By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Blue Knights soccer team concluded their successful 2015 regular season by going 1-1 on the week as they prepare to compete in the Class LL state tournament.
On Thursday, Oct. 29, Southington hosted Hartford Public (2-14-0) for a 5-1 win.
Erik Schneider pulled out the hat trick with back-to-back goals (assisted by Ryan Burrill and Nick Falco) in the first half and a goal (assisted by Bryan Doyle) in the second.
Joe Colaccino also added a goal (assisted by Doyle) in the first half, and Erik Kryzanski with a goal (assisted by Doyle) in the second. Hartford scored their only goal with just over three minutes left in the game.
The Knights took 13 shots on goal and three corner kicks. Evan Daddona and Ian Lawrence combined for seven saves of Hartford’s eight shots on goal.
A few days earlier on Monday, the Knights traveled to Glastonbury (14-2-0) to play, arguably, the best team in the state for a second time this season, where they fell short 3-0. Glastonbury won the first matchup between both teams in the beginning of the month at Southington, 3-1.
The Tomahawks scored one goal in the first half and two in the second. The Knights took four shots on goal and no corner kicks. Daddona saved seven of Glastonbury’s 12 shots on goal.
“It’s a tough matchup for us because they have some very skilled players,” said Southington coach Dave Yanosy. “They’re tough, and they’re physical.”
The Knights held their own throughout. Glastonbury struck first about 20 minutes into the game, but the score remained 1-0 for most of the game. The Tomahawks rallied for two goals in the second half to put the game out of reach.
“That’s what they do though. They wear you down,” said Yanosy. “They play upwards of 20 guys and send them in waves. Eventually, they broke through to get the second and third ones, but we worked hard. We played the full 80 minutes and certainly didn’t quit.”
The Knights finished the regular season with an 11-3-2 record, third in the Blue Division of the Central Region behind Glastonbury and Hall (11-4-1), eighth in the CCC, and 12th in Class LL.
“It’s certainly a really good record, based upon do the schedule we play and the league we play in. To go 11-3-2 in the regular season is fantastic,” said Yanosy. “I owe it to the guys. I owe it to the players. They bought in early and started off extremely well. They worked extremely hard, so they deserve it. The players really put everything they had into it. That’s why we had such a successful regular season.”
Based on the final Class LL standings, Southington looks to be a No.12-seed in the Class LL state tournament, and could host NFA in the opening round. Tournament pairings are to be posted by the CIAC by noon on Friday, Nov. 6. The Knights will compete in the state tournament for the first time since 2010.
“The thing that has been different about this team is where team’s in the past have been satisfied, these guys haven’t been satisfied. They’ve stayed hungry and have been able to get positive results,” the coach said. “Teams in the past maybe would have been happy with a tie or 1-0 win. This team is upset with a tie or 1-0 win because it could have been more. That’s kind of the key for us, to have that chip on our shoulder and not be satisfied with just being in the tournament, but actually going out there and making a great effort to do some damage in the tournament.”