By BRIAN JENNINGS
Focusing at the the beginning of the game and being the aggressors right from the first whistle are just some of the things Southington coach Jill Pomposi is preaching to her Lady Knights (2-4).
To end a four-game losing streak with grueling, come-from-behind victory this past week helped the Knights inch closer to their goals.
Whisking past Warriors
Southington earned its second win of the season, out-dueling Windsor (2-2), 11-10, in a last-second thriller at home on Friday, April 22.
The Warriors jumped out to a 5-3 lead by halftime and added back-to-back scores to start the second half. The Knights answered with a 3-0 run to come within a goal, 7-6. Both teams traded blows until the score was knotted at 9-9 with just under seven minutes remaining in the game.
Hannah Jackman and Sydney Brault (Addie Kilgore) gave the Knights their first lead of the game and a two-goal cushion inside of two minutes. Windsor cut Southington’s lead to one seconds later, setting up a last-chance opportunity in their final offensive charge.
The Warriors recovered a ground ball in their own territory as time was winding down on the clock, and rushed downfield into the Knights’ territory. When the Windsor looked for a clear lane to the goal, Southington’s defense held them in check, as the Warriors failed to get a shot off before the final horn sounded.
“That’s one of those things where we have to recognize that we can stand back and play straight-up defense,” said Pomposi. “Don’t go for the crazy check. Don’t go for any call. Don’t get them to go to the cage. When we get possession, we have to recognize who’s on the field. We could have thrown it as far as we could, ran it up, or kept possession.”
Pomposi said that the situation could have been handled better, but she also said that they still did a very good job considering the circumstances.
“We haven’t been in this situation yet this season,” the coach said. “We were down for the majority of the game, and that’s something we said we didn’t want to do today. But we didn’t stop and give up. We kept going and just took it one possession at a time. And I’m really proud of them for that.”
Morgan Raymond marshaled the Knights’ attack with four goals on six shot attempts and three assists. Raymond also won four draws. Hallie Altwies backed Raymond with three goals and one assist. Brault finished with two goals, and Kilgore and Jackman contributed with a goal. Altwies and Brittany Sao controlled six ground balls.
Julia Wells saved 14 shots in the cage for the Knights. Southington took 19 shots on goal. Windsor took 24 shots on goal.
Edged by the Eagles
On Monday, Southington returned home for the first time since beginning the season with a win over Bristol Co-op, but fell short to Trumbull (5-2) by three goals in a back-and-forth, high-scoring affair, 18-15.
The Eagles garnered an 8-6 lead by the end of the first half and opened the second half up with a 7-1 run, building a 15-7 advantage with just over ten minutes left in the game. Southington responded with a 6-1 run, dissolving Trumbull’s lead to three, 16-13, with about four and a half minutes to go.
A pair of Eagles goals put the game out of reach for the Knights. Southington added two goals with seconds remaining, but their comeback ran out of time.
Raymond paced the Knight offense with six goals on seven shot attempts and four assists. Kilgore contributed with three goals and two assists. Brault, Sarah Mafale, and Altwies (two assists) each scored two goals. Brault and Mafale scooped up six ground balls apiece, and Altwies won five draws.
Wells saved 16 shots on goal. Southington took 21 shots on goal. Trumbull took 34 shots on goal.
Spartans sneak a win
A couple days later, Southington trekked out of conference to Woodbridge, where they suffered their second one-goal loss of the season to Amity (3-6), 10-9.
The Spartans closed out the first half with a 4-0 run, taking a 5-1 lead into the break. Amity extended their lead to 7-1 at the start of the second half. Both teams scattered goals throughout the half, but it was the Spartans who found themselves up 10-4 just inside of 10 minutes.
Then Southington took over.
The Knights scored the last five goals of the game, but ran out of ticks on the clock yet again, scoring their fifth goal with a 1:13 remaining in the contest.
Raymond paced the Knights with four goals and three assists. She recovered six ground balls with four winning draws. Altwies contributed with three goals and an assist and garnered six ground balls. Brault scored two goals. Kilgore and Jackman each scored a goal.
Wells saved 20 shots on goal. Southington took 20 shots on goal. Amity took 30 shots on goal.
The Knights will look to build on their win over Windsor this week when they host Pomperaug (6-1) on Tuesday, April 26. Following Tuesday’s game, the Knights are set to head out on the road at Farmington (3-2) on Thursday, April 28 and return home to host Northwest Catholic (0-4) on Friday, April 29.
Southington is currently 21st in the CIAC’s Class L rankings.
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