SOCCER: Pair of Berlin goals in final 10 minutes sinks Southington

BERLIN — The Southington boys soccer team was on the verge of snapping out of its four-game winless skid on Tuesday night. Then came Marco Marino.

The Berlin senior scored two goals in the last 10 minutes to lead the Redcoats to a 2-1 CCC interdivisional victory over the Blue Knights at Sage Park.

A first-half goal by Liam Schroeder had Southington up 1-0 for much of the game until Marino changed the complexion late.

“We didn’t keep the foot on the gas,” said Southington coach Austin Magaro. “They came out in the second half hot and they finished the game and we didn’t.”

Southington has been plagued lately by injuries, which has pressed some players into new positions.

Still, the Blue Knights took the lead in the 22nd minute of Tuesday’s game when Schroeder finished off an assist by Dario Likaxhiu. It was the first goal for the Blue Knights in 347 minutes of field play. They had been shut out in their four previous games.

“We were just playing the ball,” Likaxhiu said of the drought-breaker. “We played all the way in the back, advanced it to the middle and I layed it out to Liam, who took the shot.”

Both teams had some tempo and control of the ball in the first half, with Berlin attempting eight shots to Southington’s six. Berlin’s Zach Cancellieri had three first-half saves to four for Southington’s Ryan Lunn. 

Each team also had plenty of opportunities to score — each team put balls off the post — but it was the Blue Knights who left the half up one.

The Redcoats came out in the second half applying more pressure on defense and they started getting a little bit of rhythm on offense. Berlin attempted 11 second-half shots to Southington’s nine and took control of the game. 

In the 70th minute, Marino drew Berlin even after he dodged a few defenders and carved out space for a close shot that he missiled in. 

Five minutes later, Marino scored again after beating  a few Southington defenders down field, which allowed for an easy shot. 

The Redcoats improved to 4-4-2 on the season. The Blue Knights dropped to 1-6-2. 

The Blue Knights look to snap their 0-4-1 skein when they host the Bloomfield Warhawks on Thursday.

“We’ve got to get healthy; we’ve got to see the ball go in the net,” said Magaro. “If we want the results that we’re looking for, then it’s all about putting the ball in the net.”

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