Cape’s last-second heroics down Lady Indians on the pitch
Indian River High School’s girls’ varsity soccer team brought physical play and aggression to Cape Henlopen on Tuesday, April 17, but it was the Lady Vikings who capitalized with a goal in the final minute of regulation, delivering the Indians their third loss of the year.
Though the Indians maintained much of the possession during the first half and a good portion of the second, a breakaway from Cape Henlopen’s Shelby Thomas found the back of the net at the 79:38 mark, with less than a minute left of the game’s 80 minutes.
Vikings coach Gary Montalto said he was pleased with the win, after his team had gone three straight games without a victory.
“We’re a young and inexperienced team,” he said, “and Indian River has a lot of youth, too. But I told our girls, ‘If we can stay in the match through the end, we can get the win,’ and this proves that.”
The Indians outshot Cape Henlopen but were not able to get the ball past sophomore Evelin Marinez, who recorded the shutout for the Lady Vikings.
He praised Thomas for her persistence through the whole game.
“She played really hard,” he said. “She had to beat one of the best defenders in the conference, and she got around her with a good touch. She put it low and on the frame. She’s very deserving of all of this.
“Our girls have to want it, internally,” added Montalto, whose team began the season 2-0. “We started the season on a strong note, but we lost to Dover in a final-minute goal, and after a first-half lead over Smyrna, they came back and controlled the game. Tonight [against Indian River], we virtually played error-free, and that’s what we needed.”
Cape Henlopen now sits at 3-3, awaiting an undefeated St. Thomas More team early this coming week.
For the Indians, getting a young team on the same page is not always an easy task.
“The effort was definitely there on our part,” said Steve Kilby, Indian River head coach. “It was the lack of finishing that killed us. We probably should have had a couple of goals in the first half, and we missed some opportunities in the second. If you don’t finish the ball, it doesn’t matter.”
The 1-0 shutout was the closest defeat the Lady Indians have had this year. The team, like the Lady Vikings, now sits on a 3-3 record, with a slew of pivotal division games before them.
“We’ve got to take something from each game and get better each time,” said Kilby. “I can’t fault them for their effort or for playing hard. They did that.”
The Lady Indians were looking to improve their .500 record this past Thursday, April 19, as they were scheduled to host Smyrna (after Coastal Point press deadline). Lake Forest and Delmar await Indian River next week.