Somers boys soccer clinches berth

SOMERS — Two early goals and solid defense down the stretch helped a short-handed Somers boys soccer squad hang on to a 2-1 win over Stafford Thursday, and a berth into the state tournament next month.

“The kids play with a lot of heart and effort and they fall like flies,” Somers head coach Rick Kelley said of the injury plagued season. “I haven’t had my normal starting squad since Game 4 of the season. So the fact that we pulled off wins in three of our last six just shows that great teams find a way to get the ugly win and that’s what we did today. We qualify for the touanement with our win. Now we are fighting for seeding, we have a challenging schedule ahead of us so it’s going to be interesting.”

Injuries or no injuries the Spartans are 8-4 and are assured a Class S berth, thanks in part to a very balanced distribution of scoring.

“What I love about this year’s team is the spread of talent that we have across the board. We don’t have that one guy who is a man to mark. Brian Rossini has 10, Brandon Scanlon has another seven,  [Nicholas] Murzda has five and this is his second game back after missing two and a half weeks”

And then there are Corey Brown and Jack Hostetler. Both underclassmen pitched in a goal and an assist in the victory Thursday.

The first score was set up by Brown crossing in front of the goal and finding Hostetler at close range just five minutes into the game.

About 12 minutes later, the order was reversed, as Hostetler found Brown in front of the net to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead.

But Stafford seemed to slowly work its way into form, using physical play to turn the momentum their way as the first half wound down.

“The first two goals were a weak effort on our part,” Stafford head coach Rob Schadt said. “We let them waltz right in and score on point blank shots. When we get down it’s not easy for us to come back. I was glad we got the one goal in.”

At the 29 minute mark, Stafford’s Andrew Bachiochi scored on a free kick, cutting the deficit to one, as it would stand at halftime.

Once play resumed in the second, it was clear both teams were playing a physical game, as is well-suited for two border town rivals.

“Us playing better was due to us standing our ground,” the Bulldogs’ coach said, “going hard to the back and being more physical than we usually are. That got us going a little bit and got them off their game.”

No goals were scored in an otherwise action-packed second half. The Bulldogs has two key opportunities though, but both came up empty.

At the 24 minute mark, Mitch Quagliaroli missed a make-able penalty shot. Then at the 30 minute mark, Trevor Simpson had an open look and missed just wide of the net.

In goal for Stafford, Jake Kalette had six saves. For Somers, Kyle Trusch had two.

The Bulldogs fall to 2-5-5 and need to the majority of their remaining five games to make the post season.

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