By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knight lacrosse team went 2-1 last week with their largest loss of the season, but Southington is on the brink of qualifying for the postseason in back-to-back seasons with five games remaining.
But clinching isn’t the biggest focus for Coach Jill Pomposi. Southington will face only two teams with winning records, so Pomposi is focused on her team’s mindset.
Can they play a full 50 minutes? Every groundball and check is being scrutinized by the coach.
“We are going to focus on each teeny tiny possession or opportunity, and then string them all together,” said the coach. “We’re really pressuring from all sides. Attackers aren’t just going to shoot hard. They’re going to shoot hard, and if they miss the ball on the rebound, they’re going to re-defend hard to the 30-yard line.”
The same goes for defenders.
“They’re going to make the play, and they’re not going to make a silly pass up just to get rid of it,” said Pomposi. “They’re going to think it through and find their next midfield option.”
The Knights will be back on the turf this week when they host divisional Simsbury (6-4) on Monday, May 7 and then head out on the road to Brien McMahon (6-5) on Saturday, May 12. The Knights fell, 13-6, to Brien McMahon back in April. Southington is 4-6 overall and 2-3 in the CCC North Division.
Win vs. South Windsor
MAY 1—Talie Richardson’s hot scoring streak and a balanced scoring attack from Emma Doran, Brooke Lynch, and Molly Dobratz ended Southington’s two-game skid. The Knights began the week on Tuesday with a 16-11 victory over divisional South Windsor at home. The Knights led by three at the half and pulled away with nine goals in the second half, limiting the Bobcats to just four goals in the first half.
Southington took 22 shots on goal. Richardson marshaled the offense with four goals and three assists. She also recovered five groundballs. Doran (3 goals, 3 assists), Lynch (3 goals, 1 assist), and Dobratz (3 goals) contributed as well, as Dobratz won three draws. Julia Wells finished with 15 saves in the cage.
“We knew it was going to be pretty evenly matched, but we outhustled them and wanted it a little bit more,” said Pomposi. “That’s what really made the difference there. We didn’t force it as much as we had previously.”
Loss vs. Glastonbury
MAY 3—Following their week-opening win on Tuesday, the Knights were limited to just two goals in the first half and suffered a second-half drought a couple of days later. They also suffered their largest loss of the season a couple days later after falling, 20-2, to divisional Glastonbury at home. The Knights scored both goals in the first half, as the Tomahawks led by nine at the half.
“We hung with them for 10 or 15 minutes, and then we let a couple of goals in and got deflated because it’s the best team that we play annually,” said Pomposi. “If we played together the whole time and the way that we could play, we wouldn’t have given up 20 goals.”
Southington took 14 shots on goal. Lynch and Richardson netted Southington’s two goals. Lynch also recovered five groundballs. Doran contributed with an assist, and Taylor Borla also recovered five groundballs. Wells saved 15 of Glastonbury’s 33 shots in the cage.
“I was really disappointed that we didn’t score in the second half,” said Pomposi. “Twenty-five minutes is a long time to go without scoring.”
Win at Ellington
MAY 4—Doran took over the reins of the offense, and Southington’s second-half shutdown defense helped the Knights bounce back from their largest loss of the season to cap off the week on Friday. They earned their fourth win of the season with a 14-8 victory at Ellington. The Knights led by two at the half, but managed to pull away with six goals and limit Ellington to just a pair of scores in the second half.
Southington took 28 shots on goal. Doran paced the offense with four goals. Richardson (2 assists) and Dobratz contributed with three goals each. Lynch recovered nine groundballs and won five draws. Wells saved 12 of Ellington’s 20 saves.
“Our low attackers and midfield re-defense really jumpstarted our attack,” said Pomposi. “It was our strongest re-defense that we’ve had all year. They really crumpled under the pressure, and it sparked our attack.”
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.