By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington boys lacrosse has a few mantras that it wants to adhere to this season. One is focusing on the next play; another is having each other’s backs; and yet another is “next man up.”
All three of those ideas were in on display during a week where the Blue Knights claimed wins over Newington and Pomperaug. Southington defeated Newington 14-9 on April 8, then took down Pomperaug 14-3 on April 13 in a non-conference matchup. Both of the matchups were at home. The Knights improved to 3-1 on the season.
Southington led Newington 7-4 at halftime of their April 8 contest, but the Indians scored the first three goals of the third period to tie the game, 7-7. It was tied again 9-9 late in the period, but the Knights got a goal and went ahead 10-9 entering the fourth period.
“When the defense is struggling, the offense is going to step up, and that’s what we did,” coach Ron Chase said. “The defense let in some goals that it shouldn’t have, and the offense responded and scored five straight on them. It was a great effort across the board. We got great team chemistry, we’ve got players on the team who are behind one another, guys on the team that are close.”
Evan Johanns had seven goals and one assist, and he scored all four of the Knight goals in the fourth period.
“Against Newington we were tied 9-9 and we were telling our team that it wasn’t about what team wanted it more but who was going to make plays,” Chase said. “As usual, Evan came through and finished Newington off.”
Matt Thompson had two goals and three assists while Seth Bogoslofski added a goal and three assists. Jack Tedone, Camden Brown, Eli Steindl and Ethan Thomson each had one goal, and Garrett Brown made 16 saves.
Southington began to assert itself against Pomperaug in the latter part of the first period. A 2-0 lead doubled to 4-0 after one period, then ballooned to 9-1 by halftime. A big key to the blowout was the ability of the Knights to keep the Panthers in their own zone with the ball, then cause a turnover. The quick changes in possession led to better scoring chances, and Southington took advantage.
“We’re playing some of the better lacrosse that I’ve seen in a couple years. It’s fun to be out there with them,” Chase said.
Johanns had six goals and one assist on the day. Freshman Rory Misal had a big day with four goals and one assist. Thomson had one goal and two assists while Bogoslofski added one goal and one assist. Another freshman, Sebby Foresi, had a goal as did Ethan Ritchie, and Thompson tallied one assist. Brown made nine saves in the victory.
Misal was playing for the injured Camden Brown and more than held his own. Foresi was in on faceoffs and won 95 percent of them.
“Typically, Matt Thompson is our starting faceoff guy, and we saw Sebby doing pretty well last game. We put him in there, he took almost every single one of those,” Chase said. “Rory stepped in for Camden, and he scored four goals.”
That’s what “next man up” is all about, and Chase said he was proud of his team’s effort against Pomperaug, from his freshmen all the way up to his seniors, and everyone in between.
“It’s just nice to see that everybody has got everybody’s back, regardless of what class you’re in, and it’s just a great team chemistry across the board,” Chase said.
Up next: Southington was scheduled to host Berlin on Wednesday evening. The Knights are home again Saturday for an 11 a.m. non-conference game against Norwalk.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com