Goals come at a premium when the Newtown and Fairfield Prep boys soccer teams square off.
Nearly 10 months after playing 100 scoreless minutes in the Class LL state tournament, the Jesuits and Nighthawks played 80 without a goal on Wednesday in a 0-0 draw that opened both teams' seasons.
"We didn't really give up too much," Prep coach Ryan Lyddy said. "We rushed them pretty hard. Unfortunately, we didn't put one in."
The Jesuits ended Newtown's 2011 season in the LL second round on penalty kicks. Prep goalkeeper Will Steiner, who suffered a concussion in that state tournament game, stopped three shots Wednesday as the Jesuits improved their regular-season unbeaten streak to 19.
"This game was a big game for him to come back," Lyddy said of Steiner. "I think he did an excellent job tonight."
Newtown goalkeeper Eli Klorczyk made four saves. Both teams had seven shots.
"I think we're just two teams who are very evenly matched," Newtown coach Brian Neumeyer said. "It was just a good, hard-fought battle."
Steiner twice saved Prep's draw with stellar saves. The senior goalkeeper robbed Nathan Kalra's try in the 80th minute, preserving the tie. Steiner's best save came when he punched away Nick Barretto's net-bound header in the 52nd minute.
"I realized he would beat me to the ball, so I didn't come out," Steiner said. "He headed it ... luckily I got my hand on it."
Prep junior midfielder Austin Sims had Prep's best chances, putting three of Prep's shots on target toward Klorczyk. The junior keeper thwarted his and Davie Bruton's first-half free kick, which were the only dangerous tries the Jesuits' offense gained.
Both sides admitted they were happy to play an early-season interconference game against a potential state-tournament opponent.
"We knew they were going to be very good this year," Neumeyer said. "With a tough opposition first, it shows that we may have some personality here."
"I think we'll probably see them later on in the year," Lyddy said. "To play a good team like Newtown ... I wanted to show our guys this season wouldn't be that easy."
FAIRFIELD PREP 0 0-- 0
NEWTOWN 0 0-- 0
Records: FP 0-0-1, NHS 0-0-1; Goalies-- FP: Will Steiner (3 saves); NHS: Eli Klorczyk (4 saves); Shots-- FP: 7; NHS: 7.