Sports

Smith, Pirates make first-ever AAC semi-finals appearance

Photo courtesy ECU Athletics: IR grad and current ECU junior shortstop Karlie Smith gets on deck during the American Athletic Conference championships.Photo courtesy ECU Athletics: IR grad and current ECU junior shortstop Karlie Smith gets on deck during the American Athletic Conference championships.While they may have seen their season come to an end after a 6-0 semi-final loss to No. 2 Houston on Thursday, May 11, Indian River High School graduate Karlie Smith and the East Carolina University softball team still closed out that season making ECU softball history.

The Pirates’ 4-2 quarter-final victory over No. 3 University of Central Florida on Wednesday, May 10, was their first-ever American Athletic Conference (AAC) championship win, resulting in their first-ever AAC semi-final appearance, against the Cougars the following day.

ECU entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed, rounding out the season with a 26-30 overall record and 5-13 record in the conference.

As for Smith, the former First-Team All-State selection for the Indians capped her junior campaign after starting all 56 games for the Pirates, tallying 31 hits, nine doubles, two homeruns, 13 RBIs and 17 runs in 2017.

Extra Points — May 19, 2017

Justin’s Beach House 5K registration open

Registration is open online for the annual Justin’s Beach House 5K run and 2-mile walk. The event, put on by Focus Multisports, is set to take place on Saturday, May 27, in downtown Bethany Beach, to help raise funds for the Justin Jennings Foundation.

Tournament pickleball picking up steam along the Pickleball Coast

The First State Pickleball Club’s Fourth Annual Beach Blast this coming weekend is expected to be a resounding success. This year, it will be played indoors at Dave Marshall’s Tennis & Fitness at the Plantations in Lewes.

Tripple Overtime: Is this spring named Mick Jagger? ’Cause the milestones are Rolling

Call me Jack Flash, because I’ve been Jumpin’ from one school to the next, one game to the next, one Ruby Tuesday to the next, all spring, trying to keep up with all the new records set and milestones surpassed on the local sports scene.

Hogsten makes IR soccer history with 100th career goal

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: IR senior Maddie Hogsten was presented with the game ball and gifts from her teammates after her 100th career goal on Thursday, May 4.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: IR senior Maddie Hogsten was presented with the game ball and gifts from her teammates after her 100th career goal on Thursday, May 4.The pressure was on.

After scoring her 99th career goal in a game against Smyrna on Tuesday, May 2, and headed into a division matchup against Laurel on Thursday, May 6, expectations were high for Indian River High School senior forward Maddie Hogsten to become only the second player in Indian River High School soccer history to reach 100 career goals.

The Salisbury University-bound All-State selection would see two early chances in that game, sending shots just over the crossbar on both occasions.

Then, in the sixth minute, the third time would turn out to be the charm, as Hogsten took a ball from a Laurel defender and started off on a footrace toward the near pipe, burying a rolling shot past the keeper and cementing her place in the Indian River record books for all time.

IR girls’ soccer looking to clinch South after 10th straight win

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: IR senior Maggie Ford congratulates junior Sammi Whelen after her goal against Laurel on Thursday, May 4.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: IR senior Maggie Ford congratulates junior Sammi Whelen after her goal against Laurel on Thursday, May 4.Amongst the 100th-career-goal celebrations and River Soccer Club halftime shows at the Indian River High School soccer stadium last week, it was back to business as usual for the Indian River High School girls’ soccer team as they approached their final stretch of the regular season and aimed for a fifth consecutive Henlopen South division title.

With wins over Laurel on Thursday, May 4, over Ursuline Academy on Saturday, May 6, and over Polytech on Tuesday, May 9, the Indians now find themselves 11-1 overall and riding a 10-game win streak, not having lost a game since falling to Caesar Rodney, 3-2, on March 28.

“We’re playing pretty well right now,” said head coach Steve Kilby after the 8-0 win over Laurel on May 4. “I was very happy with how the younger girls played tonight. They were moving the ball and moving off of the ball well.”

IR lax falls to Sussex Tech on Short’s last-second score

Josetti scores 100th career goal

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR junior attackman Cole Josetti goes up against Tech’s Victor Lentonoff during Monday’s matchup.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR junior attackman Cole Josetti goes up against Tech’s Victor Lentonoff during Monday’s matchup.After heading into halftime down 10-5, the Indian River High School boys’ lacrosse team would manage a second-half surge to eventually go up 16-14, only to see the Sussex Technical High School Ravens mount their own comeback and eventually seal a 17-16 win with just 18 seconds to go, on a score from freshman attackman Patrick Short.

