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Somers Falls in Semifinals to Greeley

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By Rich MonettiPublished about a month ago 4 min read

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On Friday May 24, Somers hosted Horace Greeley in the semifinal round of the sectionals. Two versus three, the regular season 15-6 victory by the Tuskers boded well for a redo. But the Quakers did not oblige.

Somers fell behind 2-0, and while keeping pace through the first half, the Tuskers never caught up in a 12-6 defeat.

A tone that was set early, and not just by Connor Lummel’s two opening goals. Ryan Slomsky first stopped Mason Kelly on the rebound in front and then seconds later at point blank.

Much more to come, Slomsky still wasn’t completely infallible, and Mac Sullivan was the first to make sure. He curled around his defender and shoved his way into a shot that found the net.

A 2-1 game at 4:49, midfield had a dominant force too. Matt Mayfield won the draw and most of the subsequent one, any frustration on the Greeley end was turned back on Somers by the goalie.

On this occasion, Cameron Violante came out of the corner of the end zone and made a perfect pass to Grayden Carr on the left of the crease. The play looked like a winner. But Slomsky had the snuff, and Coach Jordan Hirsch could only tip his cap. “Their goalie really stood on his head,” the coach had high praise.

Upright, Greeley got the ball back after the teams traded turnovers and timeouts, and this time it was Jameson Blakeslee. He danced from the top, swung into space and shot over his shoulder for a 3-1 lead.

A minute to go, Sullivan made the most of the waning moments. After Mayfield won the face, Sullivan’s determined charge on the left ended with an overhead projectile that closed the first period scoring at 3-2.

The momentum did not carry, and Somers had Slomsky to thank. Mayfield first doing his thing, Ryan Brush was all set up on the side for the equalizer. Sorry, the Greeley stop gap had the short hopper, and Landon Pepe was put on the clock on the other end.

A couple of shots going wide kept the score contained until Jack Holub teed up Lummel. Out at the 25, Holub dumped inside to Lummel, and with no one left in between, Pepe was a sitting duck at 8:43.

The two goal lead regained, Greeley didn’t let up. Blakeslee sidearmed a bouncer at 6:18, and then, he defied geometry on the goal line. With no angle, the middie shot from the side and snuck the ball under the crossbar at 4:39.

Still, Mayfield was there on the next two draws, and his teammates did the junior justice. First, Miguel Iglesias swung right at 4:01, and Cameron Violante’s curl into the crease found shooting space at 3:06.

Both beating Slomsky, the Quaker goalie got a reprieve at midfield when Mayfield didn’t win the draw. Pepe’s turn, the Tusker was alertly on his horse. Holub’s shot just going wide, the Tusker goalie raced back for possession, and Somers went on the attack.

Unfortunately, on the way upfield, the whistle gave the ball back to Greeley at 1:26, and Blakeslee took advantage by playing the long game. From the 35 yard marker, he got some space off a pick, and from 15 yards away, the middie bounced the ball past Pepe.

19.6 seconds to go and there was still more work for Pepe to do. The whistle giving the Quakers the draw yielded a big overhand windmill on the right for Lummel.

Nope, Pepe snared with his catcher, but the Quakers kept coming by forcing a turnover. Holub this time, his windup on the left landed in Pepe’s catcher too, and the 7-4 score was preserved.

Intermission ending, Slomsky returned Pepe’s denials in spades. On the opening possession, Iglesias got the ball into Carr, and the ensuing one on one was more like a man advantage for the goalie. Slomsky leapt for the shot, and his catcher did the rest.

90 seconds later, James Balancia was in prime position too. A lead pass ahead, he was ten yards out with a clear path, but Slomsky netted the hop at 9:52.

Although, the play put Somers up a man, and Ryan Brush left his feet in hopes of knocking Slomsky off his game. Coming from the goal line, the attacker received the pass and shot a backwards falling, leaping hook shot on goal.

No luck, Slomsky made the ground his friend again. He perfectly played the scoop with nine minutes to go, and inevitably, defense meant offense. Holub scored twice, and Jason Kim made it 10-4 with 52 seconds left in the third.

Too big a hill to climb, Hirsch had to face the facts at the end. “We ran into a really good team,” he said. “Unfortunately, this outcome doesn’t reflect out season.”

The same goes for his players. “They are great kids. They worked hard all season. I hate to see it end like this,” he sighed.

Of course, the seniors had to face finality too, but the mark they made has no end, according to the coach. “This is a really special group. They’ve had an incredible run in all sports. They’ve proved a lot here. The type of people they are and what they can do, Hirsch concluded.

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Rich Monetti

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