As the Indian River varsity soccer team heads down the final stretch of the 2006 regular season, head coach Steve Kilby has a good feeling about his team’s chances of improving on last year’s semifinal loss to Tower Hill.
Indian River (9-1) won its second consecutive game, including two shutout victories over Cape Henlopen and most recently Lake Forest, by a combined score of 9-0, which marked their fifth shutout of the season. It all came on the heels of a 3-2 conference loss to Seaford on Oct. 3.
Following Indian River’s 3-0 win over Cape Henlopen, senior Morgan Hunt declared that they’d no longer take anyone lightly, and that spectators and opponents alike, “wouldn’t see them let up, even if they were up 10-0.”
Indian River, as of Oct. 18, had six games remaining, including in a key conference match on Oct. 21 against Caesar Rodney (7-1, 2-0 conference). But Kilby feels comfortable with his team’s mindset as they head down the final stretch.
“I think the guys understand that everything has to be done perfect, with 100 percent attention to detail. And it all goes back to the Seaford loss,” he said.
Last year, Indian River beat Caesar Rodney, 1-0, to claim the Henlopen Conference crown. And, even though the Indians trail Seaford (9-2, 5-0 conference) in the Henlopen South by one game, every game from here on out is considered a must-win — especially with only four conference matches remaining.
“Right now, they have everything to play for,” Kilby said. “We need to play hard because a win could mean playing for all the marbles,” he added, referencing the conference championship.
Ultimately, he said, “We want to go to the state tournament and play four more games. But we can’t lose our focus. You can stub your toe in conference play and still have a chance to rebound, but coming down the stretch we can’t afford that.”
“We need to turn it up two or three notches,” he added.
Indian River’s final stretch includes games against Polytech (set for Oct. 18, after Coastal Point press time), Caesar Rodney, Milford, John Dickinson and Smyrna.
Indian River will travel to Caesar Rodney and play at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21.