CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. — Brian Lanzetta has boldly stated that he believes Somers’ boys soccer team could be better than last year’s squad, which won a New York State title.
Nobody is doubting him so far.
The top-seeded Tuskers defeated No. 2 Lakeland 2-0 in the 10th annual Lakeland Boys Soccer Summer League championship game on Sunday, July 23, at Walter Panas High School.
“Summer league was a lot of fun,” Lanzetta said. “There were some intense games and it’s only July. I think it was great to get the boys together on the pitch (for the league). Winning is always nice, but our team knows it’s fun and the prize is really the section final. The boys have to stay working hard to achieve this.”
Somers, which finished the league with a 9-0-1 record, got the jump on the Hornets when Alex Maher scored with 10:51 left in the first half. Jake Faigle weaved through traffic and lightly touched the pass to Maher to set him up for the score.
Rising sophomore Drew Lasher, who was named the league’s most valuable player, added an insurance goal when he poked home a rebound after a shot from Max Grell deflected off the goalie seven minutes into the second half.
“The key to defeating Lakeland was to just stay focused on our game,” Lanzetta said. “Playing one-two touch passing and playing with speed. We live by a team effort, not the individual.”
Somers goalie Conor O’Donoghue made a diving save late in the game to keep the Hornets scoreless and finished with four saves.
The Tuskers advanced against Byram Hills in the semifinals after regulation ended in a 1-1 tie on July 20. Somers recorded a 10-9 penalty kick win. Alex Piazza scored during regulation and O’Donoghue made three saves for the Tuskers, who also advanced past Byram Hills on penalty kicks in the section semifinals last season.
Somers cruised past Walter Panas 5-0 in the quarterfinals behind two goals from Lasher and a goal and two assists from Nolan Fierro two days prior. Grell and Aidan Foley added a goal apiece.
“The improvement I have seen is the amount of goals we put in the net,” Lanzetta said in discussing what impressed him about the way the team played over the summer. “I think we were 20-plus past everyone else in [goal differential]. We move the ball very well in a one-two touch style.”