By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington girls lacrosse played three home games last week, and each offered lessons for the future.
The Lady Knights started the week with an 11-8 win over Berlin on April 15, and that game was all about taking care of the little things.
A 15-14 overtime win over Ellington on April 17 taught Southington that it can never be too comfortable with a big lead. A 13-9 loss to Amity on April 18 showed the Knights that they need to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves.
Southington ended the week with a record of 5-2. The Knights were missing a couple key players due to spring break.
Southington began the week with a tough game against Berlin. The Knights took a pair of two-goal leads in the first half, but the Redcoats answered each time and trailed 5-4 at halftime. Southington led by three goals on four different occasions in the second half, not including the final score, but Berlin never let the home team feel comfortable.
“We were shifting some people around into different positions,” coach Jill Pomposi said, “but we really tried to focus on the smaller things like working together, making sure you’re actually throwing it to where she’s asking for it, and really just taking care of the ball. We knew it was going to be a scrappy game, and if we let up, they would take advantage of it.”
Pomposi said Natalie Foligno, who hadn’t had much playing time, did well stepping in for a missing player. “Natalie played amazing today, and she played almost the entire game,” said the coach.
Brooke Lynch led Southington with four goals. Taylor Borla scored three goals and scooped up seven ground balls. Kayli Garcia tallied two goals, Karolina Kurzatkowski and Talie Richardson each had one goal, and Mackenzie Brown made nine saves.
Carly Grega paced Berlin with three goals.
On April 17, Southington led Ellington 11-2 with 22:33 left in the second half of the battle of the Knights. Ellington scored three times during a man-up situation, then added five more scores in a row to trail by a single goal, 11-10, with 11:02 to go.
“I think we were a little bit too comfortable, and they started to take advantage of the man-up opportunity,” Pomposi said. “When we made a mistake, they capitalized on it.”
Southington built two-goal leads of 12-10 and 14-12, but Ellington caught up both times, and the game was tied, 14-14, with 3:25 remaining. The game headed to sudden victory overtime, which is divided into two three-minute halves. With 5.4 seconds to play in the first three-minute session, Kaitlyn DeLorenzo scored to give Southington the win.
“It really goes to show that the girls were really committed to not giving up that lead and not losing,” Pomposi said. “They never took the lead, they ended up tying us a couple times, but in previous years, if it would have been other teams, we would have been hanging our heads and feeling sorry for ourselves. They continued to play, and they took the [overtime] opportunity and made the best of it.”
Garcia paced Southington with five goals while Richardson had four goals and 13 draw controls. DeLorenzo and Kate Barner each scored twice while Gabby Fiora and Lynch had one goal apiece. Brown made 10 saves.
Clarissa Welti and Lily Daniel scored three goals apiece for Ellington.
Southington fell behind Amity by four goals on two different occasions in the first half before ending the first 25 minutes with a 6-3 deficit. The Knights pulled to within 6-4 just 43 seconds into the second half, but the Spartans didn’t let them get any closer. Amity led by as many as six goals before winning the April 18 contest by four.
Lynch had three goals, Garcia and Richardson each scored two goals, and DeLorenzo and Abby LeBarron added a goal apiece. Brown made 13 saves in the loss. Ana Carney led Amity with a game-high five goals.
“You learn something from every game that you play, whether it’s a win or a loss,” Pomposi said. “We really can’t give up on ourselves, whether it’s the first minute of the game or the last minute of the game, because we do have a really strong team.”
Up next: Southington played at Farmington on Tuesday, then hosted Brien McMahon on Thursday.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com