It is a theme that Southington coach Mike Linehan is beginning to see evolve from his Lady Knight soccer team. Southington is getting opportunities at the net, but they are not finishing those opportunities, especially against the better teams in the conference.
The Knights had an opportunity to take down one of the top teams in the state, Glastonbury, this past week, but couldn’t deliver on the opportunities they had in the game. In order to be a successful program, Linehan said that they need to finish going forward.
“We had chances against Glastonbury, and you have to finish those chances you get because you’re not going to get many of them,” said Linehan. “They’re just too good, and they’re just not going to give you many chances. But if you’re a good team and working hard, you’re going to get your share.”
The Knights were coming off their second-straight win and their third shutout of the season by blanking Manchester, 2-0, on the road one Tuesday where finishing wasn’t the problem.
Southington goals came from Natalie Verderame, assisted by Nikki Carter, in the 20th minute of the first half and Kelly Doyle, assisted by Ariana Gazaferi, in the final minute of the game. Southington took 15 shots on goal and didn’t allow Manchester to take a single shot on goal.
But it was a bigger challenge against Glastonbury, where the Knights suffered their second loss of the season, 1-0, at home. Of course, the Tomahawks are currently tied for third in the CCC and have not lost a single game since 2014.
“In many categories, you take that as a victory,” said Linehan. “When I came off the field, people were saying congratulations to me. I’m glad they looked at it that way because that’s the way, certainly, I feel, and that’s the way the team felt. We walked away from this game learning a lot about where we are.”
Following a scoreless first half, Mackenzie Baker scored the game-winner on a breakaway by splitting a pair of Southington defenders in the 15th minute of the second half.
“They came out in a flurry in the second half,” the coach said. “They were putting a lot of pressure on us.”
The Knights took nine shots on goal. Olivia Sherwood saved five shots on goal.
Southington will be back on the turf this week when they hit the road for games against Farmington (2-1-2) and Bloomfield (2-1-2). Southington is currently 3-2.
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.