SOMERS, N.Y. Twenty-five years from now, when they remember their high school soccer days, the members of the Somers girls soccer team wont recall who scored the goal that beat them in the state championship game, but they will remember the journey together.
What made our team special was how much close we were with each other, and still are, senior goalie Beth Coppolecchia said. We're like one big family and I believe that showed in our games. We would do anything for each other and that helped our chemistry on the field. There's no other team that I have been on where I was so close with my teammates and that greatly contributed to our successful season.
Coppolecchia and her defense were the anchor for the Tuskers who had a sparkling 20-2-1 season, winning the section 1 and state Regional titles en route to their first state final, which they lost 1-0 in double overtime.
Throughout my years of playing, I have been in many stressful situations and took part in important games, but (the final was definitely the most significant, Melissa Menta said. And even with that said, I wasn't even nervous because I knew, no matter what, the team belonged on that field.
Coppolecchia said the road to the final was filled with anxious moments that the Tuskers conquered time and time again.
Our journey getting to the final four has been like the final, Coppolecchia said. Sectional finals went into double overtime, and regional finals we went into triple-overtime to win. Playing pressure games was nothing out of the ordinary for us and I think our team handled pressure very well all throughout playoffs.
Coppolecchias memories of the playoff run have already been filed in the recall box where they will be retold over the years.
The plays that stick out the most to me are the ones that happen in playoffs, on the way to the state finals, she said. The overtime goal from Melissa Menta in the sectional finals, the sudden death goal from Melanie Anes in the regional finals game, and along with Melissa Righetti's goal in the state semi-finals, our tremendous defensive effort in the second half. These are just a few highlights that pop out to me, but I will never forget the amazing run we had that made my senior season the best I could've asked for and it wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for all the girls on the team.
For Menta, the 2011 soccer team was a winner right from the start.
We all knew this team had a really good shot at making it far starting from the first game, we came out hard, Menta said. The first real test was when we played John Jay East Fishkill since we knew they won states in Class AA before. We came out of that game with a 3-0 win. I really believe that victory showed everyone what potential we had and set the momentum for the rest of the season.
Menta noted the victory over John Jay Cross River in the Section 1 final to give the Tuskers their first Section 1 title since 2006 and the state regional final win over Cornwall.
The Cornwall win was also a key part of our season because, despite many injuries, everyone stepped up and made it happen, Menta said. Overall, as a captain, there's nothing about this season I would regret.
No regrets -- not even the one-goal loss for the state title can erase the fond memories of the 2011 Somers championship run.
The Somers soccer players are; Hayley Bonner, Alissa Iannacchino, Michelle Wienecke, Amanda Barcia, Julia Djokic, Melissa Lynn, Carolyn Casey, Bridget Reilly, Lauren Ruvo, Melissa Rodriguez, Jessica Kay, Kim Walsh, Melissa Barcia, Sarina Callan, Nicole Battipaglia, Melanie Anes and Thalia Silva.
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