By KEVIN ROBERTS
No. 17 Southington battled No. 16 Fairfield Warde, a 2-0 halftime deficit, and increasingly inclement weather conditions during Monday’s Class L qualifying round game at Fairfield Warde High School.
Despite the obstacles, the Lady Knights kept working hard, and Julia Jackman cut the deficit to 2-1 with a goal off of a Jenna Sheehan assist five minutes into the second half.
Southington had 25 minutes to pull even with Warde, but Mustang goalkeeper Madeleine Goodman (8 saves) and her defense were able to keep the Lady Knights from getting the equalizer. Southington lost the game 2-1 and saw its season end with a record of 7-10, which included an overtime loss.
“We played really well, we knew it was going to be a close game,” coach Erin Luddy said. “We came out strong and never gave up, even when we were down 2-0 at halftime. They knew they were still in the game, we just needed to capitalize on the opportunities.”
Southington generated 13 shots and six penalty corners. At the defensive end, Kate Pryzbyliski made six saves for the Lady Knights. Alex DiPierro scored the first goal for Warde with just under 14 minutes remaining in the first half.
The Mustangs took a 2-0 lead with a little under six minutes remaining when Liz Falterer put the ball in the cage off of a penalty corner. As the rain began to fall harder, the teams huddled under umbrellas at halftime with the score 2-0 in favor of Warde. Southington had its chances, but was turned away by Goodman.
There were chances for the tying goal after Jackman scored. A Sheehan shot was saved at the 19:37 mark, as was an Emma Doran attempt off of a penalty corner at 17:28. Alina Calderone put a ton of pressure on a Warde defender as they battled for a ball near the cage at 11:40. Southington didn’t get a good look, but the Lady Knight pressure was increasing as much as the rain that fell in the second half.
After a Lady Knight timeout at 9:44 to go, they put a good ball in front of the cage, only to see Goodman pick up another save. Southington worked to get another good chance, but Warde wouldn’t let it happen.
“Everyone put in everything they could to make this season successful,” Luddy said. “Even though it was not as many wins as last year, making the tournament again was a goal for us that we achieved.”
It was the final game for Lady Knight seniors Jackman, Calderone, Anna Laone and Megan Matthews.
“The seniors are an amazing group of girls,” Luddy said. “Each one brought their own personalities and persistence to the program.”
Regular season finale
OCT 31—Southington lost 5-1 to Avon at the Ethel Walker School on Halloween. Jackman scored the lone goal for the Lady Knights. Pryzbyliski made 13 saves and Abby Delgado added three saves for Southington.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com