Indian River Lax steamrolls Salisbury School 18-2
The Indian River High School lacrosse team started off their second-ever varsity season on the right foot last Tuesday, March 24, dominating Salisbury School on the road, 18-2.
Senior attackmen Spencer Murray lead the scoring with four goals in the matchup, but most the Indians’ offensive attack was generated by their midfield.
Senior middie Tim Roberts notched a goal of his own, and continually drew defenders by dodging from up top, dumping it off for the assist four times. Senior midfielder Ben Gonski also racked four assists on the day.
“Now he’s learning how to play the game, he’ll slow it down a bit,” Dietsch said of Roberts’ progression and four assist performance. “It’s pretty hard to stop him one on one, so a lot of people will slide to him really quick and he can dump the ball.”
The production from the midfield units wasn’t at all surprising for Head Coach Jim Dietsch, who acknowledged the position as the strong point of the team for both this season and last.
“We’ve got a good group, and our strength is in our midfield,” said Dietsch. “We dodge, draw, and dump the ball real well and that’s the name of the game if you can find the open man. You look at the stats a lot of the time, half our goals are on assists.”
Murray and Roberts are, of course, IR football players, which is a common trend on the lacrosse roster — joined by Indians’ center, Joost Elling, who will be playing defense again this spring, tight end, Jake Troublefield, who is adapting nicely as a midfielder, and fullback, H.F. Wilgus, who will be playing crease defense. Seniors Tristan Smith and Devin Burke round out the converted football players on the roster.
“[Troublefield] has improved 300 percent,” Dietsch claimed of the football and wrestling standout’s rapid improvement in his second season. “He was a FOGO (face off, get off), now he’s running on one of the midfield lines — scored yesterday.
“Defense is solid, three football players, they’ve been together playing a while.”
The team also has a few players that recently brought home a conference title for swimming, in senior midfielder Merrick Kovatch and senior defender Ben Boonin.
“Merrick Kovatch — I think he had 50 points last year,” Dietsch estimated. “He’s one of the best midfielders in the county. Ben Gonski is right behind him — he had 40 [points] last year.”
Somewhat ironically, one of the Indians’ most experienced players is freshman midfielder George Martin, who had been playing for almost his entire life in Annapolis before moving east and enrolling at Indian River.
The team will also feature another freshman on the starting roster with Hayden McWilliams, who brings some substantial experience between the pipes.
After starting the season 1-0, Coach Dietsch’s squad was set to face Delmar High School on Wednesday, March 27 (after Coastal Point press time), who is expected to be one of the better teams in the Henlopen South this season.
They’ll face Red Lion at home on Monday, March 31, at 5:30 p.m. before heading to Milford on Wednesday, April 2, to face off against the Buccaneers.