‘Quack attack’: Mallards’ second-half run stuns Indians in rivalry game
It was a tale of two halves when the Indian River High School lacrosse team took on rival Worcester Prep last Monday, April 28, as the Mallards scored 13 unanswered goals in the second half after trailing 6-4, to eventually notch a 17-6 win.
“They’re smart. They play smart lacrosse. They know the game,” said IRHS senior midfielder Tim Roberts of the seasoned Maryland squad. “Someone who has stick skills and plays smart is always a threat if they know what they’re doing, and they do — they have a background.”
After falling behind 3-1 early in the first quarter, it was Indian River senior attackman Spencer Murray who tied the game at 3, recording his third goal of the quarter and 14th on the season.
After a few key saves by freshman goalie Hayden McWilliams, senior midfielder Merrick Kovatch put the Indians ahead 4-3, ripping a shot top shelf for his 15th goal of the season.
Roberts furthered the lead to 5-3 as the Indians started generating momentum, dodging through multiple defenders up top and hitting the back of the net unassisted. He would score again shortly afterwards, scooping up a ground ball after a broken-up clear and bringing it around the cage to beat the Prep keeper in a one-on-one. The score was the Indians’ last of the game and Roberts’ 13th on the season.
The second half was a different story, as Prep found their groove and went on a scoring rampage. McWilliams managed a few key saves during the run, but the Indians’ defense continued to unravel, and eventually the Mallards’ mojo was too much to overcome.
“[The] team just fell apart. We couldn’t make our shots and started making really bad decisions throughout the whole game after the first quarter,” said Kovatch after the game. “Something went wrong within in us — we gotta find out what it is; we gotta fix it.”
Fellow senior midfielder Ben Gonski agreed with Kovatch, and also cited that the team had played without senior defenseman Tristan Smyth, who suffered a season-ending ACL tear against Delmar on Wednesday, April 16.
“I don’t want to blame it on this, but we did lose our best defender, who’s a leader on the field,” Gonski emphasized. “He commanded the defense.”
The lopsided loss put the Indians at 6-3 on the season, just one game after they rolled over Red Lion 14-2 on Friday, April 25.
After jumping out to an early 3-0 lead in that game, the Lions threatened with back-to-back goals, but 3-2 was as close as they would get, as the Indians racked up 11 unanswered scores to pick up a 14-2 non-conference win.
Kovatch, Roberts and senior attackman Jackson Jorrs all ended with hat-tricks on the day, and senior attackman Jake Troublefield added two goals of his own, making for his 10th of the season. Gonski, Murray and senior midfielder Sam Cannon accounted for the rest of the Green-and-Gold scores.
After splitting last week’s non-conference match-ups, the Tribe was focused on finding a way to take down South rival Milford on Wednesday, April 30, (after Coastal Point press time). After being edged out by the Bucs in a one-goal loss earlier this season, the Indians needed the win to remain in South title contention.
“Our primary motivating factor is to win Delmar, win against Milford and win the South,” said Coach Jerry Sheridan on the team’s outlook on the rest of the season.
Coach John Jaskewich explained how the team plans to adjust their game plan for those matchups.
“We’ve adjusted things offensively. They showed us some stuff we hadn’t seen before,” he said of the early season losses. “We kind of got ourselves ready for different scenarios, different defensive schemes. We’ll be ready for what they do.”
On Friday, May 2, the Indians will hit the road to take on Sussex Tech (6-3). When the two teams met last season, the Ravens managed a 12-9 victory.
For live scoring updates on that matchup and all Indian River sporting events, be sure to follow @CPointSports on Twitter or check out our Coastal Point Sports Facebook page at www.facebook.com/coastalpointsports. For the shots that didn’t make the printing press, check us out on Instagram by following @CoastalPoint.