Ashby’s OT goal sends Vikings past Indians for first time in six years

Cape freshman Lily Ashby battles IR defender Micayla Meehan for possession. It was Ashby’s OT game-winner that gave the Vikings the win. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

LEWES — When the ball left her foot, she didn’t even think it was going to go in.

Cape Henlopen High freshman Lily Ashby scored the game-winning goal from 35 yards out in overtime to send the Vikings past Indian River High, 4-3, in a physical girls’ soccer match Tuesday night.

“I was hoping it would go in,” a laughing Ashby said. “It felt amazing. It feels like this is well-deserved for our team.”

“I joked with her and I said, ‘I’m not sure if that was luck or skill, but it was fantastic.’ I’m sure it was a mixture of both there. It was definitely something to get excited about,” said Cape coach Patrick Kilby.

Overtime games over the last five seasons have not been kind to the Vikings (8-1).

Lindsey Swontek scored a game-high two goals, including the game-tying free kick goal during stoppage time.

The win marks Cape’s first overtime win since a 2-1 victory over Polytech High on April 30, 2014. The Vikings had lost five overtime matches and tied once during the five-year span.

“We haven’t won in overtime since I’ve been here, so it was really relieving,” said senior Lindsey Swontek. “It’s kind of been a burden, a little curse we had.”

The win also marks the first time in six years that the Vikings defeated the Indians, snapping a five-game losing streak. Indian River outscored Cape 25-3 over that span.

After blowing a 2-0 lead and going on to lose in overtime against Concord High just four days prior, Kilby was excited to be on the other side of things this time around.

“These girls showed so much resiliency in losing that game and then coming back tonight, finding ourselves down two goals with about 15 minutes left and tying it up and taking it in overtime,” he said.

Cape goalkeeper Lucy Siranides leaps up to knock the ball away on an IR corner kick attempt.

“We got that monkey off our back and, like I said to the girls, I really think this is something that’s going to propel us forward.”
The Indians (5-2) edged Cape in shots, 9-8.

Junior Lucy Siranides registered six saves for Cape, while the IR duo of Hanna Bird and Lauren Meehan combined for five saves.

Swontek led the scoring for the Vikings, netting a pair of goals that includes the 3-3 equalizer during stoppage time in the second half.

She started the scoring off with her first goal in the 12th minute to put the Vikings ahead 1-0 early.

The Indians responded with three unanswered goals to jump ahead 3-1.

Sophomores Isabella Binko and Anastasia Diakos scored goals three minutes apart, in the 24th and 27th minute, respectively.

Binko’s goal came on a direct kick, while Diakos came back out and quickly put IR ahead with her unassisted goal.

Senior Isabella Keith extended the lead in the second half, scoring IR’s third goal in the 46th minute.

IR’s Isabella Binko sprints down field with the ball. The sophomore scored the first of three IR goals.

Down two goals, it took an in-game adjustment for the Vikings to pull off the comeback.

“With about 17 or 18 minutes left in the game, I pulled my assistant coach [Gary Montalto] aside and I said, ‘look, we’ve got to draw a picture,’” said Kilby.

“We drew the formation out on paper, knowing we had ball-winners like Lindsey Reynolds, like Sydney Zych and others. So, we kind of put our strength in the middle of the field and just went at them.”

Zych scored a goal in the 76th minute, thanks to an assist from senior forward Brooke Hollingsworth.

During stoppage time just a couple minutes later, Swontek drilled the equalizer on a free kick to send the game to overtime.

“It was definitely a gift,” Swontek explained. “We’ve never really been one of those lucky teams, but they got unlucky at the top of the box.

“I saw they were going to charge, so I thought hit it on the ground and it’s going to bounce somewhere,” she explained. “They all charged like I thought, so I just hit and hoped for the best.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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