By KEVIN ROBERTS
No. 11 Southington boys lacrosse saw its season come to an end in a 15-2 loss to a powerful New Canaan team, seeded sixth, in the first round of the Class L state tournament.
The Blue Knights finished the season with a record of 11-7. Those are all just numbers though. For this story, it’s more about the journey that Southington boys lacrosse took, especially its seniors. The New Canaan game was the last for seniors Seth Bogoslofski, Jacob Cardozo, Will Downes, Matt Thompson, Evan Johanns, Ethan Thomson, Connor Stifel, Eli Steindl and Jason Brault.
“This senior class has been unreal for the past four years,” coach Ron Chase said after the last regular season home game against Hall on May 20. “From the minute they got here as freshmen, they were at every workout, every offseason program. One of the guys even writes the scouting reports, that’s the type of crew this is.”
It wasn’t an easy ride for Southington. After a 10-8 season and a state playoff appearance in 2016, the Knights struggled to a 2-14 record in 2017. In 2018, a young Southington squad improved and finished 6-10, just outside the state tournament.
This season was a return to success for Southington. The Knights started the year 3-1 with the lone loss coming by a single goal in overtime at North Haven. Southington lost two of three games, then won two straight over Valley Regional and Norwalk to improve to 6-3. After two losses in three games to strong Simsbury and Glastonbury squads, the Knights again won two straight, beating Rocky Hill and Amity to improve to 9-5. Southington lost its regular season home finale against Hall but finished up with a road win over Avon to end at 10-6.
“They kept playing, kept going at it, kept training and kept pushing everybody. It’s going to be a sad day, once we finish up,” Chase said after that Hall game.
Southington’s will to keep pushing proved to be huge against No. 22 Stamford in a Class L qualifying round battle on May 26. The Knights were down two goals early in the fourth quarter, but rallied to tie the game in the final seconds. Matt Thompson’s goal in overtime sealed the 7-6 victory.
Southington’s run ended on May 29 in New Canaan against a Rams team that lost one in-state regular season game to perennial powerhouse Darien. The other two losses that counted against New Canaan’s CIAC record were against St. Anthony of New York and Summit of New Jersey. The Rams finished the regular season at 11-3, then won the FCIAC Tournament.
Johanns and Camden Brown each scored a goal for Southington in the loss to New Canaan. Bogoslofski and Rory Missal each had one assist, and Garrett Brown made 13 saves. The Knights not only had to deal with the powerful Rams, but also had to contend with a two and a half hour lightning delay. Luke Nolan had five goals to lead New Canaan.
It was a rough ending for Southington, but it took nothing away from the journey these Knights made, not only this year, but over the past several years.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com