SOUTHINGTON — Name the phase of the game and Southington girls lacrosse dominated it Friday against E.O. Smith in the qualifying round of the Class L state tournament.
The No. 10-seeded Blue Knights outshot No. 23 E.O. Smith 33-4. They won 15 of the 19 face-offs.
And they owned the scoreboard, 19-1.
Southington coach DaveSargent religiously preaches possessing the ball to his squad, and the Blue Knights did just that Friday. Starting goalie Makenzie LeBarron needed just one save in the win.
Lauren Weaver of E.O. Smith spoiled the shutout, scoring the Panthers’ lone goal with just 10 seconds to play.
By then, the Blue Knights had their 19 behind a very balanced offensive attack, something they pride themselves in. Eight different players scored goals Friday. Taylor Foresi had four, Noelle Castonguay and Nicole DePodesta both had three. Auria Mullins, Ella Huard, and Aniela Carlson each had two, while Lilli Doran and Madison Bafundo both had one.
WIth the victory, Southington improves to 18-1 and advances to Tuesday’s first round.
Southington senior Makayla Winegar said the team’s focus was on Friday’s qualifying game only and not the potential upcoming opponent. That opponent, though, has been known since CIAC pairings were released on Thursday. Southington will next face No. 7 seede Cheshire (15-3) on Tuesday in Cheshire at 5 p.m.
The game will pit two conference champs. Cheshire won the SCC on Wednesday. Southington won the CCC North on Thursday.
Huard, who got the Blue Knights rolling to their 14-12 win over Simsbury in the division final, picked up right where she left off, scoring the opening goal of the game for the second day in a row.
Foresi then weaved through the defense and beat the E.O. Smith goalie to the top right corner of the net. Her day was just getting started.
Southington's third goal came from Nicole DePodesta, who was coming off a four-goal game against Simsbury. Her first of three goals against E.O. Smith came off beautiful assist from Huard in transition
After Blue Knights stretched the lead to 5-0, their sixth goal came off a broken play. Huard was in the right spot at the right time and picked up a loose ball from in front and was able to find the back of the net.
It was just that kind of day for the Lady Knights.
Foresi had a hat trick with 4:22 still remaining in the first half, with her third goal coming off a great pass from behind the net by Julianne Bade as she cut to the front of the net.
Then, a few minutes later, Foresi scored her fourth of the half with 1:45 remaining.
In the second half, the Lady Knights got goals from DePodesta and Doran in the first three minutes to extend the lead to 14-0 before taking out most of their starters. Aniela Carlson and Noelle Castonguay both had multiple goals in the last 17 minutes of the contest as Southington ended E.O. Smith’s season at 7-10.
Class S Tournament, qualifying round, No. 17 Lewis Mills (11-5) at No. 16 Sheehan (8-8), 6 p.m.
Winner at No. 1 Weston on Tuesday
Class L Tournament, qualifying round, No. 24 Wilbur Cross (8-8) at No. 9 Southington (12-5), 7 p.m.
Southington 12-4 regular season, lost to Simsbury in first round of CCC Central tourney.
Will get rematch with No. 8 Simsbury on Wednesday with a win.