Cape hockey captains Noelle Sabbagh and Reagan Ciabattoni relaxed on the sideline chairs watching the JV game after the Vikings had defeated and dominated Polytech 4-1 with a heavy advantage in shots and corners.
But the numbers obscure the storyline of Cape trailing 1-0 at the half after the Panthers scored at 7:44 into the game when Amiyah Sizer converted a corner on an assist from Kylee Lavere.
Cape pounded the Panthers’ goal cage and had 10 first-half corners, including two that rattled the cage and were waved off – one a foot fault, the other a dangerous shot that hit the goalie in the shoulder. The second disallowed goal was scored with no time on the clock.
“Honestly, we don’t worry and weren’t caught looking ahead to the Delmar game [Thursday],” Ciabattoni said. “We were playing really well; we just have to do a better job finishing.”
Ciabattoni scored off an assist from Sam Connors at 13:50 of the third quarter. That was followed by a Mack Brown goal at 7:23 on an assist from Lulu Rishko, giving Cape room for reflection and a dose of confidence for anxious fans.
“We always have tough games when we play here,” said Cape coach Kate Austin. “We had to keep pushing hard in the second half.”
Fourth-quarter goals were scored by Sabbagh from Ciabattoni (6:15) and later Ciabattoni from Connors (12:44) for the final of 4-1.
“Hannah [Maney] and Lulu were just awesome coming down the right side, which opens up the left,” Sabbagh said. “But we never worry about the game within the game; we just go hard and enjoy every second being out there.”
Cape (7-0) hosts Delmar (7-0) at Champions Stadium at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 7.