The CESC U17 Boys completed an unbelievable journey with a bronze medal around their necks.
The story of the U17s began in April when the NJ Youth Soccer President's Cup began. Victories over Old Bridge (5-0) and Ironbound Milan (7-1) earned the boys a place in the State Cup semi final. Played over the weekend of April 30 & May 1, the boys defeated Ironbound Navigators 2-0 in the semi-final match, and then North Brunswick Real 1-0 in the State Final.
The State championship came with an invitation to the Regional President's Cup tournament over Memorial Day Weekend in Reisterstown, Maryland where the boys from Cape Express would compete against State Champions from all over the Northeast.
On Day 1, the boys outplayed Lusitana (RI) 3-0 and then Delaware Rush (DE) 2-0. Day 2 brought a loss to ASA Juventus (MD) 0-2 and then a semi-final victory over Timberwolves (NH) 2-1.
The results of the first 4 games led to a Championship rematch with ASA Juventus (MD) in which the CESC boys had to fight back from an 0-1 deficit to claim the match and the Regional Championship 2-1.
The Nation's four Regional Champions were invited to Tulsa, Oklahoma to participate in the Final Round of the US Youth Soccer National President's Cup. The 4-day event - played from July 14-17 - saw the CESC boys defeat FC42 (OH) 1-0, and suffer defeats to Rampage (UT) 0-2 and the Soccer Pit Cobras (FL) 1-3. A later draw against FC42 (OH) placed the U17s in 3rd place.
Rampage (UT) won the National Championship with a 3-1 extra time win over the Soccer Pit Cobras (FL).
The coaches of the four U17 teams voted for the tournament's top 18 players. 6 players from Cape Express were selected: Ray Wilson, Zack Thomas, Victor Figueroa, Mike Saul, Christian Rafter, & Trent Canter.
L to R: R. Wilson, Z. Thomas, V. Figueroa, M. Saul,
C. Rafter, & T. Canter with their "Top 18 Players" awards.
The once-in-a-lifetime experience is one that the boys will never forget. They represented the Northeast Region, the State of New Jersey, and their individual communities well. We here at the Cape Express Soccer Club would like to thank them for their determination and work ethic. We would also like to thank the boys for allowing all of us to take part in their unbelievable journey.
We would also like to thank the local media for their support and recognition of these fine, hard-working young men.
Coverage from our local media outlets:
"Cape Express Places Third at Nationals" - Cape May County Gazette - July 20, 2016
"Cape Express Title Hopes End" - Press of Atlantic City - July 16, 2016
"Cape Express Youth Soccer Team Stays Alive for President's Cup Title" - Press of Atlantic City - July 15, 2006
"Cape Express Soccer Team to Play for National Title" - Press of Atlantic City - July 14, 2016
"Cape Express Team Heading to Nationals" - Cape May County Gazette - July 12, 2016
"Cape Express U-17 Heads to Nationals" - Cape May County Herald - July 12, 2016
"Region Championship Sends Cape Soccer Team to Nationals" - Cape May County Gazette - May 30, 2016
"Cape Express Team Claims Elusive State Cup Title" - Cape May County Gazette - May 3, 2016