Spartans' bid for three-peat falls short

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Somers - posted Wed., Nov. 28, 2012
Junior Austin Ficara competes for a loose ball during Somers' 3-2 defeat in the Class S state championship game versus Bloomfield on Nov. 23. Photos by Colin Rajala.
Junior Austin Ficara competes for a loose ball during Somers' 3-2 defeat in the Class S state championship game versus Bloomfield on Nov. 23. Photos by Colin Rajala.

The Somers High School boys’ soccer team's bid for a third consecutive Class S State Championship and five state titles in 10 years fell just short on Nov. 23, as the Spartans (15-6) lost 3-2 to the Bloomfield Warhawks at Rosek Skubel-Stadium at Middletown High School. “They are a good group of kids, and where they came from at the beginning of the season to where they were today should be something that they are definitely proud of,” said head coach Rick Kelley. “This team was written off every step of the way throughout the season; they weren’t expected to be here in this capacity, so they exceeded the expectations of many and I am very proud of them."

The Spartans took the lead 19 minutes into the game when senior captains Joe Pantuosco and Luke Alvaro connected, much like they have all season. Pantuosco played a ball to Alvaro, who carried it into the box and fired a low shot to the far post, past the outstretched hands of Bloomfield goalkeeper Jalon Bryan and into the back of the net.

Bloomfield would even the score up just two minutes into the second half when senior Fabian Burnett scored near post, gaining possession after Somers failed to clear a cross. With just 24 minutes left in the game, Somers regained the advantage with a fast break after their defense cleared the ball to Pantuosco. He pushed the ball up field and played the ball into space to a streaking Alvaro. Bryan came off his line to beat Alvaro to the ball, but was too slow, and Alvaro chipped it over his head for the 2-1 edge.

Bloomfield answered 25 seconds later when Burnett scorched the defense to tie the game. With just 1:40 remaining in the game, Burnett tipped a centering pass into the net for the hat trick, all but sealing the Spartans' fate and earning Bloomfield its first state championship since 1950.

“Offense wins games and defense wins championships, and our defense did not do what it is capable of today," Kelley said. “What we didn't take care of today was actually kicking a ball, and you need to do that in soccer."


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