The Spanish Springs boys soccer squad has one of those players and the fact he could play anywhere on the pitch, including in goal, just makes him that much more special.
Whether it’s providing a spark for the offense in transition or adding strength to the defense, senior center midfielder Irvin Somera does it all for the Cougars and does it well.
“He’s a comfort and calms everything down. He’s there if we’re down and need to get a goal back. He’s dependable on defense. He’s a good kid,” SSHS boys soccer coach Rob Moreland said. “He’ll do whatever it takes for the good of the team. He’s been my captain since he was a freshman I think, because of his attitude. He helps the team relax, and that’s what you want out of a center midfielder. He can distribute well. He’s got good vision and good touch. Whenever he’s on the field, we have a good chance to win. That’s neat to have in your back pocket.”
Somera was named the team’s MVP during his sophomore and junior years. But last year he earned one of the top honors in the High Desert League as coaches voted him the HDL Midfielder of the Year after scoring 18 goals and leading the local school to its first Northern 4A boys soccer championship and a berth to the state tournament.
Somera is back at it this season. Most recently, Somera scored the game-tying and winning goals in the final five minutes of Saturday’s clash against Galena, the team that won the Sierra League last season and was upset by the Cougars in the regional semifinals.
Somera scored the tying goal all by himself, going half the length of the field against two defenders, and faking them out to get a clear shot on goal at the last second.
The eventual game-winner came minutes later when Somera scored on a free kick from about 45 yards out.
The come-from-behind win kept the Cougars undefeated at 5-0 and the target is still on their back. Spanish Springs will play its second straight reigning regular season league champion when it travels to North Valleys Wednesday. The Panthers are also the team the Cougs beat for the regional crown a year ago.
“I think it gives us more pressure to work hard as a team and do what we have to do,” Somera said. “With more pressure, I think we work harder.”
Moreland is trying to get Somera to play soccer at UNLV because that’s where he went and a former teammate, Rich Ryerson, is now the coach. Moreland wants all his players to realize that playing in college is the way to go instead of turning pro because then they can get their college paid for. Moreland also said there is a financial aid program for kids of parents who didn’t attend college, which pertains to the majority of his players.
“I think he has aspirations to play in college and whatever comes with it,” Moreland said. “He could go far. He’s played in the men’s league since he was like 14. He can handle it, that’s for sure.”
Somera said he wants to play in college, but knows he needs to get organized and be prepared.
For now, he hopes to bring the team together in order to repeat as regional champs and go out on out top at state.
“I really enjoy playing with this group of guys. They’re real nice,” Somera said. “Bringing the team together has been good this year.”