Nowoswiat hits milestone in Unionville’s victory

EAST MARLBOROUGH — Beating archrival Kennett for the first time in his career was already more than enough for Unionville’s Jimmy Nowoswiat.

The rest was just gravy.

The Indians’ burly senior attack had a night to remember, going off for six goals — including the 100th of his career — and three assists Thursday to fuel a 14-6 triumph, their first over the Blue Demons since 2011. Also a punishing forward on the Unionville basketball team, Nowoswiat powered his way to a scintillating four-goal run in the fourth quarter that helped the home side bring a pointed end to a six-game skid.

“Beating Kennett, first and foremost, is always the goal,’ Nowoswiat said. “I hadn’t accomplished that in my high school career. The goals were huge, and getting 100 was icing on the cake.’

Nowoswiat cooked up quite a performance on a blustery evening, waiting a quarter before he decided to take over. He connected with freshman William Ciccarelli for one of the rookie’s four goals, giving Unionville (1-4, 4-6) the lead for good at 3-2 just over a minute into the second frame. After Kennett’s John Finfrick answered a marker by the Indians’ Danny Donovan with one of his own, Winslow Davis’s second strike sent the hosts into a feeding frenzy. Nowoswiat picked up a rebound and deposited it into a wide-open net, then fed Ciccarelli for a nifty scoop shot late in the period as Unionville soared into intermission with a 7-3 lead.

An angled shot by Nowoswiat, and another hook-up between the senior and his favorite target (Ciccarelli) capped a five-goal run and left the Indians ahead 9-3 midway through the third. Finfrock ended a scoring drought of more than 19 minutes for Kennett (1-6, 3-9), jump-starting a stretch of three goals in 1:12 that cut the Indians’ advantage to 9-6 heading into the fourth. But Donovan seized momentum back with an unassisted tally and Nowoswiat turned the final six-plus minutes into his own personal showcase, scoring four straight goals to put a stamp on a special night.

A top-shelf rocket at the 6:46 mark completed his hat trick and gave him his 100th goal, and three more followed over the next three minutes and change, putting the finishing touches on a nine-point outburst.

“Jimmy was just cranking it,’ said Unionville coach Noel Breger. “To get to 100 goals…I don’t know the last guy to do that here, but that’s a huge deal.

“He’s a class act.’

Though Nowoswiat, Davis (two goals, one assist), and Donovan (two goals) carried their weight and then some, the Indians’ 15-man senior class received a big jolt from a pair of impact newcomers to finally break the Blue Demons’ spell. Ciccarelli scored four times, three of them off Nowoswiat helpers, and freshman goalkeeper Owen Rogers made 10 saves, helping Unionville run away after a nip-and-tuck first dozen minutes.

“The freshmen are stepping up,’ said Nowoswiat, who ranks third in the Ches-Mont with 35 goals. “They’re put in critical spots, and they’re responding really well. The more games they play, the more confidence they’ll get.

“We’ve been low on energy the past few games, so coming out here knowing what we had to do and getting the job done was the mindset. All of our energy contributed to that.’

Seniors Matthew Smith and Brady O’Neill matched Finfrock with two-goal efforts for the Blue Demons, with Smith adding nine ground balls and winning 13 of 19 face-offs before the Indians closed with five in a row. On this night, however, Kennett was the victim of a fiery Unionville squad that turned desperation into dominance. The Indians were outshot 12-2 in the first quarter and 30-21 for the game, but were ruthlessly efficient in the attacking zone and all over the field on defense. When the Blue Demons did find a crack, Rogers was there to seal it more often than not.

“We had lost six games in a row,’ Breger said. “We knew that we hadn’t beaten these guys in three years, and it’s a big deal. I came into the program last year, and I didn’t really understand what the Ches-Mont is all about, but now it’s pretty evident.

“Our big theme this year is heart, hustle, and help. Usually we might have one or two, but tonight we had all three.’

Their lengthy losing streak behind them, the Indians hope Thursday’s performance proves a turning point as the second half of the season heats up.

“We have a lot of momentum now, and a lot of games left,’ Nowoswiat said. “Hopefully this pushes us into a winning streak.’

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