• Dan Russoman

Devils fall in finals


THG/Dan Russoman. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940. Hammonton’s Tyler Lowe (1) dibbles the ball past a St. Augustine defender.

HAMMONTON—For the second-straight season, Hammonton High School’s boys soccer team came up short in the Cape Atlantic League (CAL) championship game, falling to St. Augustine Prep 3-1 last week.


“We knew it was going to be what it was, a one-goal game. To their credit, the capitalized on their chances. I thought we played a good game,” Hammonton coach Steve Adirzone said.


Last year, Hammonton lost to Egg Harbor Twp. 3-2 in the championship game.


The Blue Devils carried the action for much of the first half last week, outshooting the Hermits 4-2.

Carter Bailey launched a shot from 25-yards out in the 27th minute to give Hammonton a 1-0 lead and the Blue Devils just missed on a few scoring chances later in the half.


“We knew what they were going to do and our guys executed our game plan fairly well. It was key for us to get that first goal and then kind of let them knock it around a little bit,” Adirzone said.


Despite keeping the pressure on St. Augustine, Hammonton was unable to add to its lead.


“We had a couple of chances, and that’s what we were playing for and to their credit, they kept us from scoring. Their goalie made a save or two and we missed the net on one or two. We just needed that second goal and it didn’t happen today,” Adirzone said.


The Prep made a few adjustments at the half and in the last 40 minutes, it was the Hermits who were the more aggressive offensive team.


Early in the second half, Alex Clark scored to tie the game, 1-1. Later, a Hermits shot deflected off Hammonton goalie Michael Darnell and Clark was there to put it in the net for a 2-1 lead with 8:33 remaining in the game.


Hammonton continued to battle, and with 5:31 to go, Tyler Lowe ripped a shot that deflected off the left post.


With seconds remaining, Darnell came out of the box to help the offense and with no one in the net, the Hermits added a meaningless goal to make the final score 3-1.


Hammonton was the third seed in the tournament for the second-straight season and made their second appearance in the finals.


“I’m proud of these guys. To get here two years in-a-row, to play on our field in the CAL tournament two years in-a-row is a credit to what these guys do. Of course, we’d like to walk off with the win, but I’m proud of these guys in this tournament, they really step up,” Adirzone said.