Girls keep chugging along
Put two more notches in their belts. Indian River’s varsity girl’s soccer team defeated Caravel 3-2 on May 9 and shut out Polytech 6-0 on May 10, to improve their regular-season record to 11-0-1.
Despite beating formidable opponents like Caravel and St. Thomas More, the Lady Indians still haven’t moved up from their No. 10 state ranking. And the team has only given up a handful of goals (four) all season.
The win over Caravel showed just how competitive they can be, even in less-than-ideal conditions.
“We came out a little flat against Caravel. I think we had prom-itis,” said Head Coach Howard Gerken, referring to the school’s prom activities.
Winning close games when they’re not at their best is a good indicator of just how good Indian River’s girl’s soccer program is. After floundering but winning against Caravel, the Lady Indians looked to re-establish themselves against Polytech.
“We wanted to come out and get it over with early, and we did,” said freshman defender Marlena Schliefer.
Five goals in the first half isn’t too bad for a team that seems to go overlooked among other top soccer programs.
Junior midfielder Ali Ambrose scored the first two goals of the game (32:26, 27:48) — one of which was on a jumbled rebound, the other a result of crisp Indians’ passing and poor positioning by the opposing goalie.
Sophomore striker Molly Chamberlin controlled the tempo for much of the game, doling out two assists and scoring one goal on a header (19:42) in the contest.
The Lady Indians had ample scoring opportunities due to sharp passing and corner kicks. After an Ambrose pass to a streaking teammate in front of the net, Gerken exclaimed, “Nice idea.”
“Indian River is a very strong team, but we had been playing very competitively as of late. And we came into the game thinking we could be competitive,” said Polytech Head Coach Jody Sweeney. “They got a lot of one-touches and were able to capitalize for the score,” continued Sweeney.
Schliefer one-timed a beautiful goal from about 25 yards out for the fourth goal of the game.
“Coach is always telling us shoot from the outside, so I took the shoot,” said Schliefer.
Junior defender Ashley Hudson and sophomore striker Danielle Hall scored the final two goals (12:17, 15:59) of the game. Hall gave the assist on Hudson’s goal.
The Lady Indians kept the pressure on Polytech all game. They rifled 23 shots at Polytech’s tandem of goalies – forcing Polytech’s starter, freshman Lauren Green, out at 17:50.
Polytech chose to allow Green to play the field and go with fellow freshman goalie Tracey Moore.
“Tracey is a little more aggressive out there, but Laura has some good ball skills so the switch made sense,” said assistant coach Luis Valenzuela.
“We have such a young team right now. We’re basically a J.V. team playing at a varsity level. With only three upperclassmen, we have to play a lot of sophomores and freshmen,” continued Valenzuela.
The Lady Indians looked to be playing like state contenders against Polytech, which may bode well for them in the near future.
“We moved and ran well off the ball in this game. In previous games, they would stand and watch the pass or wait for it to come to them. But tonight we had four or five girls heading toward the pass,” said Gerken.
The Lady Indians will host Delmar on May 17 at 4 p.m., in their season finale. The first rounds of the girl’s soccer tournament will be held May 25 and 26, at a site to be determined. The quarterfinals will take place May 28. Semifinals are set for June 1, and the finals will be on June 4.