By KEVIN ROBERTS
In the 2019 season opener this past Saturday, it was finally Southington’s time to be the winning side of a one-goal boys lacrosse game. On Saturday, March 30, the Knights defeated the Indians, 7-6, at Farmington High School.
In the past two meetings between the Southington and Farmington boys lacrosse teams, the difference in each game was a single goal. The Indians won 9-8 both times, and they scored the game-winning goal with 6.3 seconds left in the 2017 game. The Blue Knights had a chance to tie the 2018 matchup in the final seconds, but couldn’t get the equalizing goal.
This year’s win could be a good sign for the Knights.
“It’s one of those games where we match up very well with one another,” coach Ron Chase said. “They’ve got a defense that is physical like we do, they’ve got a good goalie like we do, and they’ve got a couple good shooters on offense like we do, so we just match up well. I’m just glad that this time we’re on the other end with the victory.”
Matt Thompson and Evan Johanns each scored three goals for Southington. Jack Tedone accounted for the other goal for the Knights. Matt Thompson and Ethan Thomson each had one assist, and Garrett Brown made 10 saves. The biggest lead of the game for either team was two goals, which Southington did three different times (4-2, 5-3, 7-5).
“Two goals is not a good enough cushion. Six, seven goals, that’s a good cushion,” Chase said. “I’ve been in games where we scored three, four goals in a minute and a half. I’m proud of our guys because they kept playing, they never gave up. We keep forging our philosophy; it’s just worry about the next play, worry about the next play, and that’s what showed.”
A prime example of the next play philosophy came during the fourth quarter.
“When we threw the ball away on a man-up towards the end, what did we do? We got right back on defense, and we forced a turnover going the other way,” Chase said.
The teams were tied 1-1 after one period of play. The second quarter had the most offense as the teams combined for seven goals and Southington claimed a 5-4 halftime lead. Farmington had the only goal in the third period, and the teams went to the fourth period tied, 5-5. Johanns scored twice early in the period to put the Knights up 7-5, but the Indians scored with 7:04 remaining to make the score 7-6. Southington held on to that one goal lead over the final 7:04, however, and finally got over the hump against Farmington.
With just two weeks to get ready for the regular season, there are still things that the Knights need to work on in practice, but Chase was proud of his team’s effort in the opener.
“They kept playing, they played physical, they scrapped, they got the groundballs, and that’s fun to see,” Chase said.
The Knights were scheduled to play at North Haven on Wednesday.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com