Central breaks record, but IR wins, 3-2
Indian River remains the top Delaware boys’ soccer team, undefeated with a 12-0 record, but Sussex Central broke records of their own at Indians stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
IR started strong, as Sam Izzo and Danny Garza kicked two goals in the first 13 minutes. Central’s Alberto Sosa responded in the most effective way possible, seconds later. Central was allowed first possession of the ball, so he took aim, shot the ball and arced a goal from the centerfield line. The ball touched nothing until it hit the net for Central’s first goal.
“I was surprised. I’ve never done that before,” said Sosa, who also kicks for the Central football team. “My friend said, ‘Alright, the goalie’s out, take it,’ so I took it.”
What could be more special than that? Sosa’s perfect kick broke Central’s scoring record. He broke the record of 55 career goals scored (previously held by Brian Parker, now Central’s athletic director, for 18 years), and then earned another point and raised it to 57. Central has one more game to go, on Hispanic/Multicultural Heritage Night Thursday, Oct. 25, at 6:30 p.m. at their home stadium.
IR head coach Steve Kilby had a special night, too, as three generations of Kilbys were present at the stadium to celebrate his 100th win. Kilby’s son, Patrick Kilby, coaches Central’s soccer team. Patrick Kilby and his two children presented Steve Kilby with a game ball from IR’s game against Caesar Rodney on Oct. 9.
IR players also presented Central’s players with pink wristbands for the “Pink for the Cure” breast cancer awareness night.
Patrick Kilby said playing against his father was nerve-wracking for the first few years, but not so much “now that we have a more solid, more concrete program, competing on a daily basis. We played them straight-up tonight. We didn’t sit back and defend, like most teams do. We went at ’em.”
Last year, IR beat Central, 8-1, and in 2010, the Indians won 5-0.
“We created a few opportunities that we should have taken advantage of, but 3-2 is closest match since I’ve been here, which is a good feeling,” Patrick Kilby said. “It’s something to build off of, and these guys are happy with their performance, and so am I.”
Indian River maintained their undefeated record, but the players said they felt they could have played better. IR pulled ahead, 3-1, in the first half. Luis Cruz had three assists, finally setting Garza up to head the ball in after a free kick. Garza said his two goals felt great, but he said IR could have played more intelligently.
“We gotta come hard, every game. We can’t let down, not to any team,” Garza said. “We didn’t play well as we can. We just got to keep our composure. We can’t get crazy, give away dumb fouls near the 18 [yard penalty box].”
Steve Kilby had warned his players beforehand not to give free kicks to Central, “and that’s why,” he said. Sosa’s second goal was on a free kick.
As the score rose, 3-2, the players got feisty. After relatively few fouls in the first half, IR had two yellow cards and Central’s coach had one.
“It was a little more frenetic,” Steve Kilby said. “When [Central] got that second goal, to make it 3-2, they really came alive and started putting the pressure on, and we got frustrated. Their keeper made three good saves in the second half.”
Central made 11 saves and IR’s Sam Cannon made 12. Both teams attempted 14 shots and had four corner kicks. Central worked hard to come back.
“People were just trying to win,” said Garza. “When you want to win, you do a lot of stuff. We’re undefeated right now. We gotta keep it going, every game.”
Indian River soccer was set to celebrate Senior Night early this year, at home against Laurel, on Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m., after Coastal Point press time. But their biggest challenge will likely be Saturday, Oct. 27, at 5 p.m., when IR faces Salesianum High School, reigning state champions.
“I’m interested to see how we show up for that game,” said Steve Kilby. “What’s our mindset going to be? Do we show the type of training and soccer brains we have, or do we get flustered and not do what we’re capable of?”
Currently, starting defender Rydge Dudley and starting forward Carlos Perez are both out for injuries. IR lost to Salesianum in 2011 and 2009, 0-3, but won in 2010, 3-0. This year, the teams’ regularly scheduled match was supposed to be the first game in September, but the rescheduled game will give them a season’s worth of experience before they finally meet on the pitch.