By BRIAN JENNINGS
After transitioning from the turf field to the grass field at the high school, the ball hasn’t been rolling in the right direction for the Lady Knight field hockey team. They stumbled through the toughest stretch of their regular season schedule with four-straight losses, but managed to end that skid with a confidence-building 8-0 shutout over East Catholic at home on Friday.
As they approach the midpoint of the season with 10 games remaining, the Knights need five more wins to qualify for the Class L tournament for the first time since 2014…a likelihood that Southington coach Erin Luddy said is very possible. The Knights just have to keep the momentum from Friday’s win going.
Keeping one another in the game, regardless of what the score is, and trying to have fun with the game at the same time is what Luddy said will help the Knights accomplish that goal.
“The biggest thing is that we know we can compete and play well together as a team,” the coach said. “We had a few injuries that set us back a few times, but as we learn more and more that other people can step in, we start to do very well.”
The Knights will be back on the turf this week when they host Hall (3-3) on Tuesday, Oct. 3 and then head out on the road for divisional Wethersfield (1-6-1) on Friday, Oct. 6. The Knights are also scheduled to return to the turf field. Southington is currently 2-4.
Loss vs. South Windsor
SEPT. 26—The Knights suffered their fourth-straight loss and third shutout of the season after being blanked, 6-0, by divisional South Windsor at home on Tuesday. The Bobcats are currently third in the CCC. The game was played on the grass field in lieu of the turf field, due to construction to the track.
“I think the girls just got frustrated with the fact that we were on grass and the fact that it was our third game of playing a really hard team,” said Luddy. “We got down only four minutes into the game, and it just took a lot of air out of us. A lot of it was our mindset.”
The Bobcats held a 3-0 lead at halftime and took 24 shots on goal, including 19 penalty corners, while the Knight were held to just six shots on goal and one penalty corner. Maddie Belfonti saved 14 shots in the cage.
Win vs. East Catholic
SEPT. 29—The Knights flipped the script from Tuesday’s loss and broke their four-game losing streak by recording their first shutout of the season after blanking divisional East Catholic, 6-0, at home to round out the week on Friday. This game was also played on the grass field.
“We kept talking, passing, and moving the ball,” said Luddy. “It wasn’t like one person was running the show. All of them were working together, and it really showed.”
The Knights led the Eagles, 4-0, at halftime. Jenna Sheehan marshalled the offense with the hat trick of three goals.
“We took advantage of everything in the circle,” the coach said. “When Jenna Sheehan touches the ball, she’s just looking for the cage. I took her out when she scored her third goal, so she could have easily scored more.”
Nicole Martocchio contributed with three assists and scored one goal. The Knights took 21 shots on goal and nine penalty corners. Maddie Belfonti saved four shots in the cage.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/10/04/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-oct-6-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.