The Cape Express Soccer Club is proud to announce that its U17 boys team has secured the 2015/16 NJYS President's Cup, also known as the NJ State Cup. This is the first State Cup Championship in club history.
The victory comes on the team's third consecutive appearance in the title game. In the two previous appearances Cape was defeated - once in extra time (overtime).
The NJYS President's Cup is a single-elimination tournament open to all NJ Youth Soccer member clubs. As part of the US Youth Soccer (USYS) National President's Cup, winners at the state level then go on to represent their state at the Regional level. Success at the Regional Tournament would lead to a berth at the National President's Cup, held this year in Oklahoma.
Such is the case for the CESC U17s as they will now travel to Reistertown, Maryland in late May to represent NJ Youth Soccer at the USYS Region I President's Cup. There they will face the other state-level U17 President's Cup Champions, representing the 13 state associations that make up US Youth Soccer's Region I; from Maine to Virginia.
The U17s path to the State Cup Championship culminated in a "Final Four" weekend held April 30th & May 1st in neutral-site Bordentown, NJ.
Their first match of the weekend saw them face Ironbound SC (Newark, NJ). A 2-0 victory against the North Jersey powerhouse was fueled by goals from Victor Figueroa (Mainland Regional HS) (video of goal
) and Brendan Forrest (Middle Township HS) (video of goal
The victory over Ironbound earned the Cape Express team a berth in Sunday's State Cup Final against North Brunswick Real.
Sunday's Final kicked off in wet conditions on a rain-soaked field. However, the Cape Express team would not be denied the title for a third consecutive year. Instead, Cape Express notched the lone tally of the match early on when Christian Rafter (Middle Township HS) set up Victor Figueroa (Mainland Regional HS) who found himself one-on-one with the North Brunswick goalkeeper. After rounding the goalkeeper Figueroa finished into the open net to the raucous cheers from the Cape Express supporters who braved the highways and weather conditions to witness the match. (video of goal
The 1-0 score line paired with solid defensive play ensured that the outcome was never in doubt. Cape Express goalkeeper Anthony Zampirri (Wildwood Catholic) recorded two shutouts in two attempts for the championship weekend.
The Cape Express U17 team is predominantly made up of high school juniors who represent some of the best high school programs in Cape, Atlantic, & Cumberland counties. Their roster includes members of the high school teams at Middle Township, Wildwood Catholic, Lower-Cape May Regional, Wildwood, Ocean City, Vineland, Mainland Regional, & St. Augustine's.
The Cape Express U17s are coached by Cape Express Director of Coaching Charlie Duccilli and Cape Express Technical Staff member Matt Lucas. Coach Duccilli set the school scoring record at Temple University in the 1960s and later went on to play professionally in the American Soccer League and the North American Soccer League through the 70s. Coach Duccilli then spent more than 15 years coaching Rutgers University's women's program followed by several years coaching professional teams for both men and women.