SOMERS, N.Y.— The vast majority of Somers’ roster is returning players and the team’s last-second, one-goal loss to Rye in last season’s Class B quarterfinal is still fresh in senior Andrew Lowman’s mind.
“Most of us watch that tape over and over again,” Lowman said. “It’s definitely motivation and we have a lot of great potential especially after going on great runs last season.”
This year’s large senior and junior classes are prepared to have a stellar campaign.
“These guys came into the season fired up,” third-year head coach Vin DeGregorio said. “Having a whole year to work together made a tremendous difference. We are excited. Last year was somewhat laying the foundation. It’s nice to see that they came back with confidence and great chemistry.”
A high-octane attack will bring back standout senior Graham Roediger, who is coming off a 40-goal season. It will also feature attackmen Vincent Cartelli and Connor Gill, who are both juniors.
“We are strong on both ends of the ball,” DeGregorio said. “We are very well balanced and have great senior leadership. We are returning players in pretty much every position.”
Some of those seniors are Mike Cliff, Jack Kessler and Mike Garrity at midfield. Also a midfielder, the captain Lowman should be a key part of the Tuskers’ offense this season too.
“It won’t be that difficult to conform because we have most of our starters back,” Lowman said. “We know all our techniques and strategies already. Off-ball movement is definitely important on this team and we have two-way middies.”
Cliff, along with Nick Vece and sophomore Conor Jaykus are lined up to handle the faceoffs.
Defensively, the Tuskers will line up two senior captains who are both three-year starters in Jake Cordes and Evan Kieltyka. The athletic junior Tyler Carr returns as the goalkeeper.
“We don’t have two big studs,” Kieltyka said. “We have a good team and work together well. We also communicate a lot.”
Cordes knows the uphill challenge that’s ahead, but sees the talent rising on a Tusker team filled with upperclassmen.
“Section 1 is loaded with very good talent,” Cordes said. “We return a lot of seniors and have a lot of good chemistry. We really feel like we can make a strong run at the section finals.”
The season begins with a huge rivalry game against defending Class B section champion Yorktown on Monday, March 27, at 4:30 p.m., as the Tuskers’ road to a title is under way.
“Our goal every year is to win a section championship,” said DeGregorio, whose team finished 11-7 a year ago. “These guys want it and we’re excited about it. The kids are working really hard to make that happen.”