Indian River soccer team falls to Laurel in battle for South title

Date Published: 
Nov. 10, 2017

Laurel Star • Mike McClure: Indian River’s Oscar Cruz-Osorio looks to hold back Laurel’s Santos Rodas as he dribbles the ball. Cruz-Osorio had a pair of assists in his team’s 4-2 road loss.Laurel Star • Mike McClure: Indian River’s Oscar Cruz-Osorio looks to hold back Laurel’s Santos Rodas as he dribbles the ball. Cruz-Osorio had a pair of assists in his team’s 4-2 road loss.The stars aligned for the Laurel varsity soccer team last Wednesday night. The Bulldogs’ home matchup against Indian River had been pushed back due to weather, setting up a final divisional showdown with the Indians for all the marbles and the Laurel team didn’t disappoint its fans.

The Bulldogs scored a pair of unanswered goals in the second half to win the game and the Henlopen South with the 4-2 victory.

“I didn’t sleep last night, that’s how nervous I was,” Laurel’s sophomore goalie Jailon Gillespie said. “It feels so good to beat a team you’ve never beaten and to be on top.”

Indian River took advantage of Laurel’s nervousness at the start of the game as Erick Aguilera-Baruch scored on a feed from Oscar Cruz-Osorio for a 1-0 Indian lead with 38:21 left in the first half.

Less than eight minutes later the Bulldogs’ Ryan Lopez-Roblero fed senior Craig Rice who made a move to his right and shot the ball past IR goalie Zachary Neal to knot the score (30:23 left).

Gillespie made a pair of saves in goal for Laurel before the Bulldogs netted another goal. Laurel’s Wilder Gonzalez-Perez sent the ball toward the net with a kick from around the 40 yard-line and Wyatt Comorat got his foot on the ball to knock it in and give the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage with 23:27 remaining in the first half.

Gillespie turned back a shot by the Indians’ Wilberth Gonzalez-Gomez and Indian River was later unable to take advantage of a corner kick with around 15 minutes left. Lopez-Roblero’s shot went wide right and Gonzalez-Perez’s follow was saved by Neal with under 11 minutes left in the half.

Gillespie made two more saves, but Indian River caught a break with a penalty called after the referees had been letting the two teams’ physical play go uncalled throughout the half. Gonzalez-Gomez found the net following the penalty call to tie the score at 2-2 with under two minutes to go.

Cruz-Osorio later found Jared Cordoba in front of the net, but he shot it over the goal and the two teams went into half-time with the score knotted at 2-2.

Gillespie opened the second half with a save on a shot by Indian River’s Esly Carmona Deras. Less than two minutes later, Gonzalez-Perez found

Felix Chilel-Chavez who scored the go ahead goal with 37:14 remaining in the game.

Gillespie made two more saves and Laurel continued to have the penalty calls go against them. Cruz-Osorio’s shot was saved by Gillespie as was Juan Gonon-Linares’ follow as the Bulldogs continued to lead, 3-2, with 20:45 left.

Laurel earned a corner kick and later had an opportunity to add to its lead when Jacob Sprague passed the ball to Rice who found Lopez-Roblero, but his shot went over the goal (18:17).

With 7:26 left in the contest, Rice notched his second goal on a follow of a shot by Santos Rodas to make it 4-2. Indian River later had an opportunity to score when Carmona Deras’ shot was turned back by Gillespie and the follow by Cruz-Osorio went wide left (5:56 left).

Rodas’ shot was saved by Neal on a bicycle hunt and Gillespie made a save on a shot by Corboba. Laurel’s Ludvin Gonzalez-Perez made a pair of clears late in the game and Cruz-Osorio shot one over the goal for the Indians as the Bulldogs held on to win, 4-2.

“IR’s an incredible team, they have an incredible program. To be able to get at least one (title) from them is great,” said Scotton.

The Bulldogs finished the regular season at 6-1 in the South and 12-2 overall while the Indians fell to 6-1 and 12-3. Indian River, seeded third in the state tournament, will have a first round bye before facing the winner of McKean and Conrad School on Saturday in Dover. Laurel earned the second seed in the Division II state tournament and will have a bye in the opening round before playing the winner of Archmere and Delaware Military Academy on Saturday in Dover. If Laurel and Indian River each earn wins in the second round, the two teams will meet again in the state semifinals.