Three games in a week is a tough stretch no matter how you look at it, but three games in three days is downright brutal, physically and mentally.
The Indian River High School field hockey squad proved to be strong in mind and body, capping their three-games-in-three-days binge with a big 2-1 win over rival Sussex Central last Thursday, Sept. 27.
The win came on the heels of last Wednesday’s make-up date with Worcester Prep, in which the Indians cruised to a 6-1 win over the Mallards, and last Tuesday’s 5-3 decision over Caesar Rodney.
“Even though it may seem like we are young and inexperienced, the girls persevered through this week,” head coach Jodi Stone said of her senior-less team, who improved to 6-1 on the year. The week “was incredibly difficult, at this age, and especially since we have such a young team with our program. It proved to them that they can do it if they dig deep enough, that they are able to accomplish anything.”
In the Thursday game with Central, Rylie Cordrey broke a scoreless tie roughly seven minutes into the second half. Freshman Brynn McCabe added what proved to be the game-winner with 16:15 left in the contest.
IR took 26 shots in the game to Central’s four, and the Indians earned 12 penalty corners to the Golden Knights’ two.
IR’s sophomore goalie Allyson Clark was again in the cage and made two saves for the win.
“You never want to under-estimate your team — but, no, realistically, without having seniors, no,” Stone added when asked if she could have envisioned such a start for such a young team.
“The girls are ready and eager. It’s what makes IR hockey, what IR hockey is. Now if we can just get the other end of the component with the scoring — we just need to do a better job at scoring, finishing [with goals]. We are there. We are right on the edge, but it’s like we can’t… and that comes with maturity and with playing.”
In Wednesday’s win over Worcester, freshman Emma Ruley and junior Avery Congleton had it going on offense for the Indians.
Congleton had a hand in all six goals for IR, scoring one and assisting on the five others. Ruley scored four goals for the Indians, while Kayler Townsend added a goal and an assist to help the cause.
The Indians would send 43 shots on goal in the game and earned nine penalty corners as well.
Clark made three saves while splitting time with Caylee Schmidt, who made one save in her time in front of the goal.
The three-win week increased the IR win streak to four games as they set their sights on a showdown with the state’s top-ranked field hockey program, Delmar, on Thursday, Oct. 4. That contest was after Coastal Point press time, but the results can be found on the Coastal Point sports Facebook page.
By Jason Feather