Forty-four years of Cape soccer closed out the regular 2013 season with 80 minutes of hell in an absurdly paced fast game on the slippery, mist-shrouded pitch down to Indian River’s John M. Clayton Stadium. The candlepower of the old lights gave off a mellow-yellow heavy hue, and the players surged and snapped through it like meteors.
Cape won the game 2-1 for the best record in school history at 14-1, and all the players realized they may never be part of such a soccer moment ever again.
“It was just an unbelievable game [with] the fans and fighting for every ball,” said Max Euler, Cape’s leading scorer, who scored the first goal of the game. “I knew where Billy [Swontek] was going to put that corner kick. I just made sure I was there to get a tap on it.”
The scoring all happened in the last 25 minutes of the second half, all on restarts, as Euler went near post to redirect a corner from Swontek at 14:20. That was followed by a Luis Cruz direct kick up and over the human wall to the upper right corner to tie the game at 23:26 with magic man Swontek pushing home the game-winner unassisted at 32:57 of the second half.
The shots totaled Cape 13 and Indian River 14. Griffin Kammerer was credited with 6 saves while Sam Cannon of Indian River had 3.
Coach Gary Montalto with 550 career wins in New York and a record of 36-6-3 at Cape spoke to his team after the game.
“I really believe you’ve grown as a team because you show resilience. The first two years, there’s no way we come out of here with a win. You battled calls, you battled the pace of this game which was absurd, just so fast. Conditions were tough with the wet grass, and you guys in the back just played so simple. [It was a] well-played and well-marked game that you’ve had. And Griffin [goalie], you fought through so many situations. “
Montalto spoke of the restarts awarded to Indian River in the final 20 minutes of the game. "It's important with the lead in the final third of the field that you play intelligently, focusing on containment. When they have a player like Cruz who is so dangerous and can put that ball in the upper corner, you just can’t give him opportunities."
Indian River, 10-3-1, plays at Sussex Tech Thursday, Oct. 31, then will play Caesar Rodney Saturday, Nov. 2, for the Henlopen Conference Championship.
The first round of the state tournament begins Wednesday, Nov. 6. Cape will likely play at home versus Caesar Rodney, the only team to beat the Vikings this season.