Indian River soccer continues shutout streak
Since their return from Caesar Rodney, the Indian River High School girls’ soccer team has been on a dominating win streak, shutting out their last three opponents by a collective score of 21-0 and often pulling some of their starters and playing possession in the second half of games.
After the team’s 10-0 win against Seaford last week, during which they lead 8-0 at the half and began pulling players well before that, the Lady Indians hosted Milford last Thursday, April 3, handling them easily in another 7-0 romp.
Sophomore forward Brooke Beam led the Lady Indians in scoring in that matchup, as she often has, notching three goals and an assist, including the game’s first score. Senior midfielder Meredith Mitchell added a goal of her own, to put IR 4-0 before the half, and freshman forward Maddie Hogsten and junior midfielder Brianna Belfoire notched goals in the second half.
After yet another uncontested victory, Belfoire explained the team’s mindset as they approach some tougher opponents: “Just keep up the same work ethic that we’ve been doing and keep an open mind,” the veteran captain said of how the team plans to stay grounded after such impressive wins.
Last Tuesday, April 8, the team saw more of a challenge in a non-conference matchup against Smyrna but still held their opponent scoreless in a 4-0 victory, to improve to 4-1 overall on the season as of Coastal Point press time on Wednesday, April 9.
That score was much closer than what the Lady Indians have become accustomed to, as they headed into the second half up only 1-0, the lone score coming from Beam off the assist from Belfoire. Hogsten added some insurance for IR in the 62nd minute, scoring off the assist from Beam after impressively making her way down the field to create the opportunity.
Less than two minutes later, Beam scored again, to make it 3-0, off another assist from Belfoire, before Belfoire buried a shot of her own for the game’s final goal, to make it 4-0 nearing the end of regulation.
Both goal keepers played well in the matchup, each notching eight saves. After the matchup, senior goalie Alex Myers noted that she was impressed with Smyrna senior goalie Kayla Kennedy’s performance across the field.
“So much respect for her — she had some great saves tonight,” said Myers of her opponent. “I thrive on the pressure, so I enjoyed it. My defense really helps me, the team — that’s what keeps me going.”
Not only did the Lady Indians have a tough goalkeeper to contest with in that matchup, but the entire Smyrna defense played well throughout the game. As has been the case all season, however, head coach Steve Kilby and his players eventually found a way past them.
“They were putting pressure on the outside backs when the ball would swing and the midfield wasn’t coming back to offer an out,” Kilby explained of the team’s first-half offensive attack. “We started getting those halfbacks to check back into that space so we could play and turn and then go forward. It helped us be more direct and find the forwards in the seams, to find those chances to score.”
The Lady Indians were set to face Cape Henlopen (4-1-1) on Wednesday, April 9, (after Coastal Point press time), in what was expected to be their toughest matchup since Caesar Rodney. They’re scheduled to host Delmar (4-1) on Tuesday, April 15 — one of their last three home games of the season.
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