Hey there, gang. As you all know, today was the first official day of practices. We had reporters all over Section 1 reporting on just about every sport. I was fortunate to get the chance to head over to Somers to see how last year’s Class A sectional runner up is shaping up. Here is what I found out.
-Somers’ coach Keenan Deegan is a really strong believer that this season started for the Tuskers before last season even ended. The potential Somers showed in coming back from a two-goal deficit in the final 20 minutes of the Class A sectional final against Pearl River showed how much talent the Tuskers have. The fact they were able to do it despite Deegan and captain Carolyn Casey getting sent off shows how high Somers is capable of reaching, according to Deegan. The question is whether or not they can do it again.
“What it shows is what they can do,” Deegan said. “It shows once you demonstrated you can do this you can’t play less than that.”
-Deegan might have seen a flash of that this summer. Somers won the Lakeland summer soccer league, a nice feather in the cap of the Tuskers as they entered preseason. While Deegan acknowledged that it’s not a huge league, the fact the girls were so committed was a good sign of things to come. Casey and junior Hayley Bonner echoed similar sentiments.
“That’s a good jumping off point for us,” Deegan said. “It’s not a big tournament, but its one step in the direction we want to go.”
-The key to this year’s team will be the growth of the junior class, according to Deegan. How players like Bonner, Nicole Anes, Melissa Righetti and Michelle Wienecke are able to perform this year will determine the success the Tuskers have. Deegan said the junior class, who has come up through the program together, is ready to take the reins.
“They are a big reason for, I think, us making sectionals the way we did last year,” Deegan said.
“Being juniors they have that much more confidence,” Casey said. “They really have been really helpful during practices. They know the deal now. They know what it takes to get to sectional finals and they know how much they want it.”
-It seems to go with out saying, but losing to Pearl River in penalty kicks in the sectional final has been a motivating factor for the girls going forward.
“We all know we want to get back there,” Casey said.
Below are videos of senior Carolyn Casey and junior Hayley Bonner talking about expectations for the upcoming season and what it meant to win the Lakeland summer league.