Three-peat?


Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Junior forward Oscar Cruz moves the ball upfield in a scrimmage against Severn (Md.) on Monday, Aug. 22.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Junior forward Oscar Cruz moves the ball upfield in a scrimmage against Severn (Md.) on Monday, Aug. 22.They earned their first state championship ring as freshmen, after helping the Indian River High School soccer team to their first-ever title in 2013.

Then, just last season, they brought home the program’s second title, in impact roles as juniors.

But this year’s senior class isn’t ready to stop there, aiming for a shot at a third state championship to round out their storied careers.

“We’re ready to get another one,” said senior defender Patrick Mochiam. “We’re not satisfied yet.”

“We’ve just got to take care of business early, win the division, work our way up the ladder and stay focused every game, every practice,” added senior midfielder Mac Smith of the team’s goals.

Smith and Mochiam lead an accomplished senior class, both returning as First-Team All-Conference and All-State selections from 2015.

Mochiam will anchor the defense, joined by seniors and All-Conference selections Andrew White and Max Stong, as well as sophomore Luke McCabe, who makes the jump to varsity this season.

“We have a lot of options in the back — we can move people around, we can move people up,” Mochiam explained of something that White, in particular, saw a lot of in the team’s first scrimmage against Severn (Md.) High School on Monday, Aug. 22.

Of course, the biggest void left by the Class of 2016 will be felt between the pipes, with the graduation of All-State goalkeeper Ian Walls.

Walls had spent the last two seasons starting in the goal for the Indians, after waiting in the wings during his freshman and sophomore campaigns for his chance to start, behind Sam Cannon.

That’s the same situation that senior Kevin Calles finds himself in this year, now ready for his chance to hold down the cage, with Walls now at Moravian College in Pennsylvania.

“Kevin has been working hard this pre-season — I give him a lot of credit,” Mochiam said of the senior keeper.

Offensively, the team returns an array of talent in addition to Smith, who will again be utilized in various roles throughout the midfield after netting nine goals and adding five assists last season.

All-State selections Johan Cordoba (eight goals, nine assists) and Edgardo “Gardo” Velasquez (three goals, four assists) will be back, looking to again make an impact in the midfield, with All-State forward Oscar Cruz and All-Conference forward Mikie Mochiam returning to lead the scoring charge.

Last season, Cruz and Mochiam each racked up 11 goals and three assists a piece.

Other returners include senior defender Arturo Mora Salas, junior midfielder Wilberth Gomez, senior midfielder Jordi Velasquez Ramirez and sophomore midfielder Maykin Nunez Gutierrez, who saw considerable playing time last season during his freshman campaign.

The team will again be led by head coach Steve Kilby, with Howard Gerken, Nick Slonin and Brandt Mais all back to round out the coaching staff.

Not only will the Indians be going for a second straight state title this season, but also for their second straight Henlopen Conference title as well, after taking down Cape Henlopen 1-0 by way of Mikie Mochiam’s overtime goal in the Henlopen Conference championship game last fall.

In addition to the Henlopen South division, it’s those three checkmarks that Kilby and the Indians place on their “short list” every season.

After their last pre-season matchup, at Queen Anne’s County High School in Maryland on Saturday, Aug. 27, the Indians will get that short list started with a tough test at home against Caesar Rodney on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m.

After falling 4-0 in the opener against the Riders in 2015, both Smith and Mochiam said that they’d be looking for some redemption come Sept. 13.

“We’ve just got to come out real hard in the first 10 to 15 minutes, and show them that we’re a different team,” Smith said.