It was a game of firsts.
Not only did the Indian River High School girls’ lacrosse team earn their first win of the season, rolling Red Lion 11-2 on Saturday, March 25, but first-year players, including senior midfielder Erin Haden and freshman attacker Kaylee “K-Hall” Hall, scored their first career goals.
After the majority of the first half of the matchup went scoreless, it was Haden who managed the game’s first goal and finally sparked the offense, finding the net on a free position and getting some redemption after what she had initially thought was her first career goal, in a game against Polytech on Thursday, March 23.
“I got a goal on Thursday, but they blew the whistle and it got called back, and I didn’t get another one,” Haden explained. “So I was pretty happy to get my first goal this game.”
“I think I may have jumped,” said Haden’s twin sister, senior midfielder Lexi Haden, who’s been with the team since Day 1 and who put up two goals and six assists of her own on Saturday. “I think I honestly jumped for all the goals.”
Also netting her first career goal in the game was sophomore midfielder Lexi Webb, as the Indians saw scores from six different players, including a career high five goals from junior midfielder Helen Davis, and racked up a program high nine assists, highlighting a new mentality this season.
“I’m proud of them. We’re definitely playing as more of a team,” said second-year head coach Kelsea Ayers.
“Everyone was trying to pass it to each other. We all wanted each other to have our first goals,” added Davis. “Everybody wants to be here and wants to help each other out. It really shows that we’re becoming a team and want each other to succeed.”
After Lexi Haden made it 2-0, she’d go on to find Hall behind the cage on the next possession, with K-Hall taking it around the crease and rolling two defenders before somehow losing her right shoe’s fellow but still finding the back of the net for the score, to put the Indians up 3-0.
“What was so cool about K-Hall’s goal is we had just put her back behind the crease in practice,” said Ayers. “The last couple days, that’s what we’ve been working on, so for her to score on a crease roll, and for Lexi to feed her, was exactly what we’ve been practicing.”
It wasn’t until the second half that the scoring run really got under way, however, when the Indians managed to rack up eight more goals, while junior goalkeeper Mya Parks and the defense kept the Lions well-tamed.
Parks would finish with six saves on the day, and before it was all said and done, even the defenders got in on the offensive action, including junior Zofia Czyewski netting her first goal of the season.
“Mya was looking really good. She was so loud out there, so we were never blindsided,” said Davis of Parks taking charge of the defense this season. “I think we were communicating well. We were able to crash when we needed to, and on the transition we were really getting in front of the ball.”
The win put the Indians at 1-1 on the season heading into a home game against defending state champion Cape Henlopen on Wednesday, March 29, (after Coastal Point press time).
Last year, IR fell to the Vikings 21-2 in what was only the school’s second-ever varsity girls’ lacrosse game. Behind this year’s team-first mentality, however, they’re ready to show what the new and improved Indians can do, and to try to pull off yet another first for the emerging program.
“It’s everybody’s game this season. It’s Indian River girls’ lacrosse. It’s not just a couple players,” said Lexi Haden of the difference. “It’s so much more rewarding working as a team to get the goal.”