Southington boys soccer had six senior starters in its lineup last season and eight seniors on the roster overall, but it didn’t translate into a successful campaign on the pitch. The Blue Knights went 3-11-2 and scored just eight goals over those 16 games.
It was a tough year for Southington, which was coming off of a division championship in 2017. Gone from the 2018 team are seniors Joseph Colaccino, Elijah Rodriguez, John Griffin, Colin Burdette, Tyler Salzillo, Robert LaCluyze, Bryce Worth and Aundray Latiff. Burdette led the team in goals with four while Rodriguez, Latiff and Worth added one apiece.
Several of those graduates played key roles on the division winner in 2017. In 2018, the bounces just didn’t go Southington’s way.
Senior Chris Chaplinsky owns the only goal scored by a returning player. “We will need to score goals in order to compete,” veteran coach Dave Yanosy said about his team.
Yanosy said he is optimistic about this year’s squad. There is a team-first attitude, along with some core principles that the team committed to, including P.R.I.D.E., the athletics program motto which stands for positive attitude; response; integrity; determination and excellence.
“The players, along with PRIDE and all that, they picked commitment, competition and chemistry as their three basic core values,” Yanosy said. “We’re going to talk about a lot of stuff throughout the course of the season, but they decided that we’re going to hang our hat on those three. We’re going to be here, we’re going to compete, and we’re going to do it together. We’re going to have each other’s backs.”
Chaplinsky scored the lone goal in his team’s 1-0 season-opening win at home over Conard in 2018. Senior three-year letter-winner Marek Kryzanski will join Chaplinsky up front and in the middle.
“A scrappy, tireless player who provides toughness and durability to the team,” Yanosy said about Kryzanski.
Senior Andrew Kudla figures to play in the midfielder or at back. Yanosy said Kudla has tremendous speed and toughness.
“He’s an unselfish player who brings a tremendous attitude day in and day out,” Yanosy added about Kudla.
Senior Ryan Daddona is a center midfielder to look out for this fall.
“He’s the team’s most improved player from last season,” Yanosy said about Daddona. “A skillful, steady player who has tremendous vision and who is willing to make the extra pass.”
On defense are senior center backs Joseph Tellerico and Sam Miranda. They will anchor the defense, which is usually a strength of Southington under Yanosy. Tellerico is a two-year starter, Miranda a three-year letterwinner.
As for Miranda, Yanosy said: “A quick, athletic player who has a calming presence in the middle. He’s dangerous on runs forward due to his fantastic speed.”
Yanosy, who is entering his 14th season as head coach of the Knights, sees plenty of challenges ahead in the CCC from the likes of Glastonbury, Hall, Farmington, Conard and Simsbury. Before stepping up to meet those tests, Southington opens the season today at home against Lewis Mills at 3:45 p.m. on the turf. The Spartans are in their first season in the CCC. Mills was a Berkshire League and Class M powerhouse, and it is only two years removed from a Class M state championship.
Yanosy believes his team will get back to .500 this season. A .500 record would put Southington into the postseason. If the Knights can find more offense, those ideas could become reality.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com