Baker nets OT game-winner to lift Indian River past Caesar Rodney

Caesar Rodney’s Rocky Edmond passes against Indian River in the first half at Indian River. Indian River won 3 to 2. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DAGSBORO – In the span of just 15 minutes, Indian River High went from trailing by a pair of goals to netting the sudden death, game-winner.

Omar Baker drilled a pair of late goals to rally the Indians to a 3-2 boys’ soccer overtime victory over Caesar Rodney High under the lights Tuesday night.

It marks IR’s third win over the Riders (2-1) in their last five meetings, dating back to Sept. 2016.

“Everybody was working together and really wanted the win, so we just came out and showed them what we can do,” said Baker.

“It was a tale of two halves tonight,” said IR coach Steve Kilby. “We did not play in the midfield the way we needed to. Coach Brandt [Mais] and I made some adjustments at halftime, flipped the midfield and got the matchups right and we didn’t quit. We didn’t quit.”

Caesar Rodney’s Spencer Ott scores against Indian River’s goalie Bastian Perry in the first half at Indian River. Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Baker netted the game-tying goal during stoppage time to force overtime, then seven minutes into the first OT period he drilled his second of the night to end the game in dramatic fashion. Jared Cordoba provided the assist on the play.

“It felt great, I’m really happy,” said Baker. “I’m just at a loss for words. I was just trying to beat the keeper and place it in one of the corners and put away the game.”

“A beautiful ball from Jared for him to finish, and what composure on the 1 vs. 1 against the keeper, tucked into the side netting,” Kilby said of the game-winner.

The Indians and Riders put up 13 shots each, with CR holding the edge in corner kicks, 2-1.

Caesar Rodney’s senior forwards Lyod Coutilien and Spencer Ott each scored first half goals for the Riders, while Cordoba scored one goal and had one assist and sophomore Kevin Castillo collected one assist for Indian River (2-0).

Junior goalkeeper Bastian Perry collected seven saves for the Indians.

“We’ve opened up (the season) in the deep end of the pool,” said Kilby. “Our Lady of Good Counsel, out of Baltimore – a nationally recognized program – and CR is always legit. They’re always one of the top teams in Division I.”

It took all of four minutes for CR to strike first, with Coutilien putting the Riders ahead early with his goal in the fourth minute.

Ott extended the lead later in the half with his goal in the 38th minute to take the 2-0 lead into the halftime break.

Cordoba brought the score to within one with his goal in the 72nd minute before Baker’s game-tying score eight minutes later.

It marked Cordoba’s second goal in two games this season.

“That play was on all night, but they wouldn’t play it to me,” said Cordoba. “They played it to me at the right moment, and that’s what led to our confidence. After that goal we kept pressing and scoring, the team got confident and we won the game.”

Following the two quick regulation goals, Baker had only one thing on his mind as his team entered overtime.

“We have to score,” he said. “They’re one of our rivals, so our thought was just to put it away and get the win.”

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