If Somers is to make its third straight sectional championship game appearance, the defense will have to come up big.
And the Tuskers appear to have the talent and experience to get the job done.
Somers, after all, has all seniors starting not only at close defense but at long-stick midfielder, where Matt Dalton is back for the Tuskers. (Above, Dalton is shown with fellow college-bound Tusker teammates, from left, Kieran Donohue, Anthony Lombardo and Eddie Schurr.)
Dalton is a technically sound student of the game with good stick skills who is a good on-ball defense and strong in transition. He will continue his career at Division III power Springfield College.
But for now, he’s focused on his final varsity season.
Here’s Matt’s perspective.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
I have taken every opportunity to keep a stick in my hand so that I can be as ready as possible the first day of the season. Also, along with the rest of the team, I have been conditioning and lifting a lot during the off-season. We also hold captains practices once a week and participate in Brewster’s indoor league.
How does your schedule look, including scrimmages, and what games are you looking forward to?
Our schedule is going to be very challenging this season. We do not one weak team scheduled this year. It should be a lot of fun. All of our scrimmages (four teams at Bronxville, Somers Red/Gray Classic, White Plains and Greenwich) should prepare us for the season and make sure we are ready. I am looking forward to playing Ridgefield, Lakeland/Panas, Yorktown and John Jay in the regular season. Those are always extremely competitive, big games.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
We have a lot of players this year that people don’t know about yet and are going to contribute to our success. Robby Cegielski (niddie), Rob Mendoza (d-middie), Jack Ahearn (d-middie), and Chris Rios (middie) will definitely have a huge impact on our season and surprise people.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
I believe that our strength will be defensively this year. We bring back our starting d-middie line (LSM – Dalton, and shorties – Mendoza and Ahearn) and have a very strong close defense as well (Hopkins-bound Eddie Schurr, Kevin Schurr and Matt Cirieco).
How do you view the race in Section 1 Class B and who do you think the contending teams will be?
With the addition of Yorktown and Rye to Class B, the race becomes even tougher this year. It is going to be a very competitive section this year between Somers, Yorktown, Rye and John Jay.
Somers 2011 schedule
March 23, Wed. – @ Bronxville, Four teams, 4 p.m.
March 26, Sat. – Red/Grey Classic @ Somers, 10 teams, 8 a.m.
March 28, Mon. – White Plains @ Somers, 4:30 p.m.
March 29, Tues. – Greenwich CT @ Somers, 4:30 p.m.
April 1, Fri. – Iona Prep, Away, 5 p.m.
April 2, Sat. – Arlington, Away, TBD
April 6, Wed. – Ridgefield, Home 6 p.m.
April 9, Sat. – New Canaan, Home 6 p.m.
April 12, Tue. – Rye, Away, 5:30 p.m.
April 14, Thu. – Mahopac, Away, 4:30 p.m.
April 16, Sat. – Niskayuna, Away, 3 p.m.
April 19, Tue. – Carthage @ West Point TBD
April 21, Thu. – Cold Spring @ West Point TBD
April 26, Tue. – Brewster, Home, 4:30 p.m.
April 28, Thu. – Put Valley, Away, 4:30 p.m.
May 3, Tue. – Yorktown, Away, 7:30 p.m.
May 5, Thu. – Hen Hud, Away, 4:30 p.m.
May 10, Tue. – Greeley, Home, 5 p.m.
May 12, Thu. – John Jay, Home, 5 p.m.
May 14, Sat. – Lake/Panas, Away, 7:30 p.m.
* For schedules for teams from throughout the region, be sure to check out the “Schedules galore” thread, and scroll down to the comments portion for the most recently released schedules.