Southington’s season came to an end after the 13th-seeded Lady Knights were doused, 20-2, at perennial powerhouse, No. 4 Darien, in the first round of the state tournament on Tuesday, May 30. However, one and done to the defending Class L champions doesn’t explain exactly how far the Knights have come from 2016 to 2017.
Around this time last year, the Knights were sitting at home with only three wins. They began this season with an 8-1 record and finished at 9-8 overall.
Coach Jill Pomposi said that, more than doubling their tally from last season is something the Knights should be proud of, and it’s something they’ll definitely take with them into next season.
“Everyone on the team made a commitment to themselves and to the team that they were going to work all year to be ready for this upcoming season,” said Pomposi. “The work that they put in during the offseason is what really drove our success. We didn’t have to commit so much time at practice to conditioning and basic stick skills.”
From reaching nine wins to clinching a postseason berth, the underclassmen saw the payout from the hard work they put in last offseason, which will drive them to work just as hard for the upcoming offseason. But they will also take the leadership that the senior class provided into next season as well.
The Knights are losing eight seniors to graduation after this season, which includes Hallie Altwies, Sydney Brault, Michaela Carrera, Nickolina Doran, Emily Gibney, Hannah Jackman, Jessica Karwowski, and Morgan Raymond.
“The seniors did an awesome job this year,” the coach said. “They really took charge of the team and showed our juniors what they have to do next year. This whole group is amazing, but the senior class really put their heart and soul into this season.”
The Knights trailed, 14-1, at halftime of Tuesday’s game, as Southington only took 11 shots on goal. Doran (2 shots) and Raymond (3 shots) scored Southington’s lone two goals of the game. Doran’s goal was scored on free position in the second half.
Darien’s Ashley Humphrey led all scorers with four goals.
“We went up against one of the hardest teams and expected them to be very strong,” said Pomposi. “But the score didn’t really indicate the fact that we tried and fought. We didn’t get down on ourselves.”
Doran also recovered four ground balls. Emma Doran and Hallie Altwies won three draws each. Julia Wells saved three shots in the cage.
“They’re super fast and very precise with the ball,” the coach said. “They did make mistakes, and we made them turn the ball over on some of the attacks, but we were a little anxious and weren’t able to get the ball down to the net. All of their players are very skilled, using both hands very fluidly.”
Darien (15-3) went on to defeat No. 5 Conard, 14-8, in the quarterfinals and will play No. 8 New Canaan (14-4) in the semifinals. The other semifinal game will feature No. 2 Greenwich (15-2) against No. 11 Wilton (12-5). Top-seeded Newtown fell, 18-5, to New Canaan in the quarterfinals.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/06/05/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-june-9-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.