It had been a difficult stretch for the Indian River High School girls’ soccer team, as they’d been playing below their level of ability, and it cost them in a pair of losses prior to their game with Smyrna on Tuesday, May 7.
However, thanks in part to hat tricks from Izzy Binko and Sia Diakos, along with a core defensive unit, the Indians were able to cure what had ailed them with a 6-1 rout of the Eagles.
“We really played the way we are capable of playing,” said head coach Steve Kilby. “I think rest and recuperation was needed after the stretch we had last week, and it showed that, hopefully, we are back where we need to be.”
Binko got the Indians on the board with the first of her three goals at the 9:36 mark of the first half, with an assist from Avery Congleton.
The super sophomore duo scored back-to-back in the 20th and 21st minute, with Diakos firing a shot past the Smyrna goalie with a helper from Binko, then Binko following that up with an assist from Tobi LoRusso.
Binko wrapped up the IR first-half scoring in the 31st minute on an unassisted shot that found the back of the net.
Smyrna managed to get on the board in the 36th minute with a score from Kelly Barr.
From there, the Indians’ defense put the clamps on the Eagles. That defensive, middle core unit is composed of Grace Engel, Mackenzie Gorey and Micayla Meehan.
“Sia and Izzy are very talented on the ball, and the light shines on them a lot,” Kilby added. “But Grace Engel makes us go. She holds us together and directs the team. She does the kind of work that nobody notices. Her, Mackenzie and Micayla — they just really keep us together, and give us a really strong spine down the middle of the field.”
And with a roster that features a level of balance class-wise, the Indians can only hope the youth were able to learn from the prior week’s setbacks.
“We are fortunate that we are balanced chronologically across the roster,” Kilby added. “Every year, we only lose three or four, and then we replenish on the back end with freshmen.”
Diakos added a pair in the second-half, 20 minutes apart, with Binko assisting on her score in the 43rd minute and Gorey getting credit for the helper in the 63rd.
IR held a 25-8 advantage in shots and a 5-2 edge in corner-kick opportunities.
Freshman Hanna Bird made five saves, while sophomore Lauren Meehan turned aside two shots she faced in the second half.
The Indians — now 7-4 on the season — were set to host Laurel on Thursday, May 9, (after Coastal Point press time) as they honored their five seniors: Engel, Gorey, Jordyn Hogsten, Isabella Keith and Skyler McClure. They will travel up to the Delaware Turf Complex for a game Friday, May 10, against Delaware Military Academy in the National Guard Game of the Week.
By Jason Feather