By BRIAN JENNINGS
Although they’ve been eliminated from the state tournament since April, the Blue Knight lacrosse team entered the final week of the regular season still in contention of a CCC Central tournament berth. Just one thing: they needed to win out their last two games of the regular season.
That didn’t happen though, as a pair of losses to divisional opponents Hall and Avon kept them postseason-less.
The Knights finished the regular season at 2-14 overall (2-6 home, 0-8 away) with a record of 2-7 against CCC teams, placing sixth out of six teams in the CCC Central region (0-5).
Youth and inexperience was certainly a concern for Southington coach Ron Chase and his coaching staff coming into the season. But Chase said that he believes having a team of mostly players that suited up for the JV and freshmen teams last year was a big part of why the Knights couldn’t keep up with teams for all four quarters.
“For many of the games, we were tight at the half, but just could not hold on for four quarters,” the coach said. “In many of the games, the opposing team opened up on us in the third quarter. That quarter really hurt us throughout the season.”
Furthermore, a number of injuries throughout the season also plagued the Knights from keeping a consistently healthy roster.
“I don’t think we had the same man-up squad for more than one game,” said Chase. “Someone was always hurt.”
Finishing with just two wins can be construed as an overall disappointing season, but Chase said that there were some bright spots though and has a lot to look forward to in the future.
“We have some very good, young players that received a tremendous amount of playing time,” the coach said. “They competed to the end, even in our last game against Avon. Many of the teams we played were loaded with seniors this year, so that will play a part next year.”
Loss vs. Hall
MAY 15—After winning their second game of the season against NW Catholic last Saturday, the Knights fell back into the loss column following a 16-7 loss to Hall at home on Monday. The Knights trailed, 9-4, at halftime.
Matt Thompson (5 shots, 2 assists) paced the offense with a pair of goals. Lance Johnston and Brandon Slade recovered four ground balls each.
Garrett Brown saved 20 shots in the cage. Southington took 39 shots on goal and committed six penalties.
Loss at Avon
MAY 17—The Knights finished off the week and regular season on Wednesday by suffering their second-straight loss after falling, 13-4, at Avon. The Knights trailed, 4-2, at halftime.
Matt Gundersen (5 shots, 1 assist), Thompson (5 shots), Dean Bauchiero (4 shots), and Liam Guthrie (3 shots) each scored a goal. Slade recovered five ground balls.
Brown saved 22 shots in the cage. Southington took 27 shots on goal and committed 10 penalties.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/05/23/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-may-26-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.