The Lady Indians varsity soccer team jumped out to a 1-0 record after shutting out Smyrna, 2-0, in their season opener, March 22.
“For the first game, I’m very pleased. It’s good anytime you can shut out an opponent,” said head coach Howard Gerken.
Sophomores Ali Ambrose and Molly Chamberlin scored the goals for Indian River in the winning effort, though Gerken expects more.
“I was a little disappointed that we didn’t score that many goals. We had the ball on the offensive end a lot — we need to learn how to finish,” said Gerken. “Smyrna’s goalie did a good job against us considering how often we were in her zone. She made some nice saves.”
The Lady Indians looked somewhat passive when presented the opportunity to score on the Eagles defense.
“We were a little slow out there tonight, but I’m sure some of that had to do with the cold, nervousness, and the fact that they are still getting used to playing with each other. If we’re going to get better we have to get faster, and we have to take available shots instead of making extra passes,” said Gerken.
Defensively, you can’t ask for anything more from a team. Not one, but two, rookie goalies refused to allow a goal and the defenders made sure of it. Sophomore goalies Amanda Heath and Bethany Beck each played a period and were able to gather every (though limited) Smyrna shot attempt. While the goalies garner most of the attention being that it was a question mark going into the season — the defenders quietly made the win possible by blanketing Smyrna’s scorers.
Smyrna was only able to muster three shots on goal as opposed to Indian River’s 19 shots. “Smyrna just wasn’t able to string enough passes to get past our defenders to get some shots on goal,” said Gerken.
“Kelly (Jurusik) and Marlena (Schleifer) both played very well defensively. It helps when you have an all-conference player (Jurusik) in front of your goalie,” said Gerken. “Marlena was able to get after the ball which helped create scoring opportunities.”
With the defense in good hands the attention turns to scoring more goals in the future. The Lady Indians will have their chance to do just that when they face the Laurel Bulldogs at home on March 24. “It should be a good game for us — they are a young team just like us,” said Gerken.