In an unfortunate repetition of last year’s ill-fated post-season, the Indian River’s girls’ soccer team ended their year in the state tournament’s opening round. Last year, A.I. DuPont proved too much for the girls, while this year, despite a 14-2 finish on the year, and a conference clinch, the Lady Indians couldn’t walk out victorious against Archmere Academy.
Only losses to Caesar Rodney and Tower Hill tarnished River’s record, as first-round triumph almost felt like a given for the green and gold. Archmere’s early attack was enough to give them the lead, and in spite of second-half retaliation from the Lady Indians, they finished on top, 3-0.
“We were confident in the game, but we went in defensive,” said co-captain and senior Michelle Giorgilli, “and we weren’t playing our own game. There was an improvement in the second half, but we just couldn’t get it.”
The girls had traditionally played evening games, under the lights, for the majority of their home games, but the turf field at Dover’s Wesely College may have presented a slight challenge in last Tuesday night’s game.
“The transition from grass to turf is always going to be difficult, and that may have hurt us,” said freshman midfielder Michaella Evans. “We’re a fast team, as a whole. I think we were just thrown off-guard in this game.”
Even though the year was cut short, Evans expects the girls to turn around next year and repeat the success that the early majority of the year saw.
“The loss is disappointing,” Evans said, “but the returning players know what we have to do next year, and, hopefully, we can continue what we left this year.”
Giogilli, who has competed at the varsity level since her freshman year, congratulated her teammates on a job well-done in her last year.
“We really had a strong season,” she said, “and I’m glad I was able to be a part of it.”
Working with the other athletes and turning around such an impressive record was a great finish to her high-school career.
“I was really excited to see our team perform the way we did,” Giorgilli added, “even though we didn’t get past the first round. The way we came together and played was really commendable, and it was a lot of fun.”
The things that made the team really come together may have not had been there at the start, as Evans pointed out, but the past several months have developed into memorable ones.
“In the beginning,” Evans said, “since we have a lot of freshmen that are skilled, there was a little clashing between the seniors and freshmen, but later in the season, friendships started to form. When we got on the field, it was more of a big-sister, little-sister thing, and we really worked together well and formed some good bonds.”