Somers’ Run to Section Finals Falls Short of Class B Title

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By Tony Pinciaro
Members of the Somers girls’ lax team celebrate the Tuskers’ 12-11 bracket-breaking upset win over top-seeded Greeley in Section 1 Class B semifinals last week.

Somers was still coming together as a team early in the 2022 varsity girls’ lacrosse season when it received a confidence boost. The 2021 Section 1 Class B runner-up defeated 2021 Class C champion Hen Hud, 13-12, in overtime on a Julie Sirchia goal.

That was the launching point as the Tuskers continued to raise their level of play with each ensuing game. Even though the final regular-season record was misleading, at 9-7, because of the ridiculously difficult schedule Somers played, it would be a tough opponent come sectional time.

Somers earned the fifth seed in the Section 1 Class B Girls Lacrosse Championship. The Tuskers immediately showed they were better than their seed.

The Tuskers beat No. 4 Rye, 19-12, after losing to the Garnets in the regular season. Lauren McCartin scored her 100th varsity goal in the win. Somers followed it up with a 12-11 victory over top-seed and previously undefeated Horace Greeley as Teagan Ryan registered her 100th varsity goal.

Somers faced second-seeded John Jay-Cross River for the second consecutive year in the Class B final where the Wolves prevailed, 18-10. Somers concluded with an 11-8 record knowing that it has established itself among the Section 1 elite.

Fifth-seeded Somers players gather for memorable team photo after knocking off top-seeded host Horace Greeley last Tuesday.

“This was a great season, overall,” said junior Maddie Lyle, who began playing with the Somers’ Youth Program in second grade. “We were always there supporting each other, always ready for practice and to get those last reps in. We have six commitments (to play collegiately).We have a strong youth program and we have more players picking up travel, which is improving our youth program.”

Lyle has verbally committed to attend Wofford College (South Carolina) in September 2023 and also play lacrosse. McCartin will be going to Yale, also in September, 2023, and continue with lacrosse, as will Ryan at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Three of the four graduating seniors will play in college – Nikki Cassara (University of Rochester), Gaby Parisi (Stonehill) and Julie Sirchia (George Washington University). Sam Fabry will attend South Carolina, which has a club lacrosse team.

Somers came into the season looking to build off an impressive 2021. The nucleus was in place, led by the current seniors. However, Lyle and her classmates knew what they needed to do.

“The juniors had to step up this year and have more a leadership role on the team, which we did,” said Lyle, a three-year varsity starter on defense. “With our team having so much experience, especially from playing together and playing club, we all came together and used our talents together to make it such a successful season.”

Tusker keeper Nicole Cassara came up with several huge, late-game saves in Somers’ Class B semifinal upset of Horace Greeley.

Somers added three freshmen to varsity and they became immediate contributors. As preseason progressed, Lyle said the team bonded on and off the field, which enabled the team to gel quicker.

Somers faced a regular-season schedule that would give any team nightmares. The Tuskers played the following Section 1 powers – John Jay-Cross River, Yorktown, Mahopac, Brewster, Suffern, North Rockland, Rye and Hen Hud. While Somers went 9-7, the Tuskers gained valuable experience which benefitted them for sectionals.

“I think that the bunch of tough games we had and being a new team with a bunch of underclassmen, it helped us to find that team mentality and find out what we could do best and what we needed to work on,” Lyle said.

While the win over Hen Hud thrust Somers forward, the semifinal win over top-seeded Horace Greeley was memorable because the Tuskers were not intimidated going into the game.

“We were prepared for the game,” Lyle said. “We had a bunch of energy going in and knew what we needed to do to get the job done. It started in warmups as we were all pumping each other up, cheering each other on and supporting each other. We also had a big crowd at the game as the community came out to support us and that meant a lot to us.”

Even though the season came to a premature close, Lyle is looking forward to a promising 2023 and also supporting her former teammates in college by attending games when the schedule allows.

“Our seniors have been a huge part of our program and our success,” Lyle said. “They are fantastic players who have always supported the underclassmen. I know they will be great in college and we will support them. I’m so excited to play travel for Prime Time, which will prepare me to be ready for the 2023 season. Our Somers’ team is such a family. We had a second consecutive strong season with each other. We are hoping to have another great season next year, especially after we all play this summer, work on improving our game and bring new aspects to the team next year.”

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