Lady Indians set to take on the conference
Since the Indian River Lady Indians varsity soccer team has stayed relatively intact from last year, the expectations for the team haven’t changed. Head coach Steve Kilby and the Lady Indians have set their sights on not only winning the Southern Division crown but taking the conference title as well.
“The goal is to win the conference,” Kilby explained, “not just the South. And to do that we have to be able to beat the Caesar Rodneys, the Sussex Techs, the Dovers and the Delmars.” Last season, the Lady Indians (13-3) lost two of those three total losses to Caesar Rodney and Delmar.
But this year, Kilby is encouraged by what he has in place.
“You would hope that we have enough in place to pick up where we left off and, hopefully, take the next step,” he said.
And, unfortunately for their hopes last year, after breezing through the regular season schedule with relative ease, the Lady Indians were ousted by St. Thomas More 4-0 in the second round of the state tournament.
Kilby said he believes that the reason his team didn’t go further in the state tournament was because of a lack of team speed — which he said they now have.
“The biggest factor (in the early state tournament loss) was the overall lack of team speed. But this year we have a lot more players with pure speed,” he said.
The combination of All-State midfielder Michelle Giorgilli, with Molly Chamberlin, Sara Purdum, Ann Marie Brown and freshman Alex Roenke should give the Lady Indians an upgrade, speed-wise, from last year’s team.
Kaitlin Binsted, Shawnee Seitz and Erin Kortvelesy will contribute as outside midfielders and forwards this season.
Kilby envisions Marlena Schleifer and Giorgilli controlling the midfield to create scoring opportunities for their attack.
“I need them to use their abilities to get our attack going,” he said.
And, behind them, the Lady Indians have one of the best defenses in the league, according to Kilby.
Bethany Beck is returning for her second season in the goal as the “hands-down best keeper in the conference,” according to Kilby. Kelly Jurusik “anchors” the defense, flanked by Emily Hendrickson and Brooke Simmons. Kilby stated that he expects Jenna McKone to fill the void left at defensive mid or at stopper.
The Lady Indians will open up the season and the month of March with three conference games, including an away match at Caesar Rodney on the 27th.
“(Our success will hinge) on the approach we take and our attitude,” Kilby said in conclusion. “I think our attitude, communication and team spirit are very high, but we cannot take teams lightly.
“We did that last year against Delmar,” he noted.