By BRIAN JENNINGS
Whether it’s running the offense properly, talking on defense, or sliding physically with the body instead waving sticks at opponents, it’s the little things that coach Ron Chase said are at the center of the Blue Knight lacrosse team’s current tribulation.
“It’s about transferring what we do at practice to the game field,” said Chase. “If you want to beat teams, you have to be able to stop teams from scoring and finish shots.”
Cutting down on spotting teams with a large lead in the first half is another concern for Chase as well. The Knights found themselves trailing their opponents, 23-3, at halftime in the three games they played this past week combined.
“If you’re going to trade goals back and forth in the second half, you’re not going to win those games,” the coach said. “That has a lot to do with a lot of new faces and young guys out there that are playing varsity for the first time.”
Win vs. Newington
APRIL 11—After opening their season with back-to-back, blowout losses, the Knights earned their first win of the season with a 20-5 victory over Newington at home. The Knights led the Indians, 10-2, at halftime.
“It’s very difficult not to play down to a lesser opponent, and it’s something we kept stressing at halftime and during the quarters,” said Chase. “Keep playing at an upper level, and we did that today.”
Southington took 48 shots on goal and committed nine penalties. Jake Walczak paced the offense with five goals on eight shots.
Liam Guthrie (3 goals, 1 assist), Evan Johanns (3 goals), Ryan Mailhot (2 goals 3 assists), Seth Bogoslofski (2 goals), Matt Gunderson (1 goal, 2 assists), Matt Thompson (1 goal), Brandon Slade (1 goal), Jared Vath (1 goal), and Justin Nogueira (1 goal) each contributed as well.
“I like the fact that a lot of our goals were assisted,” the coach said. “We were unselfish where our guys could have just gone to the goal, but they didn’t. They passed it off to their buddies to get a goal.”
Hunter Forrest recovered five ground balls. Evan Bumbera (5) and Garrett Brown (3) combined for eight saves in the cage.
Loss vs. Trumbull
APRIL 13—The Knights couldn’t maintain momentum a few days later, suffering a 12-7 loss at home to Trumbull. The Knights were held scoreless in the first half and trailing, 6-0, at the break, but outscored them, 7-6, in the second half.
“We played really well from the middle of the third quarter to the end,” said Chase. “That was some of the best lacrosse we played, but it was just too late.”
Southington took 21 shots on goal and committed six penalties. Walczak paced the offense with three goals. Guthrie (2 goals), Ethan Thomson (1 goal, 2 assists), and Dean Bauchiero (1 goal) contributed as well.
Thomson and Slade recovered four groundballs each. Bumbera (10) and Brown (2) combined for 12 saves in the cage.
Loss vs. Pomperaug
APRIL 15—The Knights suffered their second-straight loss on Saturday after falling, 10-4, to Pomperaug at home, dropping their fourth game of the season. The Knights trailed the Panthers, 7-1, at halftime.
“We have to finish our shots on offense and play good, position defense, especially in transition,” said Chase. “We have to do the little things right across the board. We had four or five opportunities in the first half, where if we put those in, it’s a completely different ballgame.”
Southington took 39 shots on goal and committed six penalties. Thomson (1 goal, 2 shots), Guthrie (1 goal, 9 shots), Bauchiero (1 goal, 5 shots), and Thompson (1 goal, 3 shots) each scored. Johanns and Gunderson contributed with an assist apiece.
Slade recovered eight groundballs. Brown (4) and Bumbera (2) combined for six saves in the cage.
The Knights (1-4) will be back on the turf this week when they begin a five-game road stretch starting with Farmington (1-3), Fairfield Warde (1-3), and Guilford (2-2).
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/04/18/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-april-21-edition/). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.