By BRIAN JENNINGS
Joe Colaccino positioned himself for the rebound off of the header. As the ball rolled towards the penalty box, he darted out of a group of defenders and raced towards a perfect opportunity at a tying goal. A fraction of a second before he got to the ball, a defender’s leg slid right beneath him, sending him airborne to the turf.
Once the rubber pellets settled, Colaccino quickly got up and was ready for the free kick.
“This is a really hardworking crew,” said Southington coach Dave Yanosy. “One through 20 puts in the effort game in and game out. It’s a good problem to have, but it makes my job tough sometimes because there’s so many and only 11 play at once. They’re invested and all in. That’s certainly a good sign moving forward.”
On Friday, Sept. 23, the Blue Knight soccer team fell short by a goal, 2-1, to Glastonbury at home in one of the toughest games on their schedule. Southington was out-scored, 6-1, in two losses last year, but this time was different. From beginning to end, the Knights battled for every loose ball.
“We played as hard as we could,” said Yanosy. “We certainly tried to move the ball as well as we could, but on that day, Glastonbury’s obviously a really talented team and they certainly deserved to win.”
Colaccino put the game’s first point on the board with a goal midway through the first half, assisted by Daniel Topper. The Tomahawks tied the contest with a goal off of a deflection on a free kick moments later.
“That was a tough-luck goal,” the coach said. “That stung a little bit because we had a really good start and a decent amount of momentum. You know Glastonbury’s going to come at you so the idea is to get a second one after you score. But if you don’t, you’d like to hold it at 1-0 with the lead for as long as you can. That changed things a little bit moving forward.”
Glastonbury went on to secure the win with a score early in the second half. Southington finished with three shots on goal and two corner kicks. Evan Daddona saved four of Glastonbury’s seven shots on goal.
“I thought we played pretty well for the 80 minutes,” the coach said. “Glastonbury’s obviously a really good and well-coached team. They come at you in waves.”
As if it wasn’t hard enough, the Knights were coming off a game the previous day when a match-up against Bristol Central was pushed to Thursday because of a rain delay. The Knights earned their second win of the season with a 3-0 shutout over the Rams.
“We were supposed to play on Monday, but then everyone was saying that we would play Tuesday,” said Yanosy. “We couldn’t play Tuesday and Bristol Central already had a game on Wednesday. Before you know it, it ended up being a Thursday game. So we had a little bit of a layoff, but the guys handled it really well.”
Colaccino and Cameron Zegzdryn scored goals in the first half, and Hayden Burbank capped off the victory with a goal in the second. Alexis Frausto and Jake Testa contributed with assists.
Southington finished with eight shots on goal and five corner kicks. Daddona saved Bristol Central’s lone shot on goal.
“It was probably our most complete game thus far,” the coach said. “We practiced extremely well all week and went over there and did everything that we needed to do. We put pressure on them when we didn’t have the ball and played quick when we go the ball. We generated opportunities from our possession and were able to bury a few of them.”
Southington is currently 2-2-1 overall and 0-2-1 in the CCC Central Blue. The Knights will look to continue battling this week as they take on undefeated Berlin (4-0) and New Britain (2-3-1).
The game against New Britain on Friday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. will be celebrated as the Southington United Game under the lights. Proceeds from concessions will be donated to the United Way of Southington.