With their only loss this season, to Seaford, still looming in their heads, Indian River boys soccer came out strong this week, shutting out Saturday’s game at Caesar Rodney and Tuesday’s battle at home against Laurel.
The non-conference win against Caesar Rodney proved to be enough to bring their season record to 10-1, and the Indians followed up solidly Tuesday night with a dominating 8-0 victory over Laurel, despite injuries that benched two of the team’s captains.
Pierson Roenke is favoring his knee injury from Saturday’s game at Caesar Rodney and Richard Webster has been nursing a pulled groin, said Coach Steve Kilby.
Tuesday’s match saw a spectacle of goal scorers, including a hat trick from Cameron Travalini, the first of which was made in the first seven minutes of the game. Other shots were netted by Torin Smith, Erwin Cordova, Morgan Hunt, Victor VanDemark and Zach Izzo.
“We were able to play everybody for a substantial amount of minutes,” noted Kilby. “Some of the guys didn’t get to see the field during the Caesar Rodney game, and you hate for that to happen.”
Although pleased with the win, Kilby doesn’t want the victory to get to the team’s heads going into Thursday’s game at Milford. “We want to make sure we are able to hold our defensive shape,” Kilby said, concluding Tuesday’s victory. “We also want to make sure we can account for not having Pierson [Roenke]. He’s our leading scorer.”
Perhaps what’s most intriguing about the Indians this season, though, is what’s happening at the other side of the field. Goalkeeper Sean Lewis made his season debut Saturday night against Caesar Rodney.
An injury this summer, while playing soccer in Scotland, left Lewis with a broken right ankle. Frustration and anxiety plagued the goalie as he could do nothing but watch the games from the sidelines for three quarters of the season.
“It’s great to get back out there,” said Lewis. Many believe had it not been for the injury, Lewis would have had a strong shot at All-State.
Torin Smith, who says he is comfortable at both midfield and in goal, has picked up for the unfortunate injury, carrying the team to a nearly undefeated season as Indian River’s keeper. With Lewis in goal for the first 60 minutes of Tuesday’s game, Smith was able to buy some time at midfield, contributing his first goal this season.
“I have no worries [about the team] if I get hurt again,” said Lewis. “[Smith] has shown up all season.”
“It’s impressive when your back-up goalie carries the team 9-1,” said Lewis with a laugh.
Thursday’s game at Milford will mark the second time the out-of-conference teams meet this season. Indian River came out on top, 4-1, in their first match, back in September. A win is still important here, noted Lewis and Smith, as it will contribute tournament points in the post-season.