NEWINGTON - After just two wins last season, the Southington boys lacrosse team has already surpassed that total after its recent win against Newington on Tuesday.
Much of the turnaround can be attributed to sophomore goalie Garrett Brown, who took over in net for the Blue Knights (3-1) halfway through the season last year.
Against the Indians, Brown denied countless opportunities and showed a good stick and quick hands to get to shots.
“If it wasn’t for him, we would either be losing these games or these games would be a lot closer,” Southington junior Ethan Thomson said. “There’s some crazy shots that he’s always there to stop the ball and keep the momentum going for us.”
With a pair of freshmen (Riley Clinigan and Glen Somers), a sophomore (John Tracy) and a junior (Eli Steindl) playing in front of Brown, having his stability in goal is even more important for an inexperienced defense.
“Having a guy [like Brown] that’s that good in goal makes us all feel a little bit better because we are a little inexperienced all over the field,” Southington head coach Ron Chase said. “We’ve got a lot young guys out there and even though Garrett’s a sophomore, he plays like a senior. Knowing that he’s in goal we feel comfortable giving up 11 or 12 yard shots and that’s what we shoot for to make sure there’s nothing within five yards of him.”
In total, the Blue Knights had seven freshmen playing at midfield or defense in the game against Newington.
While it’s still early in the season, Brown caught the eyes of Newington with his flashy saves.
“This is our third game but we went to a jamboree and played three games so we’ve looked at seven or eight different teams so far and that’s the best goalie we’ve faced all year,” Newington coach Zach Zarookian said of Brown. “The goalies definitely make a big difference. The kid was really impressive, used his body well, stepped to the ball well and when we had our some shots we couldn’t make it count. But playing against the best goalie we’ve face all season was a big difference.”
Having consistent goalie play is extremely important for a team to have sustained success and Brown brings that to the Blue Knights’ group.
Southington’s postseason hopes could depend on it.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org