By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington girls soccer coach Mike Linehan is looking for more from his team than what was shown in the season opener on Sept. 7 at Conard.
Any time you start the season with a victory is a good thing, however, and the Lady Knights picked up a 1-0 win over the Chieftains in West Hartford.
Natalie Verderame scored the lone goal of the game on an assist from Allison Carr. Keeper Olivia Sherwood made five saves, including some big ones late, to preserve the victory.
“A good start to the season, but we need to improve,” Linehan said. “We are still coming together as a team and I hope over the next few games that we tighten up defensively. I would like us to be more creative offensively and finish our opportunities.”
About midway through the second half, Carr fought off two defenders and passed to Verderame, who got the ball underneath the Conard keeper and into the corner of the goal. After missing opportunities early on in the game, Southington had its goal. The Lady Knights outshot the Chieftains 9-5.
After Verderame’s goal, Southington’s defense kept the slim lead intact.
“The defense, led by Alijah Vega, Jordan Beaudoin, Katherine Crouse and Marissa Imme, limited Conard to very few scoring opportunities,” Linehan said. “Olivia Sherwood made a few outstanding saves in the final five minutes to secure the win.”
Abby Sowa and Emma Panarella were able to control the midfield for most of the game. It was a typical first game where some good things happened and other things need to be fixed.
Up next: Southington played its home opener against Bloomfield on Tuesday. The Lady Knights were on the road against Maloney on Thursday evening.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com.