By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington girls lacrosse will bring a tight-knit group to the turf for the 2019 season, and it’s something that coach Jill Pomposi is excited about.
“The team chemistry and camaraderie is one of our strengths at the moment,” Pomposi said. “The girls have been playing together for a while, and it shows. They trust each other and play to each other’s strengths. We need to work on taking our time, moving the ball effectively on attack, and making smart shot selections.”
Pomposi wants the Lady Knights to be ready to go out of the gate, given the tough schedule that awaits them once CCC play begins.
“Our goal is to make the tournament,” Pomposi said. “We really want to start off strong before the majority of our conference schedule. Last year we had some very tight games against many teams in our conference like Simsbury, South Windsor, Farmington and anticipate close matchups with them again.”
A strong start could help Southington avoid going on the road for a play-in game like it had to in Class L last season. A more effective attack could help the Knights muster more goals and win the close games that were losses last year. Southington lost five games by three goals or less last season.
Taylor Borla, Gabby Fiora and Karolina Kurzatkowska will serve as senior captains. Pomposi expects Borla, Fiora and Kurzatkowska to get help in leading the way from their fellow seniors. Leadership should also come from juniors like Brooke Lynch and Emma Doran, who have been in the program since they were freshmen. Preseason practice has been focused and very excited, according to Pomposi.
Among the key returning players for Southington are Borla, senior Sarah Mafale, Lynch, Doran, junior Autumn Swain and sophomore Talie Richardson. Richardson is the lone returning All-CCC North selection for the Knights. Fellow All-CCC North selections Molly Dobratz and Jessie Pesce were among those seniors who graduated. Pomposi is expecting even more from Richardson this season.
“Talie was a huge player for us last year, she will be just as important this year,” Pomposi said. “What I want to see from her is a bit more of a voice, now that she has the experience and is comfortable playing at this level.”
Southington will need others to step in for those who graduated, and Pomposi has already seen that happening in the preseason.
“[Junior] Mackenzie Brown will step into cage for Julia Wells. Mackenzie is just as comfortable in the cage as Julia and is a great leader, too,” Pomposi said. “There are a handful of sophomores and juniors who are really stepping into the defensive roles where we lost the most seniors last year.”
Southington opens the season at home on April 4 against Newington at 4 p.m. The Knights host NFA the next day, April 5, at 7 p.m.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com