By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
Over the course of the last three-plus decades, Section 1 soccer teams from Northern Westchester and Putnam County have been hard-pressed to field one division one prospect, let alone the three would-be candidates SOMERS Coach Brian Lanzetta has at his disposal in 2021. Those three playmakers — senior F Jacques Verard (2G), senior M Daniel D’Ippolito (1G, 3A) and senior F Bennett Leitner (1G) — did nothing to discourage college scouts when they combined for seven points in the state-ranked (No.1) Tuskers’ 5-2 win over visiting No.7 YORKTOWN last Thursday.
D’Ippolito’s first-half goal provided a 3-0 edge and was the stuff of highlight reels, as he beat two of the section’s top athletes to get off a left-footed haymaker to snipe the top far post.
“Daniel’s IQ and passion for the game is what sets him apart,” Somers Coach Brian Lanzetta said. “He honestly could play in Italy, I believe. He has super skill and touch on the ball. He knows when to attack and when to slow it down. His head is always up surveying the field.”
Aedan Hopper added a goal for the Tuskers (7-0) while Peter Tinaj and Michael Duffy each scored for the Huskers (8-1-1) off feeds from George Popovic.
“We were rightfully an underdog, but we only played well the first half,” Yorktown Coach Zoran Milojevic said.
The silver lining for Yorktown is they scored twice against a Somers defense that hadn’t allowed a goal all season.
D’Ippolito and Hopper each scored and set up another for the Tuskers in their 4-0 win over winless MAHOPAC last Tuesday. Tuskers Kevin Lewitt and Jack Silverman also scored. The shutout was the Tuskers’ sixth consecutive. Somers finished the week with a 2-1 win over John Jay CR Saturday with D’Ippolito netting both goals.
Yorktown had a nice bounce-back win over Mahopac, 4-2, on Saturday. Tinaj scored twice (from Popovic and Chris Coppola) while Matthew Pozo (from Popovic), Popovic (from Nick Varela) also scored. Colin Woring and Will Estrada scored for Mahopac.
The Huskers also tripped up winless BREWSTER, 4-0, earlier in the week when Derek Belloff-Davis, Mason Murphy, David Beitler and Coppola each tickled twine. The assists came from Tinaj, Gabriel Hughes and Pozo.
In a bit of a shocker, HEN HUD blackened LAKELAND, 3-0 when Tyler Robinson scored a pair of goals for the Sailors. Aidan Irwin also tallied for the Sailors (4-5). Jonah Williams made seven saves to shutout out the Hornets (5-4).
The Sailors could not build upon that big win and suffered a 3-2 loss to WALTER PANAS Saturday when Panther sniper Kyle Arraiano notched the game-winning goal, snapping a 2-2 tie with 33 seconds to play. Eddie Chicaiza scored two goals in the first half for the Panthers (3-6), who saw Arraiano, Alex Guerbara and Nick Gutierrez set up a tally.
PEEKSKILL’s Kevin Mendez led the Red Devils (6-4) with two goals and three assists in an 8-2 win over Gorton. Alex Sapatanga added two goals and two assists for the Red Devils, who were also knocked off by Lakeland, 3-2, earlier in the week when Hornet Mike Rodriguez iced the game with his third goal of the night with 12.8 seconds to play. Sapatanga had both goals for the Red Devils, who defeated Lakeland in last year’s playoffs.
NOTES: There are 15 teams in Class A with records above .500, and Greeley (4-3-2), the current No.14 seed, has played Somers tougher than anyone in a 1-0 loss. Plus, John Jay CR (4-5), the current No.16 seed, played pretty even with Somers before a one-goal loss. All we’re saying is Class A is loaded, and don’t nobody sleep on perennial power Byram Hills (6-1-1), the No.5 seed as of press time.
CARMEL rallied for a 3-2 win over visiting RCK Wednesday, down 2-0 Anthony Vara found Marko Borovyk for the first of three unanswered goals. Neel Walia then pushed a through ball to Borovyk to knot the score at two. Borovyk completed the hat trick by converting a PK in OT. Ram G Joe Galeano made five saves, including a penalty kick. The state-ranked (No.16) Rams (7-2, 1-1) could not sustain that momentum in a 1-0 league loss to surging Arlington (6-2-1), which hurt the Rams chances of catching state-ranked (No.2) John Jay EF (10-1, 2-0) for the League I-A title, making today’s scrum with the Patriots all the more important. Carmel’s two losses have to foes with a combined 14-3-2 record.
OSSINING (6-2-4) tied Fox Lane 0-0 Saturday after beating Scarsdale B, 3-0, Thursday behind two assists from Mariano Marra and solo goals from Exon Umanzor (header), Kevin Quezada and a bomb from Justin Tuba.