CROSS RIVER, N.Y.— The Somers boys soccer team has been racking up the wins all season and faced an opponent it had already defeated by a 2-0 score 16 days earlier. On Saturday, the Tuskers had many factors against them in the rematch with John Jay-Cross River.
They showed some glimpses of the type of play that has given them success this season, but it wasn’t enough to pull out another win, settling for a 1-1 draw against the Indians.
The Tuskers, whose record ran to 12-1-1 after the tie, were without some key members in this game due to college showcases and hadn’t played a game in eight days. They also were playing an Indians team who were playing their homecoming game.
“We were just flat today. We had a long week of no games, but John Jay just wanted it,” Somers coach Brian Lanzetta said. “It was their day and it wasn’t ours. That’s what it all comes down to.”
Somers did get on the board first in the 37th minute as midfielder Jake Faigle got to a loose ball deep in the John Jay end of the field and put the ball in the right side of the goal.
The Tuskers kept the momentum going early in the second half, putting four shots on goal in the first five minutes while dominating possession at the midfield.
In the 58th minute, John Jay was finally able to penetrate past the midfield and into the Somers end of the field, nearly tying the game on a close-range shot from forward Cole Verbeke, but was denied by Somers keeper Kenny Kurtz. The lead didn’t last as the Indians continued to apply pressure and eventually received a penalty kick thanks to a hand ball in the 66th minute. Midfielder Ian Woods took the kick and was able to beat Kurtz (seven saves) to the right side for the equalizer.
The game eventually went to overtime with both teams having trouble getting a good shot from close range for the majority of the two 10-minute periods. It wasn’t until the final three minutes of the contest that Somers was able to penetrate the John Jay defense and put a couple of good scoring opportunities together. The best chance came with one minute remaining as Faigle nearly scored his second goal of the game as his shot went over the crossbar. He created room on a rush from the left side of the goal.
“(The last three minutes) is how we should have come out to start, that’s how we played them the first time,” Lanzetta said. “That’s the Somers Tuskers that you’re seeing live, a team that puts non-stop pressure inside the third.”
Somers will have six days off before its next contest on Friday, Oct. 14, at home at 6:30 p.m. against Walter Panas. The roster will be back at full strength and will be playing its final home game on senior night. It will wrap up the regular season on the road against Lakeland at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17.