SOMERS, N.Y.— The Somers field hockey team has dealt with some conflict this season with much of it taking place off the field. Marq Mellor is no longer Somers’ coach after he was relieved of his duties on Oct. 11. Leigh Fiorito took over as coach.
The Somers Tuskers didn’t let the drama deter them as they have held their own this season. They prevailed with a big 1-0 senior day win over North Salem, handing the 11-2 Tigers their second loss of the season.
“Everyone since freshman year looks up to the seniors and I’ve been waiting for this day for four years,” senior captain Sheridan DeVito said. “For it to finally come and to get that win, it’s the best feeling in the world to have my teammates support me through this whole process.”
North Salem was unable to put away any shot attempts throughout the first half. The Tigers saw Somers control the ball in spurts and the Tuskers exploited a needed opportunity late in the first half.
Junior Grace Farina rose to the occasion, sharply rolling a corner pass from midfielder Rosalie Murphy into the left side of the goal.
North Salem came out of the break where it started, but still couldn’t manage to convert near the net against a stingy Tusker defense.
“We saw that [the North Salem players] had the tempo and were going at a really fast pace,” DeVito said. “We tried to slow it down and brought ourselves together to get some really good give-and-go’s on the sides. We took advantage of what they gave us.”
Somers’ Erin Clark almost made the lead twofold on a drive to the net after weaving through defenders, but her shot was barely deflected off-line with eight minutes left.
Sensing the clock winding down, the Tigers turned to Charlie Reiner who backhanded a shot that was booted away by Somers goalie Nicole Garrity.
Continuing to cause the defense havoc during the final 30 seconds, North Salem was awarded a corner with 20 seconds remaining.
Natalie Intrieri’s shot hit a defenseman’s stick a few yards shy of the net as time expired.
“We matched up fairly evenly,” Fiorito said. “North Salem was a little better in terms of skills with their feet, but we were able to capitalize when we needed to.”
Garrity made four saves for the Tuskers, whose offense only produced five shots compared with North Salem’s 14. DeSanto blocked three shots on goal in the setback.
Defending Class B state champion Lakeland defeated the Tuskers, 3-0, on Oct. 12. But Somers stopped the highly touted Hornets from scoring any second half goals. Garrity played fantastic in goal, saving 12 shots.
“Coming off the Lakeland game, our defense was strong (versus North Salem) because we were more confident as a unit,” DeVito said.
The Tuskers fell to another section powerhouse in Mamaroneck, 8-0, on Oct. 10.
Somers (6-6) visited Mahopac Oct. 17 and headed to Hendrick Hudson the next day. It hosts its last regular season match with Rye on Oct. 20 at 4:15 p.m.
“We’ve been focusing on a few things each day at practice and been working on those items,” Somers assistant coach Chrissy Lepkowski said. “We’ve been focusing on them at game time and have been playing hard together.”