They always have the same three goals every year: win the South Division title, win the Henlopen Athletic Conference title and win the DIAA Division II state title.
On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the Indian River High School boys’ soccer team was able to check off the first of their three goals on the list this year, following a solidly-played 2-0 win over visiting Sussex Academy. IR scored a goal in both halves of the match to pick up the win and run their 2021 campaign record to 9-2-1 overall.
Sophomore Jose Savala-Saldivar and junior Jordan Illian each scored for the Indians, who will face HAC North Division rival Caesar Rodney on Saturday, Nov. 6, in the HAC championship game, which will be played at Sussex Academy at 4 p.m. IR dropped their regular-season meeting with CR, 2-1, back on Sept. 28, after having held a 1-0 second-half lead.
Against Sussex Academy, Savala-Saldivar took a pass from senior Tristen Hood and slid the ball past Seahawks’ goalie Tyler Hudson in the 7th minute of the game.
The score remained that way until the second half, in the 53rd minute, when Illian received a pass from sophomore Shane Carroll and was able to drill it home for the 2-0 advantage.
It proved to be more than enough for the Indians, as they stymied any offensive threats from the Seahawks the rest of the way. In fact, IR was dominant defensively for most of the game, limiting SA to just seven total shots, with only five actually making it on goal. That led to the five recorded saves for IR senior goalie Reece Stone, who recorded the blank-sheet win.
The Indians recorded 16 shots in the game, with seven corner kick chances. Hudson made 10 saves for the Seahawks in the loss.
IR was set to face a very hot Woodbridge team — winners of seven straight going into the game — on Thursday, Oct. 28, (after Coastal Point press time) on the road before a road contest at rival Sussex Central (who have been playing equally well for the season, at 9-2) to wrap up the regular season on Thursday, Nov. 4.
Indians sweep tri-meet with Seaford, Delmar
Junior Chase Sims led way for the Indian River boys’ cross-country team, placing first overall with his time of 20:16 in a meet with Delmar and host Seaford, on Wednesday, Oct. 20. Sophomore Brynn Crandell was first overall for the girls, crossing with a time of 20:19.
The Indians swept the tri-meet with the Blue Jays and Wildcats by identical 15-50 scores.
Freshman Drew Barthelmess and junior Cole Donnelly were tied for second in the boys’ race, each finishing with a time of 20:20. Juniors Shane Hall and Gabriel Clark were 5th and 6th, respectively, with times of 20:35 and 20:59, while senior Crusito Bautista Reynosa was 7th, crossing at 21:04.
Sophomores Kaiden Bonbright, Heather Smyth, and Lilah Hanley all crossed at virtually the same time, with Bonbright officially listed in 2nd place with a 25:29, while Smyth and Hanley were 3rd and 4th at 25:30.
The Indians were set to compete in the Sussex County Championships on Wednesday, Oct. 27, (after Coastal Point press time) at Sandhill Fields in Georgetown. Results of the meet can be found on the Coastal Point sports news page on Facebook.