“It’s a game of runs, and you just hope you’re running at the right time,” said IR coach Dave Spencer, noting that his squad was understandably devastated after the rivalry loss and tale of two comebacks.

“We had a two-goal lead and the ball, and a couple mental breakdowns ended up costing us, but you can’t deny that the effort was there. The effort was absolutely there, and we’re proud of our guys. They play hard, and they never quit.”

L. Haden’s goal in OT sends Indians past Ravens

Coastal Point • Submitted by Lincoln Davis: IR senior Lexi Haden gets some love from teammates Delaney Brannon, Sarandon Slebodnick and Helen Davis after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime on Thursday, May 4.Coastal Point • Submitted by Lincoln Davis: IR senior Lexi Haden gets some love from teammates Delaney Brannon, Sarandon Slebodnick and Helen Davis after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime on Thursday, May 4.After tying things up 10-10 in the conference-rivalry matchup between the Indian River High School and Sussex Tech girls’ lacrosse teams on Thursday, May 4, IR senior midfielder Lexi Haden was forced to the sideline when she was struck by a ricocheted shot at the start of overtime.

The second-year captain and leading scorer for the Indians wouldn’t stay down for long, however, getting subbed back in shortly afterwards and hauling in a pass from junior midfielder Delaney Brannon to tally her lucky No. 7 score on the day and seal the 11-10 win for the Indians as the celebration ensued.

While end-of-game theatrics made for a storybook way for the Indians to send out their four seniors (Lexi Haden, Erin Haden, Sara Saylor and Alexis Purcell) in their final home game, what would turn out to be an OT thriller was almost decided before it even got under way.

The Indians had taken a 6-4 lead into halftime, going on to manufacture a four-goal lead in the second-half, but a late-game rally gave the Ravens a 10-9 lead with less than a minute left in regulation.

IR boys’ tennis downs Cape, clinches South title

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR sophomore Luke McCabe returns a shot against Cape on Monday.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR sophomore Luke McCabe returns a shot against Cape on Monday.Last season was somewhat of a rebuilding season for the Indian River High School boys’ tennis team, the team winning just one match in 2016 under first-year head coach Mariano Woo with a squad heavily populated with first-year players.

After returning both Woo and the bulk of that lineup this season, however, the Indians have turned things full circle on the courts, winning their eighth match of the season against Cape Henlopen on Monday, May 8, and matching a key marker of their 2015 season by officially clinching the Henlopen South title after division wins against Lake Forest and Milford on Tuesday, May 2, and Wednesday, May 3.

Coming off the 3-2 win over the Spartans and 4-1 win over the Bucs, the Indians set their sights on the Vikings on Monday, pulling off a 4-1 victory, even without senior captain and third-year first-singles player Mac Smith in the lineup.

Senior Patrick Mochiam filled in the first-singles spot for Smith in Monday’s matchup, earning a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Cape’s Tyler Justiniani.

Dietsch, Terps celebrate 50th anniversary of ’67 championship

<strong>Coastal Point • Submitted</strong> Indian River High School head boys’ lacrosse coach Jim Dietsch shows off his 1967 National Championship ring at the 50th anniversary ceremony held at the University of Maryland College Park last month.Coastal Point • Submitted Indian River High School head boys’ lacrosse coach Jim Dietsch shows off his 1967 National Championship ring at the 50th anniversary ceremony held at the University of Maryland College Park last month.While Jim Dietsch may best known around Sussex County for his coaching career, the Indian River High School head boys’ lacrosse coach and director of the Tribe Lacrosse Youth Development Program was recently honored for his days as a player at the University of Maryland, getting a chance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the program’s 1967 Big Ten and national championship with teammates last month.

At the ceremony held in College Park, the ’67 team was presented with their official USILA Championship rings, to commemorate their 9-5 Big Ten title victory over Johns Hopkins University and shared national title with the Blue Jays and Navy, now a half-century ago.

“It was fantastic getting to see everybody again. I couldn’t believe it, everybody was old — except for me, of course,” said Dietsch with a laugh.

