Sussex County Delaware

Indian River H.S.
Boys Soccer Recap
Indian River Indians

2001 Game-by-Game

First Round State Tournament
A.I. DuPont 4, Indian River 1

For details on the Indians' season-ending loss in the first round of the 2001 Delaware High School Boys' Soccer Tournament, click on the score above.

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2001
Indian River 4, Caravel 2

The Indians roared back from a 2-0 deficit to capture their eighth straight win.

In the team's regular season finale, Jonathan Forte led IR back with three second half goals. Zach Ralph started the comeback with a first half goal that brought the Indians within 2-1 at halftime.

Danny Carroll registered an assist for the Indians, who finished their regular season at 13-3 overall.

IR will learn who it faces in the first round of the state tournament on Friday, Nov. 2. The 16-team tournament begins on Tuesday, Nov. 6, and Wednesday, Nov. 7.

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2001
Indian River 5, St. Thomas More 2

The Indians cruised to their seventh consecutive victory behind Matt Polly's two goals.

Indian River, now 12-3 overall, led 2-1 at halftime of the nonconference match.

Zack Ralph added a goal and two assists and Jonathan Forte contributed a goal and assist. Justin Brooks-Ward scored IR's other goal.

Ryan Walsh and Danny Carroll registered assists. Goalkeeper Jason Nauman posted 7 saves.

The Indians led 19-9 in shots and 8-2 in corner kicks.

IR has one regular season match remaining against Caravel on Thursday, Nov. 1. Pairings for the 2001 state tournament will be announced Friday, Nov. 2.

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2001
Indian River 3, St. Thomas More 1

The Indians continued their hot streak with their fifth straight victory to rise to 10-3 overall.

Zach Ralph led the Indians in the nonconference match with a goal and two assists.

Brandon Rickwood and Ryan Walsh scored IR's other goals while Keisha Alexandrick and Jason Nauman contributed assists.

Thursday, Oct. 18, 2001
Indian River 5, Polytech 1

The Indians won their fourth straight match to capture the Henlopen Conference Southern Division title and an automatic berth in the state boys' soccer tournament.

At 8-3 in the conference and 9-3 overall, the Indians hold a 2-game lead over Seaford and Delmar with just one conference game remaining.

The tournament berth is the Indians' first in head coach Howard Gerkin's four years as coach and, Gerkin believes, the school's first in six years.

"In light of last year's record, no," said Gerkin in reply to a question about whether he expected this kind of season this year. "We always set goals at the beginning of the season and reasonable goals we talked about were to win the Southern Division, have a winning record and possibly make the state tournament.

"To recognize that we have already reached those goals with four games to play is a surprise to me. We have to re-establish or goals a little bit."

Gerkin said the Indians will now focus on winning more than 9 matches, winning as many of their four remaining matches as possible to earn a higher seeding in the tournament, and winning a match or two in the tournament.

The Indians' remarkable turnaround from a 6-9-1 record last year has included a surprise win over Dover and two wins over rival Sussex Central, including a 4-2 win over Central in their season-opener.

"I think the season-opener with Sussex Central was very critical," said Gerkin. "The kids started to have a little confidence in themselves after we won that game. In terms of confidence, that was probably more important than the second game (win over SC), but to beat a very good team twice in one season, that's kind of unheard of."

The Indians play with three senior starters in Danny Carroll, Zach Ralph and goalkeeper Ernesto Reuda and three starting juniors. The rest are sophomores.

"I think we're a young team," said Gerkin, "but it's a young team with a lot of experience. They play a lot of club ball and work hard in the off-season. They play like a young, experienced team, not a young, inexperienced team."

Against Polytech, Carroll led the Indians with two goals. Ralph, Jonathan Forte and Matt Poly scored a goal apiece. Forte had two assists and Ralph one.

Indian River dominated the match with a 34-12 advantage in shots.

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2001
Indian River 4, Lake Forest 1

The Indians won their third straight match behind Jonathan Forte's four-goal outburst.

Goalkeeper Ernesto Reuda recorded four saves for the Indians, who rose to 7-3 in the conference and 8-3 overall.

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2001
Indian River 4, Dover 3

The Indians pulled off one of the season's biggest upsets with the stunning win over the perennial Henlopen Conference soccer power. The victory also threw the conference race into a free-for-all.

By handing Dover its first conference loss, the Indians put the conference race into a two-way tie between the Senators and Milford, which also has just one conference loss. Sussex Central, at 8-2 in the conference, is just one game behind the leaders.

IR took it to Dover from the outset, leading 3-1 at halftime on goals by Forte, Danny Carroll and Brandt Mays.

