Cape High’s boys’ soccer team journey to district finals

After ending the season with an 8-6-3 record, Cape Coral High School’s boys’ varsity soccer team looked to continue their success into the postseason. Cape High finished second in district standings, just behind Mariner High School.

In the quarterfinals, the Seahawks took on Cypress Lake High School Panthers, who placed seventh with a 1-15 record. Left fullback Alexander Murillo prepped with his team daily to ensure they succeeded in the playoffs. “We [the team] were practicing almost every day after school working on short passes, usually one to two touches,” said Murillo. “Our game plan was to use our short passes to control and dominate the other team and also to keep possession.”

This past season, the Seahawks played the Panthers only once, and in that matchup, Cape High brought home the win 4-2. This being said, the playoffs are an entirely different game. Because of this, the boys kept a close eye on possible matchups and updated their game plan as needed.

Head coach Uri Sankowski made sure to prepare the boys for the battle that lay ahead. “Trying to keep, you know, keep them [the team] level-headed,” Sankowski explained. “I don’t get them too excited, but I still keep them motivated and just work hard. We had hard practices, a lot of conditioning, and worked on whatever we thought was our weakness.”

However, the team could be better, according to leading goal scorer Diego Guatarasma. “We need to improve maybe some of the talking in the back,” said Guartarasma.

Murillo agreed with Guatarasma regarding communication on and off the field. “I feel that as a team, we need to be more vocal and be more on the same page because sometimes a few of us check out, and it hurts the entire team,” said Murillo.

Regarding mental stability, Sankowski thinks the boys can hold their own. “I think right now it is mental toughness, I would say our conditioning is paying off, and I did not use a lot of substitutions,” said Sankowski. “And we weren’t tired; we’re still going strong to the end of the game. So that’s our strength. We may not be the most talented team, but we’re conditioned, and we’ve got mental toughness. That goes a long way.”

After all the practice, the team entered the game excited, and their performance displayed that. Cape High scored three unanswered goals in the first half of the game, and Murillo liked what he saw from his team to halftime.

“Our defense was very strong for the most part, and we were moving the ball around very well,” said Murillo. The defense played a significant role in the rest of the game, preventing Cypress from scoring a 3-0 shutout for Cape High.

From there, the team traveled to South Fort Myers High School to take on the Wolfpack in the semifinals. Like when playing against Cypress, the team focused on exploring their strengths and weaknesses.