SHRUB OAK – Andrew Lasher started his day Saturday with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios, milk, and orange juice, and ended it with the game-winning goal to give Somers its first Section 1 boys soccer title since 1992.
Lasher, a freshman call-uped from the junior varsity, buried the lone goal for the Tuskers into the bottom left corner of the net with just under four minutes left to top defending champions Pearl River, 1-0, in the Class A final at Lakeland High School.
“When I was going in, I was told to just do the best that I could,” Lasher said after the game. “With Max Grell with the nice pass, I was able to just finish it.”
Tuskers players rushed the field to surround senior goalkeeper Kenny Kurtz following the final two whistles of the game. Kurtz said he grew irritable inside the last two minutes, when the game clock turns off and referees are the only ones who know how much time remains.
“I think I asked the linesman over there about three or four times,” he said, referring to a time check. “I was just like, ‘C’mon, blow the whistle, man.”
As Queen’s “We Are The Champions” played, Somers celebrated and ran over to the bleachers to thank fans for their support.
Senior midfielder Graham Roediger scaled the fence to hug fans. Kurtz walked over to a roaring ovation seconds later, giving a thumb’s up to the crowd. First-year Tuskers head coach Brian Lanzetta threw his arms up and yelled in jubilation behind Kurtz, inciting even louder cheers.
Lanzetta, who said the team preaches a “power of positivity” mantra, admitted that he had an unsettling feeling in his gut as time winding down with the game still tied.
“I felt like something cheeky was going to happen down on our end, but I did feel tht something was coming,” he said. “I thought that maybe something bouncing around in the box, or a handball, or a penalty was going to go against us.”
Lanzetta said that when Lasher got the opportunity to strike, he “blew it away.”
Pearl River senior Kevin Doorley, produced what was arguably the Pirates’ best scoring opportunity of the afternoon, ripping low shot that was stopped by a diving Kurtz with 15 minutes left in the first half.
Pirates head coach Damon O’Keefe clapped throughout the postgame ceremony as Somers players were awarded their championship medals, and tweeted his kudos to the Tuskers after the game:
“Congrats to Somers on a well deserved championship!”
Somers will play the Section 4 champion, Vestal, in the regional semifinals back at Lakeland High School on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.