Despite a promising preseason with strong camaraderie and developing skill, it’s been a slow start to the Indian River High School varsity field hockey season. An 8-0 loss to Red Lion Christian Academy earlier this week kept the Lady Indians winless, as first-year head coach Katie Holloway worked with the team to regain their footing.
“Our main focus is to work on not giving up,” said a discouraged Holloway. “The girls need to stick with it, all the way to the end.”
The Lady Indians were able to hold strong in the first half this past Tuesday, Sept. 20, trailing by a single goal, but Red Lion turned on in the second, as seven unanswered scores quieted the visiting Indians.
“We are a very defensive team,” Holloway added, “and, from what I’ve heard, that is carried over from last year’s team. We want to try to get more action on the offensive side of the ball.”
The Lady Indians began their season at Sussex Central, midway through September, and had even taken the lead before halftime, nudging ahead of the Knights, 2-1. But, by the second half, they started slipping, and Sussex Central finished them off, 5-3. That was followed up on Thursday, Sept. 15, with a 6-0 shutout at Smyrna.
But Holloway is hoping that the road-game jitters have been shaken off and the team can capitalize on recognized territory with their next two games. Indian River was scheduled to host Caesar Rodney on Wednesday, Sept. 21 (after Coastal Point press deadline), for the team’s first home game of the season.
“Some of our struggle has come with playing on unfamiliar fields,” Holloway said, “and that’s especially true for the games we play on turf. We don’t have that here, and we have to use another alternative source, like a gym floor, to try and adjust to it.”
At other times, the opposing teams seem to be coming out with more vigor.
“Our opponents are always playing aggressively,” she said. “We’ve mastered most of the basics of the game, and skill-wise things are starting to click, but we need to step it up more.”
For the most part, the roster is set, but Holloway did note that she has her eyes on a few players following the 0-3 start.
The Lady Indians will continue their season as they host Woodbridge on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 10 a.m. Next week, Indian River will return to the road as they head to Seaford and Milford for some inter-division rivalry.