This week hasn’t been too kind to Indian River’s varsity girl’s soccer team. They dropped from the state rankings and lost their first game of the season to Delmar (9-5) in 2-1 overtime on May 17.
The game was scoreless through the first half, with neither team able to get an advantage. Delmar had superior speed and was extremely active in pursuing the ball, while Indian River lagged behind.
Delmar was able to get the ball into the passing lanes frequently and had many breakaway scoring opportunities, but the defense played strong despite giving up two goals.
Sophomore defender Kelly Jurusik swarmed the field and was able to make up a lot of ground against Delmar’s speedy strikers. She thwarted Delmar on several scoring opportunities, a couple of which helped preserve the Lady Indians’ 1-0 lead in the second half.
Indian River played better in the second half but they didn’t appear to have the steam to finish the game. Sophomore striker Molly Chamberlin scored the Lady Indians’ only goal, on an assist from fellow sophomore striker Shawnee Seitz.
The Indians appeared to be on the fast track for another shutout victory when, in the last minute of regulation, Delmar scored on a rebound.
A mentally and physically drained Indians team regrouped on the sideline as Head Coach Howard Gerken gave instructions prior to the two 10-minute overtime periods.
Delmar continued to run and looked rejuvenated while playing in overtime. They rattled off five shots, compared to Indian River’s three, but it only took one to win the game.
With little more than six minutes remaining in overtime, Delmar was awarded a direct kick, which was admirably blocked by Beck. But she had a hard time corralling the ball and it squirted away from her, keeping Delmar’s hopes alive.
A host of Lady Indians frantically attempted to kick the ball out from in front of the goal but inadvertently tapped the ball into their own goal.
The loss is their only one of the season, though the May 17 match-up was their third overtime game. The toughness the Lady Indians displayed all season long had diminished a bit during the game, while Delmar seemed to grow an inch.
“Over the past five years, Indian River has been our biggest rival. We have played them tough in the past but we haven’t played a full game of soccer. So we came out with the goals of trying to be excited out on the field and be physical,” said Delmar Head Coach Rick Evans. “We tied them 1-1 in a scrimmage earlier this season but finally we got over the hump.”
Gerken offered no excuses, despite the fact that a large portion of his team missed practice for a band trip. “It’s a simple game — whoever has the most goals at the end of the game wins,” said Gerken. “We were standing around, waiting for the ball. And you can’t do that and score or play defense,” he concluded.
Indian River was set to travel to Cape Henlopen on May 19 for their regular-season finale.