By John Goralski
Last season the Lady Knight lacrosse team didn’t get their fourth win until May. This year, it took just two weeks. Southington has come out swinging in 2014, with four straight double-digit scoring efforts and their first shutout in years.
First-year coach Jill Pomposi isn’t ready to celebrate yet. Southington’s schedule will get harder from here.
“We’re very happy with our start, but we’re trying not to get too excited,” she said. “Our next couple of games are going to be very important to us. It’s always a good game at Mercy, and last year we lost to Conard by one. We really want to win that one.”
For now, the Knights will be content with their 4-0 start.
Carolynn Keal rallied for four goals. Morgan Raymond scored her second hat trick of the season, and three others combined for five more.
On Thursday, April 17, the Lady Knights battled from start to finish. Southington stormed out to a 6-3 lead at the half and held on for a 12-8 win over Newington.
“We had a lot more people involved, and that was really nice to see,” Pomposi said. “We really settled it. We didn’t just take it in or drive it in every single possession. It was hot, and I think that definitely worked to our advantage. We were up a man twice, and we really used that to our advantage. Then, we took it with us the rest of the way.”
The Knights won at midfield and they pinned Newington deep in their zone for much of the game. The Knights out-shot the Indians, 31-24, and Allie Abacherli scrambled for 16 saves to get the win.
Offensively, the Knights dominated. Keal and Raymond combined for three assists. Jess Lee and Alexa Luponio scored two goals apiece, and Helen Dinnan added another.
“Our offense has been working well together,” said the coach. “I like the fact that they’re not afraid to pass it and find the open girl. We’re running a lot of different plays and doing a lot of run-and-gun, depending on what the defense is giving us.”
Pomposi would have emptied her bench if she could, but with just two players on the sidelines that wasn’t an option. On Friday, April 18, the victory was never in question against Bristol’s second-year varsity co-op, so the Lady Knight coach switched up her lineup and went for the shutout.
Alexa Mitchell, Keal, and Raymond scored three goals apiece. Laurel Dean and Lee added one goal to the tally, but Southington’s defense was the story. Abacherli needed just four saves to score the shutout.
“Our defense played well when they got down there, but we used the game to work on some things that we hadn’t been working on,” said Pomposi. “They had some very strong players, but we were just a little more well-rounded. But we should be as a more well-established program, so we we tried a few different plays and put some people in different positions.”