Cape Gazette
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People In Sports

Zero is the loneliest number in state tournament play

By Dave Frederick | Nov 19, 2013
Photo by: Dave Frederick "Sweet T" Tiara Duffy is the 2013 Player of the Year in field hockey.

Absolute zero - Games don’t come down to a single play. They all last a long time. A high school soccer game is 80 minutes of running clock; a field hockey game is 60 minutes. Look up on the scoreboard deep into a game and see a zero on your side and realize you are in a precarious position. It helps ease the sting if the other side also has a zero, and if you’re a “point to heaven” athlete, start pointing up before it’s too late. Cape soccer got stung in the final two minutes of a scoreless game against Appoquinimink, failing to control two rebounds in a frenzied, unsettled situation and lost a semifinal game 1-0. Delmar hockey feels it left another game on the field, losing 1-0 as Tess Bernheimer calmly poked home a rolling ball past a backline defender. In 2009 and 2010, undefeated Cape hockey teams lost in semifinals to Sussex Tech 1-0. In 2009, it was Abby Adkins scoring with 3:20 left; in 2010, Maxine Fluharty scored with five seconds remaining. The bigger story was two games and a total of 60 minutes and Cape hasn’t scored yet. Cape shut out all four opponents in the 2013 state tournament for an absolute zero and guaranteed championship. In thermodynamics, absolute zero is the lowest temperature possible; in sports it simply means "Go home!"

Fighting to keep perspective - I spoke to a Cape soccer mom at halftime of the scoreless game versus Appoquinimink and she said, ”I really want so much for Cape to win this game.” I told her of my own personal struggles to maintain sports perspective, mentioning the typhoon that just washed over the Philippines, killing 3,600. “I know; you are so right, and I do that but it doesn’t seem to help,” she said. I agree. On game day when the clock is running, winning the game is what matters most. Perspective will still be there when the final horn sounds.

Sweet T - Cape’s Tiara Duffy has been named Delaware Player of the Year for the sport of field hockey. She may be the first defensive player to win the award. Tiara completed a hockey career helping three straight teams win a state championship. Last spring she played on the Carpenter Cup championship team, then on a national championship club team with Xplosion and a world championship in Big League softball playing for District Three. Tiara has close to a 95 GPA and plans to play softball in college. She has yet to commit to a specific school.

Coach Carrie - Carrie Lingo is a volunteer assistant coach with the Cape field hockey team. Lingo was the 2008 Olympic team captain and played in 190 international matches. She played 10 years with the U.S. National Team. During a time-out if you paid attention you could look across the field and see Carrie coaching and talking to players. “I was never so nervous. My heart was just racing the entire game," Carrie said. “Our girls are so quick and fearless. I was very impressed with how they played under pressure.”

Snippets - Maryland's top-ranked field hockey team beat Princeton 3-2 at College Park Nov. 17 to advance to the final four for the sixth straight year. The game was played in front of 500 fans. The Cape versus Delmar crowd at Dover had more than 1,000 fans, and there were more cowbells. In fact, the Cape versus Delmar game attracted more fans than any of the NCAA quarterfinal matchups. Maryland will play Duke Friday, Nov. 22, in Norfolk, Va. The other semifinal is North Carolina and Connecticut. The championship game is Sunday at 4 p.m.

This is the early signing period for all sports other than football. Cape lacrosse players Luke Benson, headed to University of Jacksonville, Allie Yeager to Winthrop and Kat Judge to Winthrop all signed Division I letters of intent Monday, Nov. 18. Taylor Gooch, a junior lacrosse player, has given a verbal commitment to play lacrosse at Temple University.

Cape field hockey and lacrosse players will be all over hell and half of Georgia in the next month playing Delaware Shore hockey and Eastern Shore lacrosse because that’s what they do and families can afford it.

Another state championship banner sign is about ready to be ratcheted onto the back of the Champions Stadium bleachers. That’s 10 for field hockey and girls' lacrosse. Champions Stadium, where the girls play for keeps! Go on now, git!

This is vintage Carrie Lingo on her bike in Rehoboth a day after getting back from the 2008 Olympics in China. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
Cape's Champions Stadium: Where the girls play for keeps. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
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