LINCOLNDALE – Every big moment of the season’s first meaningful win was enthusiastically celebrated.
It’s taken a year for Somers to become relevant again.
Tuskers midfielder Andrew Lowman caught Mahopac leaning in the wrong direction and scored with four minutes to play, delivering an 8-7 win on Saturday.
“We’re really proud of this one,” he said.
Somers has opened the season with four straight wins, but the Tuskers have yet to play a team with a winning record. That will change quickly. Over the next two weeks, the Tuskers will face Lakeland/Panas, Fox Lane, Rye, Yorktown, John Jay and Bronxville.
That’s a serious grind.
A couple of ill-timed mistakes kept the Indians from battling all the way back. Somers had a 6-4 lead at the break. Goals from Dan Foley and Johnnie Ward knotted the score five minutes into the second half, but Vincent Cartelli got the Tuskers back on top, scoring in the final minute of the third quarter.
Tom Wilson pushed the ball upfield and found Tom Murray with 9:30 to play, making it 7-7, but Lowman answered.
“Both teams are trying to prove themselves so we knew it was going to be a dogfight,” Somers midfielder Joey Hashmall said after scoring three goals. “We always get up to play Mahopac, every single year. It’s a grudge match, so we’re happy to have pulled this one out.”
Murray got off a good shot with 33 seconds to go, but Tuskers goalie Tyler Carr was in position to make the save.
Somers isn’t relying on marquee players to make things happen.
“I actually see us having 27 stars and I think it makes a difference in a game like this,” Tuskers coach Vin DeGregorio said of a team that went 8-11 last spring. “When a team is diversified, it becomes difficult to play. The kids have really bought into this team dynamic and I’m really proud of them.”
Player of the game: Lowman. Before he scored the game winner, he was a physical presence on the defensive end and helped limit Mahopac to a season-low seven goals.
Turning point: Somers needed a jolt of confidence after Ward gave the Indians a 1-0 lead, and got it when Michael Cliff, Hashmall and Graham Roediger scored the next three goals.
Stat line: Tuskers long pole Evan Kieltyka had one goal and four ground balls. … Mike Couture had one goal and one assist for Somers. … Foley and Ward each scored twice for Mahopac.
Quotable: “Last year was coach’s first year,” Hashmall said. “We’re investing more in our coaching staff. They’ve invested their time and trust in us and we’ve invested in their game plan. It’s paying dividends so far.”