SOMERS, N.Y.— The Somers boys varsity soccer program has enjoyed a long history of success, and new head coach Brian Lanzetta is well aware of it.
Lanzetta is a Class of 2007 Somers graduate and he was team MVP and earned all-section honors as a player for the Tuskers before going on to play at Iona College. Most recently he was the junior varsity coach at Yorktown, and now he is thrilled with the chance to return to his alma mater and take over as head varsity coach.
“When the Somers position came about, I knew it was my calling. I am extremely excited to be the new coach,” Lanzetta said. “The talent here in Somers is endless and I am looking forward to working with and building lifetime memories for these boys. I started my coaching career in the local area and I’m currently coaching in the Somers youth community, and my goal is to build within the community. I have also been heavily involved in local soccer camps so many players that I have now, I have been working with since they were 7 and 8 years old.”
Lanzetta returns to take over a team that finished at 9-6-2 overall last year. They lost in the first round of the sectional tournament, and the Tuskers hope to get further into the tournament to compete for a Section 1 title this fall.
The Tuskers lost some key players to graduation, but several experienced veterans return to combine with some talented newcomers to carry on the winning tradition.
“Well, first, I want my players to know how much fun we are going to have this year,” Lanzetta said. “Everyone’s expectation is to have a winning season and make a run for the section title, but win or lose I want my players to be talking about the 2016 season for a lifetime. Under our new system we look to focus on this year, improving and building their skill sets, and making a great run for the section title. These boys pushed through a tough preseason, preparing their minds and bodies for any challenge headed their way this season. I couldn’t be more proud of the mindset and the effort put in by each of them thus far.”
Playing a vital role in any success the Tuskers have this year will be some big players on defense, led by 6-foot-4 goalie Kenny Kurtz. The senior is a returning starter in goal and he has already committed to play in college next fall at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.
In front of Kurtz on defense is a pair of senior returning starters in Evan Kieltyka and Luke Bugoni. Kieltyka is a three-year starter for the Tuskers, who will anchor the defense.
Veterans back as returning starters at midfield are seniors Jack Maher and Brendan Blanch.
Other veterans returning with varsity experience include senior midfielders Graham Roediger and Rocco D’Ascanio, along with juniors Andrew Circle and Jake Faigle. Also returning is senior goalie Andrew Lowman, who is currently out with an injury and hopes to return in October.
Lanzetta is hoping talented sophomores Mike Ferraro, Lucas Fecci, Jonathan Riina and Max Grell can all step up to be a crucial part of the team.
One bright sign for the program is that more than 60 kids tried out for the varsity and junior varsity teams.
“My first year here I couldn’t be more pleased with the numbers, there were 60 plus kids that came out for tryouts,” Lanzetta said. “The numbers prove what soccer means to this town. The passion is here, as shown by the numbers and the skill set of these kids. Based on what I’ve seen so far from these boys, the future of the program is inevitably going to be bright.”
Somers will compete for the league title against Lakeland, John Jay-Cross River, Walter Panas and Brewster.
The Tuskers open the season on the road in the Yorktown Tournament on Thursday, Sept. 7, and then have their home opener the next day on Friday, Sept. 8, against Hendrick Hudson.