SOMERS, N.Y.— The two-time defending Section 1 Class A champion Somers girls soccer team began its defense Saturday, Oct. 22, on a cold, windy afternoon against No. 16 Hendrick Hudson at home in the opening round.
Despite the conditions, the Tuskers put on another dominant showing as senior captains Jenna Menta and Melina Couzis each scored twice and had two assists apiece in besting the Sailors by a 4-0 score to advance to the quarterfinals.
Somers, which ran its record to 13-2-1 after the victory, controlled possession and kept the ball in the Sailors’ end of the field for the majority of the contest. It struck first early in the first half as Menta found the back of the net on an assist from Couzis, which turned out to be the lone goal of the half. The score was kept close thanks to some key saves from Sailor goalkeeper Jaelynn Smith, who ended up with 28 saves for the game.
“Their goalie played out of her mind,” Somers coach Paul Saia said. “We had trouble finishing in the first half. I felt we weren’t coming hard to the ball.”
The second half was much the same except Somers found the back of the net with more regularity, beginning in the first 10 minutes with Menta this time setting up Couzis with a perfect pass across the goal right on her foot for a 2-0 lead. Ten minutes later, Menta slipped past the defense and found herself alone against Smith, beating her for the third goal. Three minutes later, it was Couzis’ turn once again for the fourth tally.
At one point in the second half, Somers had 18 shots before the Sailors were able to get the ball in the final third of the Tusker end of the field.
Lauren Chiriboga had four saves in goal for Somers to preserve the shutout.
Despite the dominating performance, Saia knows the competition will be more challenging for his team to win a third consecutive sectional championship.
“There are a lot of good teams in the sectional tournament,” said Saia. “It’s not going to be easy.”
The Tuskers look to continue their march in the sectional tournament at home against Tappan Zee.
“They played in a tough league and they are a tough team to play against,” Saia said.
Somers hosted Tappan Zee in the quarterfinals on Oct. 25. The semifinals are slated for Thursday, Oct. 27 with the finals Sunday, Oct. 30 at Yorktown High School.