The crowd was lit, the game was on fire and the rivalry between host Yorktown and Somers High is as torched as it might ever be after last Thursday’s 1-0 win by the visiting Tuskers, who moved in to a first place tie with Yorktown in the League II-C title chase, which really heats up this week and next.
When Somers senior Michael Ferraro hopped op a loose ball in front of the net just 51 seconds into sudden death overtime, it ended 80+ minutes of ferocious soccer between the 2016 NYS Class A champion Tuskers and the 2017 Section 1 Class AA champion Huskers; two of the section’s premier programs. It was Ferraro’s first tally of the year, assisted from Joe Grippo.
Somers (8-1) avenged its only loss of the season to Yorktown, 2-1, back in Week 1, and has now notched six-straight shutouts, all wins, while moving up to No.19 in the state ranks (behind Section 1’s No.4 Tappan Zee & No.12 Greeley).
“The coaching staff and I were extremely proud of the boys, especially the senior class,” Somers Coach Brian Lanzetta admitted. “They played with class. We worked extremely hard and stayed positive the full game. Even at the half the boys were not arguing about anything. We were all talking and seniors like Lucas Fecci and Jon Riina were making suggestions because they were seeing things on the field and giving ideas to help win. It was amazing to see that leadership. My guys play like that Yorktown game all season and we are scary!”
Both goalies — Somers’ Evan Mazzola and Yorktown’s James D’Alessio – were brilliant. Mazzola’s lunging, first-half save over the crossbar kept the Huskers from taking a 1-0 lead, as did Somers senior midfielder Drew Lasher’s sliding save on the goal line late in the second half with Mazzola tangled up in the scrum in front of the cage.
D’Alessio was peppered throughout the night, as Somers M Jon Riina and striker Lucas Fecci rattled the cage on several occasions but could not tickle twine. Somers had the better of play, gaining Yorktown’s zone with greater frequency, but Husker D Rocky Bujaj and company limited the number of quality chances. Many of D’Alessio’s saves were airborne stops with Riina posing traffic.
“I thought their goalie did a great job as well as our goalie, Evan, filling in for Connor (O’Donoghue),” Riina said. “We came out hard for the second half, and the level of intensity seemed to continue throughout the remainder of the game. Every player knows how important this match is, and it was great to see all the guys come together tonight to fight the battle.”
Yorktown Assistant Coach Justin Huff had high praise for his keeper.
“James spent two years sitting behind arguably the best goalies to come through this program,” Huff said. “He deserves every bit of credit he gets this year.”
As mentioned in the opening: The atmosphere/crowd was pretty good for a mid-week soccer game, and most of those in attendance could only hope for a potential third go-round in the playoffs where the winner advances and the loser goes home.
Whatever you do, don’t count out Yorktown, the only team in the section with wins over New Rochelle and Somers. State-ranked (No.4) Tappan Zee and (No.12) Greeley are also legit, so saddle up, gang, for a wild ride, beginning Wednesday when the Tuskers host the Quakers in a doozy.
“Class A is a toss-up,” Lanzetta admitted. When section race begins, the regular season is forgotten and anyone on any day can win. We just got to take each game that’s in front of us; play hard, work together and stay positive by supporting each other, and I think we could make solid run this year. But we’re not overlooking anyone, especially after last season.”
Nanuet’s 5-0 win over BREWSTER is a bit alarming for the Bears, who have had a couple of head-scratching losses for a semi-contender. The Bears (6-3) recovered well enough in a 5-1win over Class AA Mahopac when Dan Giron scored what could only be called the golden hat trick, scoring his first three varsity goals, all during a 4-1 second-half run. Valentin Markaj and Pat Feehan added goals for the winners while Niko DeCola scored for the Indians….
LAKELAND gave Greeley fits for just over a half, courtesy of G Nick Bassani’s 14 saves, but the Quakers won for a seventh-straight time and are one of at least 6-8 potential Class A challengers. Lakeland was then dropped by John Jay, 2-0, Saturday in a woulda-coulda-shoulda game…
In OSSINING’s 2-1 win over White Plains, Pride senior Mateo Marra converted a pair of penalty kicks for the Pride (7-1-1), the game-winner coming in the 79th minute. The Pride, which also defeated MAHOPAC, 5-1, are still in the Class AA title discussion and won’t be going away any time soon with Alessio Hernandez (4G, 7A) Nolan Lenaghan (9G, 5A) and Marra (9G, 2A) filling the nets. Whether or not the Pride can run with the Dutchess County powers that be – state-ranked Arlington (No.10) and Jay EF (No.18) is hardly in question, but the road to a Class AA title seemingly runs through Dutchess each and every year…
GIRLS’ NOTES — HALDANE had a huge statement win in a 2-1 overtime triumph of host PUTNAM VALLEY last Thursday when freshman Lili Westerhuis scored the game-winning goal. Jade Villella tied the game for the Class C Blue Devils, who fell behind 1-0 when Tiger Dannia Jadan scored off an assist from Bella Dedvukaj, but that was all Haldane G Abigail Platt (20 saves) would allow. In Haldane’s 5-2 over Irvington, Villella (2G, 1A), Westerhuis (2G) and Maura Kane Seitz (1G) each scored for the Blue Devils. The Blue Devils may be 3-5, but that’s the toughest 3-5 club in Section 1 Class C.
Put Valley failed to rebound in a 2-1 loss to LAKELAND Amanda Cole and Paige Vellozzi tallied for the athletic Hornets. Lindsey Cohen for the Tigers while tested keeper Sophia Lord made 15 saves in defeat.
MAHOPAC (5-3) failed to answer the bell in a 5-2 setback to visiting Arlington on Saturday, squandering a chance to bounce back from a pair of tough losses to state-ranked (No.12) North Rockland and Clarkstown South. Not sure what it is, but something’s not right: Gonna guess that the difficult schedule is part of it and the degree of difficulty in Class AA is greater than anticipated. With three games this week against Jay EF, RCK and rival Carmel, the Indians hope to right the ship down the stretch as the playoffs loom…
SOMERS put a fork in the wheels of WALTER PANAS in a 3-0 Tusker win last Wednesday when Mia Klayman headed two balls home. Jess Rodriguez added a goal for the Tuskers while talented sophomore Dahlia Pepe dished her eighth and ninth assists of the year.