By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington boys soccer faced about as tough a two-game stint as is possible in the CCC this past week.
The Blue Knights began their week on the road at East Hartford on Sept. 17. The Hornets entered the game ranked fourth in the Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association’s Class LL/L poll. East Hartford looked the part of a top five team with a 4-0 victory over Southington.
The tough schedule continued on Sept. 20 when Southington hosted Hall on the turf at Fontana Field. The highly-skilled Warriors came into the game ranked third in the CSCA Class LL/L poll, but the Knights battled the visitors for 90 minutes. A goal in the waning moments of the first five-minute overtime proved to be the difference in a 1-0 Hall win. Southington fell to 1-2 with the losses.
Here’s what happened last week:
Loss at East Hartford
SEPT. 17—The Hornets raced out to a quick lead and the Knights couldn’t catch up at East Hartford High School.
Emannuel Ofori scored two goals and tallied an assist to lead East Hartford in the win. Ryan Dailey also scored two goals for the Hornets while Emmanuel Acquah added an assist. Julio Argueta made two saves in the shutout.
Ryan Lunn started in goal, but wound up leaving the game due to illness. That meant that junior Cooper Burdette had to be shifted from right back to goalie. Goalie isn’t a position that Burdette is used to, but he handled himself pretty well, given the circumstances.
“East Hartford was a tough matchup for us as they had tremendous speed that we had no answer for,” coach Dave Yanosy said. “They jumped on us early and made it tough for us to get back in the game.”
Overtime loss to Hall
SEPT. 20—The Knights gave the Warriors everything they could handle and played them even through the first 84-plus minutes of the game at Fontana Field.
In that final minute of the first five-minute overtime session, Jamie Cowan placed a left-footed shot into the left side of Southington’s goal for a 1-0 Hall lead. That goal, which came off a Tobias Ruffo assist, turned out to be enough for the Warriors, and led to a gut-wrenching loss for the Knights.
Lunn made 12 saves for Southington in the loss. Max Kalsner Kershen tallied six saves for Hall, which improved to 3-0 with the win.
“They were extremely technical with no real weaknesses,” Yanosy said about Hall. “That said, we competed and battled them every step of the way. Unfortunately, they were able to get the goal in overtime that made the difference. I was pleased with the effort against one of the top teams in the state.”
Up next: Southington played at Conard on Monday in West Hartford. The road trips continue on Saturday with a game at Simsbury at 6 p.m.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com