By BRIAN JENNINGS
Jill Pomposi marveled at her team’s speed during preseason practice. She continues to be pleased by their strength in drills and practice. Pomposi said that this year’s squad is the fittest team she’s had in her tenure as the Southington girls lacrosse coach, but more importantly, it’s the camaraderie, dedication, and respect that each player shows for one another that will have this team working well together as a unit.
“Each player brings a different strength to our program,” said Pomposi. “With all those strengths working together in unison, we can be successful.”
Their challenge isn’t going to be easy. The Knights finished last year’s regular season at 3-13 overall (2-7 home, 1-6 away) and placed eighth in the CCC North with a regional record of 0-7.
The girls missed the Class L tournament for the second-straight year, and were left to watch from the sidelines as top-seeded Darien went on to claim their fourth-straight Class L title with a 12-5 triumph over No. 6 Fairfield Warde in the championship game after moving up from Class M in 2012.
A young team last year of mostly sophomores and juniors, Pomposi said that the Knights were their own Achilles heel, suffering four losses by three or fewer goals. This season, the Knights will look to overcome last year’s hurdles by taking advantage of the opportunities they get on the attacking end sooner and focusing more on the defensive clears up field.
“Last year, we held onto the ball a bit too long before we got a shot off, and those earlier chances were lost,” said Pomposi. “But we also played rushed and unsettled at time when we needed to take our time and be confident.”
Besides the technical aspects on the field, missing the postseason and ending the regular season with a losing record are what Pomposi said will be used as fuel for the upcoming season.
“We are going to use those challenges we faced last year as motivation for this year,” said Pomposi. “We have to take our commitment to each other and move forward. We want to redeem ourselves in the conference.”
A settled attack and confidence going to the cage for a shot is what Pomposi has her girls harping on, in order to be prepared for the season opener.
“We have some players that will go to the cage often, but we need our entire attack to take this to the next level,” said Pomposi. “With that, we need to be smarter with the shots that we do take.”
The Knights lost just one athlete to graduation after last season in goalie Victoria Gentile. Gentile was unable to play her final season as a Knight due to an injury.
Seniors Morgan Raymond (M) and Hallie Altwies (M) were named as the team captains to lead the team for the upcoming season. Raymond finished last year with team highs of 58 goals and 48 draw controls, including 13 assists. Altwies was second on the team with 26 draw controls, finishing with 13 goals and 11 assists.
Other returning seniors include Sydney Brault, Michaela Carrera (D), Nickolina Doran, Emily Gibney, Hannah Jackman, and Jessica Karwowski.
Returning juniors include Molly Dobratz, Jenna Garcia (D), Lauren Graef, Jessica Pesce, Brittney Sao, and Julia Wells (G).
Returning sophomores include Adeline Kilgore (A), Anna Laone, and Sarah Mafale (A).
New additions to this year’s team include freshmen Brooke Lynch and Emma Doran.
Southington added NFA and Rockville to this year’s schedule. Pomposi is entering her fourth year as head coach of the program and currently holds an overall coaching record of 20-28.
For weekly box scores and daily results, visit us throughout the week at www.SouthingtonObserver.com. Search “scoreboard.”