Forte then added the eventual winning goal just 45 seconds into the second half as the Indians withstood a furious Dover rally.

Indian River head coach Howard Gerkin said it had been at least 10 years since the Indians had beaten Dover.

"This was another big win for us," said Gerkin. "We felt really good about this game. The kids came in with a lot of confidence, not overconfident but very confident. For us to beat an unbeaten team in the conference that had only one loss in the state, we feel very good."

Dover actually led 31-16 in shots and got a goal off an Indian River player's foot but couldn't recover from the halftime deficit. Ernesto Reuda's 18 saves in goal kept the Senators at bay for most of the match.

IR is now 6-3 in the conference and 7-3 overall. Dover fell to 8-1 in the conference and into a first place tie with Milford. The Senators are 8-2 overall.

Tuesday, October 9, 2001
Indian River 4, Cape Henlopen 1

The Indians got goals from four different players in rising to 5-3 in the Henlopen Conference and 6-3 overall. Jonathan Forte, Justin Brook-Ward, Matt Polly and Zach Ralph scored goals for the Indians, who outshot cape 29-9.

Thursday, Sept. 27, 2001
Indian River 2, Sussex Central 1

The Indians recorded their second win of the season over their district rivals in a Henlopen Conference match.

IR took a 1-0 lead in the first half on a goal by Zack Ralph. After Central scored to forge a 1-1 halftime tie, the Indians won the match on a second half goal by Jonathan Forte.

The Indians were actually outplayed as they trailed the Knights 20-10 in shots. They did hold a 2-0 edge in corner kicks.

The Indians rose to 3-2 in the conference and 4-2 overall.

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2001
Indian River 5, Sussex Tech 1

The Indians halted a two-game losing streak with a big Henlopen Conference victory.

Danny Carroll sparked the Indians with a goal and three assists. Also scoring goals were Sam Svenson, Zach Ralph, Ryan Welch and David Gichner.

IR held 21-17 and 7-3 advantages in shots and corner kicks, respectively. The Indians led 3-0 at halftime in rising to 2-2 in the conference and 3-2 overall.

Thursday, Sept. 20, 2001
Seaford 2, Indian River 1

Indian River dropped a close contest to the powerful Blue Jays. Ernesto Reuda posted seven saves for the Indians, who fell to 1-2 in the conference and 2-2 overall.

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2001
Caesar Rodney 3, Indian River 1

Jonathan Forte scored the lone goal for the Indians in a Henlopen Conference match that was tied 1-1 at the half. IR slipped to 1-1 in the conference and 2-1 overall as they suffered their first loss following two wins to open the season.

Thursday, Sept. 13, 2001
Indian River 7, Woodbridge 1

IR remained unbeaten with the win in its Henlopen Conference opener.

Now 2-0 overall, the Indians got two goals from Danny Carroll and a goal and three assists from Jonathan Forte.

Adding goals were David Gichner, Ryan Walsh, Jeremy Showell and Zach Ralph. Matt Lewis contributed an assist.

Ernesto Reuda recorded five saves in goal.

Friday, Sept. 7, 2001
Indian River 4, Sussex Central 2

The Indian River High School boys' soccer team pulled a stunner of sorts with a 4-2 season-opening nonconference victory over district rival Sussex Central on Friday, Sept. 7, 2001.

The Indians recovered from an early Sussex Central goal to score three unanswered goals in the first half by midfielders David Gichner, Zack Ralph and Jonathan Forte.

The victory was the first over Sussex Central in several years, said IR head coach Howard Gerken.

"I think the poise with which we played was a (pleasant) surprise," said Gerken. "I wasn't too sure being in the first game of the season with a young team against a team with a lot of experience and quite frankly, a very good team. I wasn't sure what they would do and then we gave up a goal three minutes into the game.

"It could have been a long night but they showed a lot of composure and kept pounding away. I think they realized a little bit that, 'Hey, we can do this'."

After Central pulled to within 3-2 in the second half, the Indians sealed the outcome on a goal by striker Justin Brooks-Ward.

Gerken said the turning point in the game came in the first half on a Sussex Central corner kick. With the ball heading into the net and IR goalkeeper Ernesto Reuda unable to make a play on it, midfielder Sam Svenson stepped in and cleared it away.

"Sam did just what he was supposed to do," said Gerken. "Had they scored that goal it would have been 2-0 and could well have been a different game."

Gerken also singled out Gichner and Brandt Mais for their defensive work.

"The defense played well but those two guys in particular had a great game," said Gerken. "We played with 15 players and each and every one of them contributed in some way to the win. Everybody had a piece in it. I felt it was a good team effort and not just two or three guys dominating a soccer game.

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