BEDFORD, N.Y.— Somers’ Vincent ‘V’ Cartelli isn’t the biggest, fastest or most skilled player on the turf most games. What he possesses, however, simply cannot be taught: an undeniable nose for the cage.
Cartelli’s elite finishing ability was on full display in Saturday’s 14-7 win over host Fox Lane. The junior attackman recorded a game-high five goals, including the 100th of his career.
“He’s been a great player all year long and I’ve been playing with him since my sophomore year,” Tusker standout senior defenseman Evan Kieltyka said. “He started on the varsity as a freshman. He’s a tough player to play against. He’s nifty and he knows what he’s doing.”
One of Cartelli’s other key attributes? Modesty.
“Really, it’s all my teammates,” Cartelli said of cracking the 100-career-goal milestone. “I’ve been playing on the varsity for three years and every year my teammates have always been there for me, feeding me the ball and looking for one more (pass). That’s really where my success comes from.”
Against the Foxes (5-9), Cartelli wasted no time getting to work, burying a pair of first-quarter goals to give the Tuskers (8-6) an early 2-0 lead.
Somers took advantage of unsettled situations all evening, winning the ground ball battle to set up easy opportunities in transition.
“In transition, we were really moving the ball, looking for the open man, making one more pass and it was an awesome display of teamwork,” Cartelli said.
Mike Cliff, Jake Cordes, Cartelli and Graham Roediger added a goal apiece in the second quarter to extend the advantage to 6-2 heading into the break.
The Foxes scratched and clawed back into the game during the third quarter. Syracuse-bound midfielder Matt Magnan ripped back-to-back goals to trim the deficit to 7-5 at the 1:53 mark. Undeterred, the Tuskers answered with a pair of goals inside the final 1:30 of the quarter. Kieltyka whipped in a shot with his long pole to kick-start the quick two-goal surge. Cartelli capped it off seconds before the horn, boosting Somers’ lead to 9-5 heading into the fourth.
The Tuskers got offensive production from up and down the lineup, as a total of 10 different players registered at least a point. Roediger (3G, 3A), Cordes (2G), Cliff (1G, 1A), Jack Kessler (3A), Brendan Blanch (1G), Connor Gill (2A), Ryan Elliott (1A) and Andrew Lowman (1G) rounded out the offensive onslaught.
“Coming in, we knew [Fox Lane] was going to be well coached and we wanted to move the ball to keep their defense rotating,” Somers coach Vin DeGregorio said. “That was the game plan coming in and it was nice to see the kids share the ball. They were genuinely excited for each other.”
Goalie Tyler Carr (12 saves) spearheaded a strong defensive effort alongside Kieltyka, who limited Magnan to one goal in six-on-six situations. Kieltyka and Cordes each recorded a team-high five ground balls.
“That was a really wonderful Section 1 matchup to see two players like that battle all game,” DeGregorio said of Kieltyka vs. Magnan. “It was nice to see and I’m very proud of the effort that Evan put forward on Magnan. Matt’s probably one of the best players that I’ve seen in Section 1 in a very long time. It was nice to see Evan do well on him.”
The win was important for Somers as it rebounded from a humbling 17-5 loss to host Lakeland/Panas on May 3. Cartelli netted two goals in the setback.
Looking ahead, Somers has just two games remaining—against Bronxville (May 8) and Brewster (May 11)—before the Section 1 Class B playoffs get underway.
“We really want to keep going at it, keep working at practice and keep giving that 100 percent effort,” Cartelli said.