up their fall sport and will jump right into baseball when it’s finished, while others have played this fall and look forward to the upcoming indoor training. Our goal is to win the tournament, but we all have to work now to best prepare ourselves for what’s ahead.”

Entering the state tournament, Nonnewaug was the only team in Class M without a loss, as the only blemish on its record was a disappointing 1-1 tie against Litchfield to spoil the perfect season prior to the quarterfinal loss to Ledyard on Nov. 13, which ended in a 2-1 defeat.

Nonnewaug earned the honor of being the top-ranked team in Class M as a result of its incredible season.

“One of the best parts [of state tournament competition] is definitely the adrenaline rush, being in a huge spot where all the fans are into the game,” Davino said. “It’s a moment we all dream about. But the best part is winning. I want to look back knowing we were able to represent our community successfully. Winning a state tournament doesn’t come easy and getting the opportunity to do it with my brothers all around me would be the greatest thing.”

En route to their historic season, the team dealt with a variety of problems along their journey, such as muscle pulls and illnesses. While the team’s record and goal difference make it appear as if Nonnewaug cruised through the BL, it was a season marked by perseverance and hard work. 

Nonnewaug Girls Soccer Clinches the BL Title 

On Senior Night, Nonnewaug girls soccer defeated Litchfield, 4-0, to win the BL title for the first time since 2016. Skyla Starziski, a senior captain, scored twice, while senior captain Marley Baker scored the game’s opening goal, and fellow senior captain Paige Brandt contributed an assist. Senior goalkeeper Sofia Pagnamenta led the shutout with six saves.

NHS’s Senior Night was a night to remember. After Nonnewaug’s third straight corner kick, Baker pelted a header over Litchfield’s goalkeeper Mackenzie Schweter, who had a collection of 21 saves, in the 22nd minute of the game. Starziski dribbled straight past through the defense and scored on a breakaway five minutes later into the first half. Her second goal came in the 36th minute on a cross, and Nonnewaug had a 4-0 lead in the second half.

The Chiefs were be able to hold on to the No. 1 overall seed in Class M. Nonnewaug finished the season with just one loss to their BL record prior to a 3-1 loss versus Lewis Mills in the Class M second round Nov. 10.

Based on both teams’ collective successes this fall season, it’s safe to say that only good things are ahead for the Nonnewaug soccer.