A third tied game might be a concern for some teams. But a 1-1 tie with fifth-ranked Caravel Academy (10-1-1) on Oct. 13 has Indian River head soccer coach Steve Kilby feeling his team is in a good place heading into the final leg of the regular season.
“We’re playing well, which is encouraging,” he said. “A lot of folks had us losing to Caravel by two or three goals, so I think we showed our true colors in coming out with a tie.”
Caravel’s Matt Oduaran rifled the go-ahead score three minutes into the game, but Indian River’s defense stifled the Buccaneers’ offense from that point on. Indian River’s Chris Conover knotted it up in the second half on an assist from Cameron Travalini.
Indian River (9-1-3) is currently ranked sixth and has showed their coach that they are just about ready for the state tournament after battling back against such a prestigious program.
Indian River’s three regular-season games remaining are against Southern Henlopen Conference teams. They have a 2-0-1 division record so far. Indian River dispatched Delmar 3-1 and walloped Woodbridge 5-0, but tied Seaford 2-2 on Oct. 4.
If Indian River were to beat Lake Forest and Laurel, and then Milford in the regular-season finale, then the Indians will have wrapped up the Southern Division.
Kilby expressed a desire to get as many players minutes during the final three games as possible, in hopes to rest those who need it. Currently, freshman outside flanker Caleb Buchler is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury and junior defensive midfielder Zach Izzo is nursing a knee injury as well.
“We hope we can take care of business, but we’d also like to get some guys some rest,” Kilby said.
Indian River could win the Henlopen Conference if Dover or Caesar Rodney faltered in their next three games.
“We would need to win out and then need a little help,” Kilby said. “We’d need Dover and Caesar Rodney to tie (Oct. 18) or for them to lose or tie [in one of their two remaining games].”
In addition to playing Caesar Rodney, Dover finishes out their regular season schedule with Sussex Tech and Archmere Academy.
Caesar Rodney, on the other hand, plays Cape Henlopen and first-ranked Middletown.
Indian River tallied 4-0-1 record with the teams mentioned, excluding Middletown. Indian River shut out Cape Henlopen, Archemere Academy and Sussex Tech by a combined score of 8-0 while edging out Caesar Rodney 2-1. And their game against Dover ended in one of their three ties.