It took the Lady Indians’ field hockey team from mid-September to Oct. 20 put another tally in the win column, but they may have found the momentum they’ve been searching for to close out the season. Indian River had only scored two goals in their eight straight losses leading up to Tuesday’s matchup against Polytech, but as the girls took to the field for senior night, they knew something was a little different.
“With it being Senior Night,” said senior Katie Maguire, “We knew we had to come out pumped up.”
The Lady Panthers left their note on the scoreboard first, as Josie O’Regan put visiting Polytech up a goal late in the second half.
“We wanted to play harder,” said Maguire. “Senior Night is something you look forward to from your freshman year.”
Maguire sent a shot into the cage with less than three minutes left in regulation, sending the game into overtime.
“Our team normally gets pumped up in the last 15 minutes of the last half,” she said. “We realize then that we want the game more. We don’t want to give it up after playing this hard.”
As the Lady Indians squared off against the Lady Panthers in the first 10-minute half of sudden-death overtime, they realized they had to strike again, and quickly. Senior Paige Rogers moved the ball by several defenders for a breakaway. Rogers – typically a defender – approached the goal and buried the ball in the cage, sealing the second win of the year for Indian River.
“For the team to come out with another win is a good thing,” said Indian River head coach Julene Williamson. “For them to come out and do it on Senior Night is just great.”
Other seniors on the Indian River team this year are Lara Carey, Janel Cubbage, Jillian Harkness, Jenny Morin, Chelsea Rogers, Bridget Wilgus and Melissa Williams.
The Lady Panthers, who captured games over Woodbridge and Delcastle this year, moved to 2-5-2 with the loss to Indian River.
The Lady Indians, who have struggled to finish in most games this season, are now 2-9-1, and, although it hasn’t been their finest year on paper, Williamson, along with the rest of the team, would still like to finish the season on a positive note.
“We only have one more home game this year,” she said. “We know the season’s drawing to an end, and we just have to want it from within ourselves. We need to push to finish strong.”
Indian River was set to host Lake Forest this Thursday, Oct. 22, (after Coastal Point press time) before rounding out the year at Sussex Central on Tuesday, Oct. 27, and at Smyrna on Thursday, Oct. 29.
“These are all teams that we are capable of beating,” Williamson said. “We still have a lot of talent and will be able to compete with them.”
Katie Maguire is hoping the team will ride out the season on the high esteem that got them through the game earlier this week against Polytech.
“Since we won this game,” she said, “our heads are not down. We know we can do it, and, hopefully, we will use that motivation in the last games.”
“The girls know that they just need to find it within themselves to make it happen,” Williamson added, “and in this last game, they did. We just need them to keep it up and keep that momentum going.”