CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. — There are plenty of new faces on the soccer pitch for the Somers varsity boys soccer team and a few familiar ones as the Tuskers prepare for the 2017 campaign.
The defending Class A state champions are competing in the Lakeland Summer League this year and started off on the right note with a 3-0 win over Valhalla on Sunday, June 18, at Walter Panas High School.
“The boys looked great,” Somers coach Brian Lanzetta said. “Somers varsity this year is filled with 100 percent soccer players. Most boys were coming right from their club teams to play. Everyone looked fit and in form.”
The game was scoreless at halftime although the Tuskers peppered the cage with shots and combined on passes in a way that Lanzetta had never seen out of them before. They broke through in the second half with Joe Grippo, a rising sophomore, scoring the first goal. Rising sophomore Jose Giron (1A) then made it 2-0 on a goal that Lanzetta said could have been a Top 10 play on ESPN.
Rising junior Lucas Fecci burst through the defense and buried an insurance goal to cap off the win.
Conor O’Donoghue, who will take over in the cage in the upcoming season for the graduated Kenny Kurtz, made one save.
“Our goalie is a NYSC player and he will be big in the goal this year,” Lanzetta said.
The Tuskers return five seniors and a strong junior class.
“Our team this year is much more technical I believe,” Lanzetta said. “We don’t have those tough bruisers like an Evan Kieltyka or Luke Bugoni. We have speed and skill all over. From the Jon Riina’s to (Mike) Ferraro’s to Max Grell.”
Soccer runs in the family for rising junior Alex Maher, whose two older brothers Jack and Gerald were both members of the Somers varsity team. Jack was a key player on the state championship team last year.
“Luckily for me the Mahers come in three,” Lanzetta said. “Alex is fantastic on the ball.”
Somers took on Yorktown in its second game on June 20 and will face Mahopac at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 25.