By BRIAN JENNINGS
It wasn’t pretty, but the Blue Knight soccer team salvaged a one-goal victory and a tie as they continue to fight for seeding in the Class LL tournament.
“Over the last handful of games, we’ve kind of been playing a little bit to the level of our opponents,” said Southington coach Dave Yanosy. “When you do that, it’s dangerous. Everyone’s pretty good in the league that we play in, and everyone’s got some pretty good players. So if you don’t show up or don’t play the full 80 minutes, every team is capable of making you pay for it.”
In terms of where the team stands, Yanosy said that it’s not so much of back to the drawing board as it is refocusing and doing a good job of translating what they do in practice.
“Sometimes it doesn’t always end up working out for you when you leave it close when it shouldn’t be close and leave other teams in it,” the coach said. “If this trend continues, it won’t always work out for us. We talked about it and have to learn from it.”
On Monday, the Knights opened the week in Manchester where they settled for their second tie of the season in a 1-1 draw.
Burbank scored Southington’s lone goal of the game with just over a minute to go in the first half. The Indians responded by scoring a goal with 2:37 to go in the game.
“We generated a bunch of chances, but didn’t get the second one,” said Yanosy. “We had a couple opportunities to make 2-0 or 3-0, but we didn’t cash in on them and ended up paying for it with a late goal. Manchester was very good. They have a good record and beat some really good teams.”
The Knights took 12 shots on goal and one corner kick. Daddona saved 10 shots of Manchester’s 18 shots on goal.
On Friday, Southington hosted a scrappy Middletown team and achieved their seven win of the season after just squeaking by the Blue Dragons with a 2-1 victory.
Alexis Frausto put the Knights on the board first with a goal at the 27-minute mark in the first half. Hayden Burbank assisted Elijah Rodriguez with another score late in the half.
Southington went scoreless in the second half and allowed Middletown to cut the deficit to one with about five minutes remaining in the game. Following the goal, the Blue Dragons continued to work through Southington’s defense, taking a few more shots on goal, but would not be able to find the back of the net.
“I give a lot of credit to Middletown,” said Yanosy. “We had a 2-0 lead at the half, and they could have folded. But they kept playing, working, and got a goal. They certainly made it a little bit more interesting down the stretch.”
Southington took 16 shots on goal and seven corner kicks. Evan Daddona saved two of Middletown’s 14 shots on goal.
Southington is currently 7-4-2 overall and 0-3-1 in the CCC Central Blue Division (2-4-1 in the CCC Central Region). The Knights hope to carry momentum into this week against Windsor (2-11) and Avon (4-7-2).