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Athletes of the Week Nov. 24

November 24, 2017
Darby Klopp

Darby laughed when asked how many of her relatives rimmed the field at the DIAA hockey state championship game Nov. 18, saying, “Oh my gosh, they are everywhere.” Darby got increased playing time in the latter part of the season, and she made the most of it, putting together great games in the semifinal versus Polytech and in the final versus Sussex Tech. She’s a flyer and a battler. She flashed as a cross country runner her freshman year and plays soccer in the spring. “I like playing out there next to Anna [Stancofski]. I felt we played well together,” she said. “I’m waiting to get more playing time; it’s just hard when we have so many good players.”

Alia Marshall

Watching Alia play center-midfield after three seasons for the Cape hockey team, it’s easy to take her speed and skill for granted. But she and running mate Annie Judge are the players who tilt the field in Cape’s favor. Alia draws a crowd wherever she has the ball. “Teams try to shut down our midfield and push us to the sides,” she said. Marshall said two years ago that she relied on Tess Bernheimer and Erin Coverdale up front and Lizzie Frederick in the back to bring home wins. “Now, I realize I have to step up and be that person,” she said. Alia plays basketball in the winter and is a midfielder on the lacrosse team in the spring.

Marcella Sabbagh

Cape hockey’s backline defender and a goalie’s best friend, Marcella went full-boat beast in the state tournament, clearing the ball high and low, driving loose balls out of the circle, tackling forwards, stripping the ball and coming up on corners. “Marcella reminds me of Tiara Duffy when she played back there,” assistant coach Debbie Windett said. Marcella has aspirations of being a college hockey player. She also plays tennis in the spring to keep her weekends free for travel hockey. “I play tennis like a hockey player,” Marcella said with a smile. Marcella is an honors student with more saves than a TV evangelist.

Cami Smith

A photographer caught Cami sitting on the grass and crying after last season’s quarterfinal loss at Tower Hill. She reflected, saying, “I don’t ever want to feel like that again, so I play hard to make sure that doesn’t happen.” Cami was tied in goals this season with Alia Marshall (16 each), but it was her backhanded goal in the championship final that propelled Cape to a 1-0 state title win over Sussex Tech. “It really wasn’t a shot. I just tried to get it past the goalie pads and forward to the tippers,” Cami said. Smith, a sophomore, had five goals in the tournament. She will run indoor track to work on her speed, then play lacrosse in the spring. 

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