Lakeland Hands Somers First Loss in OT

Kyle McHale, right, dribbles while receiving pressure. Credits: Rob DiAntonio

SOMERS, N.Y.— Lakeland’s boys soccer squad recorded its biggest win of the season when it won at Somers 2-1 in double overtime on Sept. 28.

The Hornets handed the previously unbeaten Tuskers their first loss after 11 wins, on a goal 50 seconds into the second overtime by Arben Hoxhaj.

“My goal came from great team play between me and Dhruv Girgenti, who made a great move and created a great chance for me to score,” Hoxhaj said.

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Hoxhaj scored in part because he was cool, calm and collected when he had to be, according to teammate Matias Prando.

“We fought through the fatigue and he took the opportunity,” Prando said. “He stayed composed when we needed him most.”

After Somers had taken a 1-0 halftime lead, Prando tied the game in the 69th minute.

“It was a great feeling because it was the tying goal. It helped pick up our momentum and made us keep pushing forward,” Prando said. “It was a cross from Nick Foci. It took many deflections, and the ball came up back post close to where I was and I just took my chance and hit it the first time.”

Lakeland coach Tim Hourahan helped make the win possible by instilling confidence in his team, according to Hoxhaj.

“The reason our team won was because of a combined effort,” Hoxhaj said. “Our coach made us believe in ourselves and my teammates couldn’t have played better.”

Nick Estrella made five saves in the win against Somers, which was a massive one, Hoxhaj said.

“This gives us a great chance to win the league now and also to move up in the rankings after beating such a good team,” Hoxhaj said.

Prando said it was a great feeling to see the team’s hard work finally start paying off.

“We have played four straight overtime games and didn’t get the result we wanted in those games,” Prando said. “That drove us to keep pushing and working really hard to get the result we wanted today.”

Lakeland (6-3-2, 3-0-1) finished the week with a 6-1 victory against visiting John Jay-Cross River on Sept. 30, led by Foci (2G), Hoxhaj (2G. 1A), Prando (2A), Girgenti (1G, 1A), Matt Majdanski (1G, first of varsity career), Kadri Haluci (1A), Estrella (4 saves) and Ryan Mathis (1save).

Yorktown won at Fox Lane 3-0 on Sept. 28.

“We wanted to come out with a win today after losing to Greeley in a very great match but unfortunately it didn’t go our way,” Yorktown’s Enzo Sangiacomo said.

The Huskers were led offensively by Joey Landicino (2G, 1A) and Sangiacomo (1G, 1A).

“We always look for each other,” Sangiacomo said of him and Landicino. “Switching from midfield to forward really had a big impact on how we are playing now.”

Sean Boyle recorded an assist in the win.

Mauricio Arango tallied the shutout for Yorktown with eight saves against the Foxes.

“We went out with everything this match because we didn’t want to lose two games in a row,” Sangiacomo said. “We high pressed them and it helped us by getting the ball back to go forward and create chances for us to score.”

Yorktown (8-2) lost 2-1 to visiting Horace Greeley on Sept. 26, with the Huskers scoring on a goal by Adam Romanski assisted, by Sangiacomo.

Arango made 10 saves against the Quakers.

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