By BRIAN JENNINGS
The injuries continue to pile up, and the Blue Knight soccer team has shifted into survival mode after a few more key starters dropped during this past week’s action, including the team’s leading goal scorer.
With 11 regular season games remaining, most of Southington’s starters are expected to return to the field, but it may be a long road to recovery until the Knights can get back on their feet at full strength.
“We’ve been unlucky with injuries, but it’s one of those things that we’re going to have to deal with,” said Southington coach Dave Yanosy. “We still have a bunch of the season left, so we’re going to have to stem the tide a little bit and do what we can in the time being so that when we get healthy, we’re in a good position to do something down the stretch.”
Starting goalie Evan Daddona returned to the field as a defenseman, recovering from a broken hand he sustained at Conard. Joseph Colaccino, Elijah Rodriguez, and Cameron Zegzdryn are just some of the key players that are currently out with injuries.
The Knights will be back in action this week when they return home to host Farmington (1-1-2) on Monday, Sept. 25 and New Britain (1-4) on Thursday, Sept. 28. Due to construction of the high school’s track, both games will be moved from the turf field to the grass field. Southington is 1-2-2.
Win vs. Tolland
SEPT. 19—The Knights recorded their first win of the season by blanking Tolland, 3-0, at home on Tuesday.
“It was a good win, in terms of just getting the ship headed back in the right direction,” said Yanosy. “We kind of stepped the tide in the first half, and I really liked our spirit in the second half. Once we got that first one, we started believing a little bit.”
Following a scoreless first half, Joe Colaccino put the Knights on the board by beating out the Eagle defense with an unassisted goal a little under five minutes into the second half.
“It was a good, perseverance-type goal,” the coach said. “He kept working and basically just outhustled the guy to the ball. He was able to get a touch in there, it opened up for him, and then he was able to finish it.”
Although he had a shot blocked by Tolland’s goalie in the 53rd minute, Colaccino returned to score another goal on a backdoor pass by Alexis Frausto in the penalty box in the 60th minute.
“Joe did a great job of finishing it off, but I think we all thought Alexis was going to shoot,” said Yanosy. “Then he slides it back the other way, which is a really tough ball against the grain. He caught everyone off guard, including their defense.”
Marek Kryzanski capped off the win with an unassisted goal in the 65th minute shot from outside the penalty box off a rebounded shot.
“That was a really important goal because it kind of put the game out of reach,” the coach said. “He hit it with the side of the foot, but with the momentum of the ball coming out to him. It definitely had some pace, but the key was keeping it low and on net.”
The Knights took 10 shots on goal. John Griffin saved four shots on goal.
Loss at Glastonbury
SEPT. 22—A few days later, the Knights suffered their second loss of the season after falling, 3-1, at Glastonbury on Friday.
Hayden Burbank scored Southington’s lone goal of the game 15 seconds into the contest. The Tomahawks took a 2-1 lead by halftime after scoring a pair of goals by the end of the first half, and capped off the victory with a goal midway through the second half.
“We had four good opportunities down the stretch,” said Yanosy. “They’re a very good team and come at you in waves. They wear you down, and it’s tough for us, sometimes, to sustain what is needed to be sustained for 80 minutes with some teams like them.”
Colaccino and Burbank left the game with injures.
“We have to turn the page,” the coach said. “As a coaching staff, we have to continue to keep working to try to find the right combination with what we have, and then the players have to collectively keep the proper mindset and believe. We still have a lot of good players that are not injured.”
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/09/26/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-sept-29-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.