Head coach Steve Kilby was left wondering what he was watching with his team’s first half effort in the Tuesday, April 30, game at Sussex Tech. That effort - or lack thereof — was the major reason in the Indians’ 6-2 loss to the Ravens in this Henlopen Conference divisional crossover game.
Tech freshman Lilly Short scored four goals, while junior Kayla Brady scored the other two for the Ravens.
“It was the worst 40 minutes of soccer I have ever been associated with — the boys or the girls — at Indian River,” Kilby said of his team’s first half performance. “It looked like we’d been on Spring Break for 11 days. A lot of people probably didn’t do the work they were asked to do (while away), and it showed. We told them at halftime, you need to win the second half, and it’s a personal matter now. If you don’t have enough pride in yourself, pride in your jersey, then you don’t need to go back out on the field.”
Tech’s senior goalie Valencia Whealton made nine big saves, especially four key ones in the second half that thwarted any ideas IR had of making a comeback. The Ravens held a slight 15-14 edge in shots for the game, and also a 5-3 advantage on corner kick opportunities.
“Their keeper made nine saves in the second half,” Kilby credited the Tech netminder. “We scored two goals in the second half. So we have the potential and the capability, it’s just a matter if they have enough heart all the time.”
The Indians goals came from Grace Engel and Izzy Binko.
Engel bent her shot into the corner of the goal five minutes into the second half, and Binko’s came on a penalty kick when she was pushed inside the box at the 66-minute mark.
It was the first of three straight on the week for the Indians, who saw their record fall to 6-3 overall. Following Tuesday night’s game, IR was to travel to Sanford on Wednesday, May 1, and then Milford on Thursday, May 2. They then return home for three straight starting on Tuesday, May 7.
“We tried to tell them before we left (the school before the Tech game) that you have three games in a row, and that none of them are going to be cake walks,” Kilby added, the frustration clearly on his face. “If you don’t show up, ready to play … We gave them a running schedule to do while they were gone. It’s a shame it took them 40 minutes to show up.”
The win for Tech (8-3 overall) was the first against IR in exactly four years when the Ravens had defeated the Indians, 3-1, back in 2015.
By Jason Feather