It was the game that almost didn’t happen.
Just hours before the opening draw of the Indian River and Sussex Tech high school soccer match on Tuesday, Oct. 11, IR Athletic Director Todd Fuhrmann found a dead buzzard near the soccer field. Then, he found that the stadium lights didn’t work.
With a 7 p.m. start time, no lights meant no game, so Fuhrmann placed a call to Delmarva Power, who made a special trip out to IR to get things working just before the opening whistle.
“We just want to thank Delmarva [Power] and the people that make sure these lights came on for this game tonight,” said Fuhrmann. “We wouldn’t have been able to play tonight without them.”
After the light situation was resolved, things for the Indians were, for lack of a better term, electric, as they soared to a 5-1 win over the Ravens, to move to 7-0 on the season.
The lopsided win came just a year after a 2-1 loss to Tech in 2015.
“I knew we were a better team this year,” said IR senior goalkeeper Kevin Calles. “This is one of the games where you score a goal and you have to keep going, because even though we were up, the pressure was still high.”
The Indians jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute, when junior midfielder Wilbert Gomez found senior forward Johan Cordoba, who got in front of the Tech defense and found the back of the net.
Senior midfielder Mikie Mochiam would make it 2-0 on a PK less than six minutes later, which opened up the scoring for back-to-back goals from junior forward Oscar Cruz, less than a minute apart.
Mochiam made it 5-0 on an assist from Cordoba in the 25th minute, which would be the score at the break.
The second half was a different story as, according to head coach Steve Kilby, his squad lost their shape in the midfield and missed a few key chances, giving up a goal to junior forward Josh Artiga in the 47th minute.
Also key in keeping the Indians off the board in the second half was senior goalkeeper Anthony Hitchcock, who finished the day with seven saves.
Calles tallied two saves in the first half for the Indians, with senior keeper Zane Richard seeing action in the second half and racking up five saves.
“I think the defense played really well,” said sophomore midfielder Maykin Nunez Gutierrez of holding Tech to one goal on the day.
At 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the division, the Indians have matched the record Indian River’s 2012 team had at the same point in that season, when they went 13-0 before taking a 2-0 loss to Salesianum — the only team to beat them that season.
While they’ll have a chance for redemption against nationally-ranked Sallies this year in a game scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 27, they aren’t getting too far ahead of themselves.
“They say it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” said Richard of the work left to do this season.
“We say all the time: ‘Take it one game at a time,’” added Kilby. “We did that with this one, which is always a big game.”
The Indians were set to take on Laurel at home on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 3:30 p.m., after Coastal Point press time.