The Indian River varsity girl’s soccer team is off to a hot start, tying No. 4 Caesar Rodney, 1-1, last week and shutting out Milford, 3-0, on April 12. With exception of the game versus Caesar Rodney, the Lady Indians haven’t yielded a goal this season. Three shutouts in four games isn’t a bad way to start.
To win, goals are necessary. But stopping them is even better, and sophomore goalie Bethany Beck stopped her fair share versus Caesar Rodney. Beck stopped 16 shots on 21 attempts, to tally a 76-percent blocking average. Beck has had few opportunities to help the team so far this season, being that a large majority of the time the ball is on the other side of the field. So it was a great beginning for a blossoming young goalie.
“Bethany rose to the occasion and made some great saves versus Caesar Rodney, in addition to making the plays she’s supposed to make,” said Head Coach Howard Gerken. “She had a nice kick, save one shot she deflected hit the top bar.”
Though a tie isn’t a win, it sure isn’t a loss. This is the first game that Indian River hasn’t lost to Caesar Rodney.
“Caesar Rodney is the strongest team we will play all year. They have a very good offense, and our defense held them to only one goal. It shows us what we are made of,” said Gerken.
In addition to the splendid play by Beck, credit must go to the Lady Indians’ defensive backfield. Gerken has made an important personnel change that seemed to make a big difference. He moved junior midfielder Ellen Dupont to the backfield.
“Ellen gives us some vocal leadership and awareness to our defense,” said Gerken.
Dupont joins an already stellar defensive backfield that includes former first-team all-conference defender junior Kelly Jurusik and senior Stephanie Richter.
“Right now our defense is the strength of the team,” said Gerken.
The goal for Indian River came when an Ali Ambrose shot ricocheted off the Caesar Rodney goalie and was punched in by freshman Michelle Giorgilli about 47 minutes into the game.
The win over Milford was decisive, as Indian River rifled off 28 shots to only two for the Bucs. Sophomore Molly Chamberlin was all around the field, scoring two goals (assisted by Jurusik at 27:43 and unassisted at 74:20) and assisting a Danielle Hall goal 52:38 into the game.
By tying Caesar Rodney and defeating Milford, Indian River has quietly moved up in the rankings to No. 10. But that won’t change a thing, according to Gerken. “We need to play well every game, because every game is important,” Gerken said.