After a ring ceremony and banquet, they also got a chance to cap the weekend by watching a new generation of Terps get the best of the Blue Jays on Saturday, April 29, in what was the team’s regular-season finale and still very much a highly-touted conference rivalry.

MMS hold on in extra inning to hand SMS their only loss

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: The Millsboro Middle School softball team celebrates after their rivalry win in extra innings over Selbyville Middle School on Monday, May 8.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: The Millsboro Middle School softball team celebrates after their rivalry win in extra innings over Selbyville Middle School on Monday, May 8.It was a rivalry saved for the last game of the season, and one that took until the last inning of the game — and then some — to finally decide.

But after the back-and-forth battle between the Millsboro Middle School and Selbyville Middle School softball teams went into extra innings on Monday, May 8, it was the Golden Knights who would eventually come away with a 7-6 victory, playing spoiler to what would have been an undefeated season for the Indians.

“We’re feeling really good,” said MMS eighth-grader Hadlie Jarvis, explaining that her squad’s own undefeated season hopes had been spoiled in a 3-1 loss to Seaford on April 11. “We’re very hype about it, just because we couldn’t go undefeated, and now we made sure that they can’t either.”

“When we lost the opportunity to go undefeated earlier this season, this was one game on the schedule we kind of circled,” added MMS head coach Zach Murphy, who had coached the Knights to an 8-0 season in 2016 and 10-0 season in 2017.. “After we realized last week that [Selbyville] took out Seaford, we knew that this was a huge opportunity for us to try and make up for it against another undefeated team. It was a game for us to get up and to play for.”

Extra Points — May 12, 2017

SMS Track caps season with new school records

The Selbyville Middle School track-and-field team closed out their 2017 season with two top finishes at the Cape Middle School Relay Meet on April 28, the boys finishing second and the girls placing third out of eight middle schools in attendance.

Welcome to the fastest-growing sport in America

In the “Baron” business, it gets very expensive maintaining castles, paying taxes and retainers, and whatever else barons do, so when a golden opportunity came along to write a column about pickleball, working with Tripp Colonell — the master of the phrase — I had to grab it.

Parks’ save in final seconds seals IR win over Sussex Academy

L. Haden scores six for IR, K. Smith three for Seahawks

Coastal Point photos • Tripp Colonell: Sussex Academy’s Bella Kwan and Indian River’s Erin Haden go for a loose ball in the first half of last Friday’s game.Coastal Point photos • Tripp Colonell: Sussex Academy’s Bella Kwan and Indian River’s Erin Haden go for a loose ball in the first half of last Friday’s game.It was hot. It was tense. And the game was on the line.

That was the scene of a scoreless 15 final minutes in one of the area’s fastest-growing rivalries in one the nation’s fastest growing sports when the Indian River High School girls’ lacrosse team took on Sussex Academy last Friday, April 28.

With the Indians leading 9-8 and time left in the back-and-forth battle nearing extinction, the Seahawks would manage one last chance to tie things up when sophomore midfielder Clara Elliot brought the ball down on a fast break to find an open teammate for a last-ditch attempt on the far pipe with 21 seconds left.

But after racking up six saves to keep the ’Hawks off the board in the second half alone, IR junior goalkeeper Mya Parks was ready for one more, coming through in the clutch to seal the 9-8 victory and unofficial Henlopen South title for the Indians as the celebration ensued.

Indians win seventh straight with shutout over Smyrna

Hogsten one away for 100th career goal

Coastal Point photos • Tripp Colonell: IR sophomore forward Skyler McClure looks to create some space up against a Smyrna defender on Tuesday.Coastal Point photos • Tripp Colonell: IR sophomore forward Skyler McClure looks to create some space up against a Smyrna defender on Tuesday.The Indian River High School girls’ soccer team had a lot to celebrate on Tuesday, May 2.

Not only did they win their seventh straight game with a 5-0 victory over Smyrna, but they were also paid a visit by the next generation of IR soccer stars when players from the River Soccer Club got the chance to kick the ball around at halftime and kick it with the team after the game for high-fives and autograph signings.

“It was fun. I remember doing this when I was their age. It was the best thing ever. I thought it was so cool,” said IR sophomore defender Mackenzie Gorey of being on the other end of the experience.

“The little River girls get such a charge out of it. They really enjoy being here,” added IR head coach Steve Kilby. “We try and do something nice for them and make it a special night.”