SOMERS, N.Y.— Drew Lasher sprung onto the scene after a late season call-up last season. The fresh-faced freshman broke through in a big way, scoring the game-winning goal in last year’s Section 1 Class A championship victory over Pearl River.
He continued his knack for finding the back of the net during the summer league, earning MVP honors.
On Sept. 25, he had a breakout sophomore season performance, netting a hat trick in a 3-0 win over John Jay-Cross River.
“I was always told by (coach) Brian (Lanzetta) to go out there and do the best I can,” a humble Lasher said. “Work hard and the goals will come. I was just able to do that today.”
All of Lasher’s goals came in the second half. Junior Jonathan Riina played a ball through to Lasher, who finished in front to give Somers a 1-0 lead four minutes into the second half.
Just three-and-a-half minutes later, Lasher banged home a rebound on a shot from Jack Dickson.
The sophomore capped off the three-goal effort after Evan Mazzola sent in a perfect pass to the back post, which Lasher headed into the left corner of the net with just 6:49 to play.
“His work ethic is endless,” Lanzetta said of Lasher. “He’s super fast and super strong. He just doesn’t stop running—he’s like an engine. He told me at halftime, he said, ‘Coach, I’m feeling it. Can you start me?’ For me, any sort of positive energy, I’m going to give it to you. He works until the last second. My hat is off to Drew. He’s definitely the MVP for today’s match.”
The Tuskers were consistently on the attack and had 20-plus shots in the game. John Jay goalie Aaron Cohen kept Somers off the board with some dazzling first-half saves. Cohen got a hand on a Lasher header which was headed for the back of the net right before halftime.
“The message (at halftime) was keep going at them, the goals will come,” Lasher said. “You’ve just got to keep working hard and keep trying.”
Lanzetta said John Jay is a well-organized team, but he was confident the Tuskers’ depth would wear on the Indians on a hot Monday afternoon.
“Eventually the breakdown was going to happen,” Lanzetta said. “Once we broke them down, it just kind of rumbled from there. But John Jay has a really good coach on its hands and has a bright future ahead of them.”
Somers keeper Conor O’Donoghue wasn’t tested much, but came through when the Indians threatened. He had a kick save followed by a save on a corner midway through the second half.
An eye-opening 1-0 loss to Lakeland two weeks ago lit a fire under the Tuskers. Somers is 3-0, outscoring the opposition 17-0 since the setback.
“We took that loss and used it as motivation,” Lasher said. “We pick each other up, don’t get down on each and just work hard.”
In a 4-0 win over host Harrison Sept. 23, Riina (1G, 1A), Max Grell (1G), Jake Faigle (1G), Nolan Fierro (1G), Lasher (1A) and Lucas Fecci (1A) led the way.
Somers crushed host Walter Panas 10-0 Sept. 19. Mike Barbagallo (3G), Fierro (1G, 2A), Fecci (1G, 2A), Riina (2G), Jose Giron (2G), Lasher (1G), Mazzola (2A), Aidan Foley (1A), Diego Giron (1A), Dylan Marques (1A) and Alex Maher (1A) stuffed the stat sheet.
The Tuskers, who are 6-1 on the season and 2-1 in league play, traveled to Brewster on Sept. 27 and will host defending Class AA state champion New Rochelle Sunday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m.
“The Lakeland loss definitely made us focus,” Lanzetta said. “I’ve always been told by one of my mentors, (Somers football) coach Tony DeMatteo, he says, ‘It’s better to lose now. It’s the best thing that can happen to you. It’s better to lose now than the section final.’ I think from that moment the boys have been nothing but focused. They’ve really been starting to come together. They’re starting to become a family. We’re going to the local Froggy’s (Deli) to eat and guys are hanging out at team dinners. It’s getting closer and becoming more of a family.”