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Somers Soccer Sneaks by Coventry

The Spartans started out slowly on senior day but came away with the victory.

On senior day, the Somers High School boys' soccer team defeated visiting Coventry 2-1.

The Spartans have 12 graduating players who were honored on this day: Luke Alvaro, Joe Pantuosco, Conor Mitchell, Mike Dumas, Cam Guerette, Evan Koehler, Anthony Andrade, Nick Elia, Kyle Foster, Dylan Maznicki, and Drew Fenton.

Somers coach Rick Kelley said that this game was the perfect storm for an upset victory for Coventry, because his started very slow, only scoring one goal in the first half, and then allowing a tying goal in the 52nd minute.  

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"Coventry played a great game, and they worked hard," he said. "Their goalie (Nikolai Vanek) was huge today, making 17 saves."  

Somers had plenty of opportunities, putting 26 shots on goal.

"The funny thing about out shooting an opponent is that the more you shoot, the smaller the goal feels - especially when the clock is ticking away - making you very vulnerable to a quick and demoralizing counter attack goal," Kelley said. "We're very fortunate that didn't happen today."

Alvaro, Pantuosco, and Nick Murdza were the dictators of the game. They controlled the pace for both teams, and with freshman standout midfielder, Corey Brown, involved in the play, the Patriots had their work cut out for them.

Kelley said that Nick Elia was a defensive inspiration, winning nearly everything in the air and creating several counter attack options.  

The first Somers goal was scored when a pass was played to Alvaro at the top of the 18, where he heal-passed to Murdza who two-touched the ball into the side netting from 12 yards out.  

Coventry's goal by Nick Gianfriddo (assisted by Ryan McLean) was the result of hustle from its midfielder and a miss-kicked ball by a Somers defender.

The final goal with 21 seconds left in regulation was the result of a collected ball in the midfield then pass wide to Brown who dribbled by two defenders deep into the penalty box and then slid a well-placed and perfect-paced pass to Alvaro, who was on the 6-yard box and easily tucked it away.

Kyle Trush and Jeremy Ricard each made three saves for Somers.

Kelley said that overall, he is happy with the result, but is not happy with the path his team took to get the win.

Somers (10-5) will now host Canton on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. Coventry (1-13) will travel to Windsor Locks on Monday.

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