It was 7 p.m., Saturday night, with Sussex Academy boy’s soccer hosting Route 9 rival Cape Henlopen. The stands were packed with students sitting on the same side with a divide right down the middle. The Vikings’ fans were bare-chested with blue-painted letters C-A-P-E.
The Seahawks waved an American flag. The cheers and chants were amazingly civil considering the electric, emotional energy in the bleachers. The students have been waiting for a snapback rock ‘n’ roll game. And it was the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
“The Cape/Sussex Academy match is a special one,” said Cape coach Patrick Kilby after the Vikings fell 1-0. “There is so much class and playing ability on both sides. Tonight, the fans came out for a community event. They were treated to a well-played game.”
The game’s only goal came 34 minutes into the first half.
Aggressive player Michael Daniello drew a direct kick penalty. He then punched the ball past the Cape wall toward the goal cage, where David Hawtof going hard left to right took the ball on his head and sent it back to the high corner opposite his momentum. Cape goalie Dalson Case, with two saves in the game, had no chance.
The action in the midfield was fast and physical in the first half, and 50-50 balls were ferociously contested.
Cape had the better of the possession in the second half, but couldn't beat goalkeeper Tyler Hudson, who had 10 saves in the game.
Cape had a 12-8 advantage in shots for the game.
“The Sussex Academy/Cape Henlopen soccer match is one that hits close to home for me,” said Kilby. “ When I look at the JV/varsity rosters for both teams, I have coached 23 players at the club level, all in their younger years. That number will surely increase over the next few years.”
Sussex Academy will play at Sussex Tech Tuesday, Sept. 14. The Vikings will play at the Ravens’ field Wednesday, Sept. 15.
Cape won its first game of the season Sept. 9, beating Delmar 1-0 on an overtime goal by Brandon Somoza-Lima.
New to Cape this year is a freshman team. So far, the ninth-graders have defeated Laurel 5-0 and Delcastle 1-0.
The JV team is 1-0-1, with a 6-0 win over Delmar and a scoreless tie with Sussex Academy.