IR lax scorches Salisbury School with 13-5 win

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Junior goalie Hayden McWilliams prepares to make one of 18 saves on the day against Salisbury School on Monday, April 19.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Junior goalie Hayden McWilliams prepares to make one of 18 saves on the day against Salisbury School on Monday, April 19.Not only did the Indian River High School lacrosse team get a much-needed win against the Salisbury School on Monday, April 18, they put some steak on.

After senior midfielder George Martin found the net early to put the Indians up 1-0, the Dragons would answer, to even the score at 1-1. Back-to-back goals from senior attackman Josh Lucido, however, would give the Tribe a lead that they’d never relinquish, as they rolled to a 13-5 victory.

“Much-needed,” said Lucido of the win. “It was a good turning point for us to come together and get that win. But it’s right back to work tomorrow. It’s time to be serious and go at practice hard.”

“Hopefully, this is a turning point,” said coach Dave Spencer. “We haven’t really discovered much about our identity — are we an offensive team? Are we a defensive team? One thing is for sure — we are a scrappy team. This group of guys, from the first whistle to the last, for 48 minutes — there’s gonna be fight. That’s the bottom line.”

Coming off two tough losses, to Lake Forest and Sussex Tech, the Indians had taken a 5-1 lead into halftime — a lead that could have been cut short if not for two clutch saves from junior keeper Hayden McWilliams just before the break.

They’d keep rolling in the second half, with Martin getting the ball up-field on a clear and finding Lucido on the doorstep, to make it 8-2.

The Dragons would eventually go on to forge somewhat of a comeback, notching two unanswered goals to end the third quarter and cut the lead to 8-4. But G-Mart put an end to that right off the fourth-quarter whistle, dodging a defender from up top and pinging the corner on a howitzer, to give the Indians back the momentum.

Scores from sophomore attackman Wyatt Kovatch and junior attackman Gianni Gottschalk, and another from Lucido and Martin sealed the win, as Lucido finished the day with five goals and an assist, Martin tallied three goals and three assists, and Gottschalk added a hat trick as well.

McWilliams strung together 18 saves in the matchup; however, according to Coach Spencer, there was another big contributor to the team’s dominance on the day.

“The biggest thing were face-offs — Sam Nitz was a monster on face-offs today,” Spencer said of the junior midfielder and face-off specialist. “When you start with possession, it takes the pressure off. He probably won 70 or 75 percent of his face-offs.”

The win put the Indians at 2-4 on the season coming up on a crucial stretch of schedule holding Henlopen South implications.

As of Coastal Point press time on Wednesday, April 20, the Indians were scheduled to wrap their first round of division matchups against Delmar (6-1, 2-0). They’ll face Dover (3-4) at home on Friday, April 22, before starting off on a string of South rematches when they host Milford (2-3, 1-2) on Wednesday, April 27.

Having previously dropped a tough bout against the Bucs to start the season, the Indians were ready for some redemption and to amp things up for a possible playoff run going forward.

“We’ve got two more games this week, and they’re must-win games for us to stay competitive in the South,” McWilliams said after the Salisbury School game. “As long as we do what we need to do, then we should be sitting pretty good.”

Game stats:

Goals: J. Lucido (5), G. Gottschalk (3), G. Martin (3), C. Josetti (1), W. Kovatch (1)
Assists: G. Martin (3), G. Gottschalk (1), J. Lucido (1), M. Stong (1), A. White (1)
Saves: H. McWilliams (18)