Cape soccer loses to Appoquinimink 1-0 in state semifinals

November 14, 2013
Cape senior captain defender Conor Donohoe, right, heads the ball away from Appoquinimink midfielder Samuel Jester. BY DAN COOK

The best team in the history of Cape Henlopen soccer lost 1-0 to Appoquinimink in the semifinals of the DIAA state tournament at Smyrna Nov. 13, because they didn’t score a goal.

The game was scoreless rolling into the 78th minute of play. Cape had gotten the better of the midfield push but couldn’t convert the few good looks they got on goal.

And then with overtime looming, a long ball from the midfield to the striker zone brought Cape goalie Griffin Kammerer away from the goal, sliding to make a save. Griffin saved the rebound, but the situation was dangerously unsettled. The ball was headed by a defender away from the Cape net back to the foot of striker Yusef Basma, who drove it home like a stake through the heart for a 1-0 Jaguars victory.

The Jaguars improved to 16-1 on the season and will face Salesianum in the state championship game at 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16.

Cape closes out the season was a record of 15-2 and will graduate nine seniors.

Cape outshot the Jaguars in the game 8-6, but goalie Chris Stilwell made three big saves to keep the zero on the board. It was the 12th shutout of the year for Appoquinimink.

The storyline for Cape was Kammerer, who saved a penalty kick in the first half at the 29-minute mark off the foot of Sam Jester. Sliding to his left and employing the you move-I move strategy, Kammerer then smothered the rebound. Kammerer was locked in all game, making several spectacular saves.

Cape got stellar midfield play from Billy Swontek, who missed the opening game of the playoffs because of four accumulated regular-season yellow cards. Cape overall played well against a great team in a big moment but just couldn’t cash in on scoring opportunities.