By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knight soccer team is right where Southington coach Mike Linehan thought they would be after they split the second week. Even though their first loss was on a questionable call, the Knights are still rolling at a game above .500.
The coach said defense has been a strength, but finishing still needs some slight fine-tuning. But Linehan said it’s just a matter of execution, and he just has to let his girls play.
“They know what they need to do,” he said. “Not to get cocky as things play out, but they are living up to my expectations right now.”
Loss vs. Conard
SEPT. 12—The Knights dropped their first contest of the season by a goal, 1-0, in dramatic fashion to divisional Conard (2-0) at home on Tuesday.
“It was extremely disappointing for us, but yet rewarding,” said Linehan. “It taught us a lot about who we were. We were all very pleased with the overall results of where were after they really handled us fairly well last year.”
Following a scoreless first half, the Chieftains took the lead with a goal with about 13 minutes remaining in the game. With 1:30 showing on the clock, Alexa Imme scored a goal on an attempted penalty kick. However, the goal was negated after a Southington player was called for stepping into the penalty box before the ball was kicked.
Imme’s second attempted penalty kicked was saved by Conard’s goalie.
“I haven’t seen a call like that in a very long time,” the coach said. “But that’s not the game. The game wasn’t one call by a referee. The game was 79 minutes of quality soccer with two good teams punching at each other.”
The Knights took nine shots on goal. Olivia Sherwood saved nine shots on goal.
Win vs. Maloney
SEPT. 15—The Knights rebounded from their loss to Conard by blanking Maloney, 4-0, at home to round out the week on Friday.
“What you’re looking for is a good response to what happened on Tuesday,” said Linehan. “When you have loss like that, you really just want to get right back on the field.”
Arianna Gazaferi, Alexa Imme, and Kelly Doyle all scored goals in the first half. Gazaferi capped off the win with her second goal of the game in the second half. Imme assisted three of Southington’s four goals.
“After we got up 3-0 on them, I think we stated to settle down a little bit,” the coach said. “We just played the game, but I was very impressed with the way we started the game after having a loss on Tuesday. You always watch how your team responds to that, and I thought we responded very well to that.”
The Knights took 27 shots on goal and four corner kicks. Olivia Sherwood saved two shots on goal.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/09/19/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-sept-22-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.