Despite getting knocked off the state tournament trail last year in a second-round loss to Tower Hill, Indian River has picked up the scent by winning its first two games of the 2006 regular season.
Indian River (2-0) squeaked by Newark 1-0 despite rattling off 27 shots on goal and then held off Woodbridge’s second-half rally in an 8-5 victory on Sept. 12.
Sophomore midfielder Cameron Travalini scored Indian River’s lone goal against Newark and then chipped in three more for the hat-trick against Woodbridge.
“Cameron is very talented, has a great pace and is very dangerous on the ball,” Indian River head coach Steve Kilby said. “He’s so solid inside the box, which is a nice luxury to have.”
Senior captain Pierson Roenke tallied an assist on Travalini’s first goal and added two first-half goals, while sophomore forward Erwin Cordova, senior forward Dan Kleinstuber and junior defenseman Luke Wingate each added unassisted goals.
Sophomore midfielder Peter Mais and senior midfielder Morgan Hunt chipped in with three combined assists in the Woodbridge victory (two and one respectively).
Indian River held an 8-1 advantage well into the second half against Woodbridge, so head coach Steve Kilby did what any coach would do in that situation and gave his reserves some game experience.
With only 12 minutes remaining in regulation, Woodbridge scored four unanswered goals.
Senior forward Rene Mendoza scored Woodbridge’s only goal of in the first half but then tacked on two more on free kicks for his very own hat-trick effort. Junior forward Derek Nennstiehl had an unassisted goal and junior midfielder Marvin Macario headed in another on a corner kick late in the game.
Woodbridge mustered only six shots on goal, compared to Indian River’s 16 and 25 total attempts, but that’s doesn’t always guarantee victory according to Woodbridge head coach Scott Bleile.
“Indian River is an excellent team, and that’s where we need to be. But we were able to pick it up in the second half,” Bleile said. “We played better defense in the second half. And when you put the ball in the face of the net, good things are going to happen.”
“Granted, Indian River’s second team is as good as some first teams,” Bleile continued. “So I give our kids credit: they didn’t die and stayed in the game.”
Kilby reluctantly accepted Indian River’s up-and-down start following the Woodbridge win.
“We’ll take 2-0,” he said. “We’re happy with that — though I can’t say I’m happy about the last 15 minutes of this game. The lack of heart and desire was obvious.”
Kilby expects a high level of soccer from all of his players and he went on to warn his players that playing time will coordinate with the efforts left out on the field.
“I want to give them time, but if we’re going to show that little organization and heart, I’m going to have to think long and hard about who we’re going to put out on the field,” Kilby said.
Woodbridge (1-1) defeated St. Thomas More 4-3 in its season opener.
Indian River will travel to Caesar Rodney on Sept. 14 and then host its third game on Sept. 19 against Milford. Indian River will then travel to Sussex Tech for a 5:30 p.m. game on Sept. 21.