IR hockey starts 7-1 with wins over Central, Seaford

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR freshman Rylie Cordrey and senior Erin Haden look to knock in a shot against Central keeper Morgan Burton.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR freshman Rylie Cordrey and senior Erin Haden look to knock in a shot against Central keeper Morgan Burton.Just past the halfway mark in the 2016 season, the Indian River High School field hockey team already finds themselves only one win shy of ensuring their first winning record since current IR assistant coach Molly Chamberlin was rocking No. 12 instead of a pair of sunglasses and a whistle.

With a 3-0 win over Sussex Central on Thursday, Oct. 6, and 5-0 win over Seaford on Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Indians are off to a 7-1 start — their best in more than a decade.

“Things are coming together. Things are clicking,” said IR head coach Jodi Stone, who inherited a 2-13 team in 2013 with intentions of turning the program around, and who has since led the Indians to records of 5-9-1 in 2014 and 5-8-2 in 2015, under the handle she and her squad gave the team: “The Quiet Storm.”

Indians 3, Sussex Central 0

In what’s always a district rivalry game, the Indians got some redemption against Central on Thursday, Oct. 6, knocking off the Golden Knights 3-0 and offering the IR team some relief after a late goal from graduated defender Callie McDowell had ended the matchup in a tie in 2015.

“They’re kind of where we were a few years ago. They’re also rebuilding. They have a new coaching staff,” said Stone. “There’s always going to be that rivalry. It doesn’t matter what your records are going in.”

Senior forward Lexi Haden got the Indians on the board first in the matchup, finding the back of the net on an assist from senior defender Maggie Ford early in the first half.

It was a pair of freshmen tacking on the next goal, when midfielder Avery Congleton found Rylie Cordrey in front of the cage, who knocked it in for her third score of the season.

“Avery kept hitting it into the circle,” Cordrey said in breaking down the score. “She got it through, and then I was there and I swept it in.”

Ford would record her second assist of the game in the second half, that time finding senior forward Madi McGee for the final goal of the game.

Central junior keeper Morgan Burton kept the Indians at bay with 22 saves on the day, while the IR defense of Ford, junior Sammi Whelen, sophomore Mackenzie Gorey and junior Kaleigh Cordrey didn’t allow a single shot on goal.

“We definitely just stepped up and cut off all their passes,” said Kaleigh Cordrey. “We work really well together.”

Indians 5, Seaford 0

The Indians moved on to 7-1 with a 5-0 win over Seaford on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Rylie Cordrey netted her fourth goal of the season, to make 1-0, on an assist from Lexi Haden just after the opening draw in that matchup, with Haden turning around to tack on her sixth of the season on an assist from her twin sister, Erin Haden, less than five minutes later.

Both Erin Haden and junior Kelsey Murray would go on to score their first goals of the season against the Blue Jays, with McGee scoring her sixth in the second half and Ford notching her fifth assist on the season in the first half.

The defense didn’t allow a shot for the second straight game.

After improving to 3-0 in the Henlopen South, the Indians were gearing up for another division test against Delmar on Thursday, Oct. 13, after Coastal Point press time. Headed into that game, the Wildcats were 9-0 on the season.

They were also gearing up for Hodgson Vo-Tech (3-5) at home on Saturday, Oct. 15, at noon, and another tough bout at Cape Henlopen (5-2) on Tuesday, Oct. 18, under the lights at 6 p.m.