The Indian River High School soccer team earned their seventh straight Henlopen South title last week, after racking up three straight division wins, over Sussex Academy, Seaford and Woodbridge.
“To be able to win consecutive division championships is a big thing,” said head coach Steve Kilby of the first checkmark off the team’s “short list” for the season.
“The competition is getting better in the division; it’s more of a challenge. Our guys have to keep their intensity and their focus up.”
After regrouping from their first loss of the season, against Worcester Prep on Saturday, Oct. 15, the rising division competition showed when the Indians took on Sussex Academy on Thursday, Oct. 20, falling behind 1-0 before a goal from IR junior midfielder Wilberth Gomez tied the game in 70th minute, and freshman Jared Cordoba tacked on the game winner on an assist from senior forward Mikie Mochiam in the 75th minute, for the 2-1 win.
“Coming out of the Worcester Prep game, the team took away the fact that, if you’re not willing to play an entire game at the level that you’re capable of playing, things can happen or go wrong,” said Kilby. “So, hopefully, that is a lesson for them.”
“We turned the switch on right away after that game,” added senior Kevin Parrazal. “We knew we had to.”
Mathematically clinching the division with a 6-1 win over Seaford on Monday, Oct. 24, the Indians made the title official with a 6-0 win over Woodbridge on Senior Night, honoring all 16 seniors in a ceremony before the game.
“It’s very special for me, because I’ve played soccer for many years,” said senior Josh Timmons of the night. “I think the team went great. In my opinion, they did well. Everything went as good as possible, and that’s what we need. We should be proud of ourselves.”
Senior forward Johan Cordoba got the Indians on the board first in that matchup, unassisted in the 24th minute, going on to score his second goal of the game when he knocked in a header on a pass from junior forward Oscar Cruz about 10 minutes later.
Senior defender Arturo Salas made it 3-0 before the half, going on to set up Mochiam for a goal just after the break.
“They were really organized,” said Kilby of the Blue Raider opposition. “It took us awhile to figure out how to break them down, but once we did, we got some goals.”
“Their defense was way compact; they knew what they were dealing with coming in,” added senior Jordi Ramirez of the game’s early obstacles.
Ramriez would go on to assist sophomore Zach Neal in the 74th minute for the final goal of the game, after Cruz had made it 5-0 on an assist from Cordoba.
Senior keeper Kevin Calles only had to make one save in the game, with senior keeper Zane Richard tallying four saves in the second half.
While the team celebrated Senior Night and winning their seventh straight division title after the victory, they said they were ready for what they anticipate to be two of their toughest tests of the season, with road matchups against Salesianum (12-1-1) on Thursday, Oct. 27, (after Coastal Point press time) and against Charter (9-2-1) on Saturday, Oct. 29.
After that, they’ll take on Sussex Central (10-1) in the Henlopen Conference championship.
“We got Sallies and we’ve got Charter coming up, and we’re going to put our hearts into it,” said Parrazal. “They’re gonna be tough teams — we know that.”
“We’re hoping that everyone comes out to support us in the conference championship game,” added Ramrirez. “It’s the next checkmark on the list.”
The time and place of the Henlopen Conference championship game have yet to be officially announced.