Experienced Spartans poised for state tournament run

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Somers - posted Wed., Oct. 3, 2012
Kathryn O'Connor passes the ball during warm-ups before a game versus Stafford. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Kathryn O'Connor passes the ball during warm-ups before a game versus Stafford. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The Somers High School girls’ soccer team is looking to build on an impressive 2011 campaign that saw the team reach the second round of the Class S state tournament and end the season with a 10-7-1 overall record. The Spartans enter the season only having lost one senior to graduation and with a new head coach, Mike Pantuosco, a longtime boys’ assistant coach.

“Our goal is to make the state tournament and go further than last season,” Pantuosco said. “We have a lot of experience returning and we have some pretty good athletes; the real question is, are they good soccer players too? We’re going to get better as the season goes on. This team is mentally tough, and physically we’re not intimidated by anyone; they aren’t afraid to mix it up.”

Leading this year’s team will be senior captains and midfielders Kylen O’Hearn and Kathryn O’Connor. O’Hearn was an All-Conference selection last season as a center forward and led the Spartan offensive attack; she will do the same this season as she looks to earn an All-State selection. O’Connor was previously a sweeper, controlling the Spartan backlines. Both players have adjusted well to the position change and will be looked upon to facilitate the offensive attack and fortify the defense, making the players around them even better.
Leading the Somers offensive attack alongside O’Hearn will be sophomore midfielder Jaclyn O’Grady, one of the team’s top returning scorers. The Spartans are also looking for significant contributions from junior forwards Kathryn LaVallee and Lisa Lorenzi.

The Spartan experienced backlines will be led by junior defenders Julianne Folger and Tori Laires. When Somers is not on the attack, O’Connor will come back on defense to help support and strengthen the defensive front. Junior Hailee Stetson is returning in net with a year of varsity experience under her belt, which should help bolster down the defense.

“We are working hard in games and practice to play to our full potential,” O’Connor said. “We’ve been working on playing till the last minute and never giving up.”

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