It took a few years longer than he had hoped, but South Carolina Stingrays head coach Spencer Carbery finally got his man.
In the spring of 2011, Carbery spent hours on the phone trying to convince Ohio State senior Sergio Somma to sign with the Stingrays. Somma had finished his senior campaign with the Buckeyes, scoring 20 goals, and was a highly sought-after player going into the ECHL playoffs that season.
Somma opted to sign with Chicago Wolves, of the American Hockey League, and for the next four seasons played overseas in Germany and Sweden.
Somma, 28, was looking to return to North America this year and has signed with the Stingrays, the team announced earlier this week.
“We went after Sergio pretty hard during his senior season at Ohio State,” Carbery said. “We actually had been recruiting him since the end of his junior year. We were very disappointed that we couldn’t get him back then because he was such a talented player. I guess, good things come to those who wait.”
Somma played his first two professional seasons with the Augsburg Panther in Germany’s top professional league, the DEL. In Somma’s rookie, he scored 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists) in 44 games, and the following year with Augsburg, he had 29 points (18 goals, 11 assists) in 52 games.
“That’s a great league, probably the second best league in Europe,” Carbery said.
The Pittsburgh, Pa., native also was a member of the 2011 U.S. Men’s Select Team that competed in the Deutschland Cup in Munich, Germany.
The select team is made up of the top American players in that are playing in Europe, so that’s an elite group,” Carbery said.
The 5-9, 188-pound forward moved to Sweden for the 2013-2014 season, but returned to Germany with the Rosenheim Star Bulls last season, scoring 31 points (13 goals, 18 assists) in only 37 games.
“He’s had some injuries the last couple of season and I just think he wanted to get back to North American and play take another shot at the American League,” Carbery said. “He’s very hungry to play at the next level and those are the kinds of players we want in our organization.”
Somma served as the Buckeyes captain during his senior season in 2010-2011. In his NCAA career, Somma tallied 104 points (54 goals, 50 assists) in 159 games. Somma skated in five games, scoring a goal and an assist.
“He’s a high-end skill player that can really shoot the puck,” Carbery said. “He’s going to get a chance to play in a lot of different situations.”