Cordoba’s goal lifts Indians to 1-0 boys soccer victory over Bucs

MILFORD — Following a slow offensive start, Indian River High senior forward Jared Cordoba broke up a scoreless tie in the 49th minute.

It would be the only goal IR needed as the Indians defeated Milford, 1-0, in Henlopen South boys’ soccer on Monday night.

Assisted by Alex DiLuzio, the Cordoba goal marked his 14th of the season. He’s scored a goal in 11 of the Indians’ 13 games this year.

“I saw him (DiLuzio) take it down the line and I knew he was going to play it right to me, left foot, bottom left corner and it went in,” said Cordoba.

The Bucs (5-8-1) out-played the South champion Indians (7-0 South, 12-1 overall) through the first 40 minutes, earning several scoring opportunities. But they just couldn’t capitalize on those chances.

Indian River’s offense came out of the break with more energy and it took just nine minutes for Cordoba to break the tie game.

“We really didn’t make any adjustments (at halftime), we just had an intense, stern, one-way conversation just to try to refocus on what we should be doing,” IR coach Steve Kilby said. “The second half was much better. They started putting the ball on the ground and playing. I think in the first half they were going to rely on the wind, and that was a poor decision.”

“We just had to come out stronger, play better and win more balls in the air,” explained Cordoba.

Indian River’s back line, led by senior Luke Morgan, and senior goalkeeper Zach Neal kept the Bucs scoreless to record the Indians’ second consecutive shutout and fifth of the season.

“In the first half, we had the wind to our back and we didn’t really do anything with that. In the second half, they had the wind to their back, so we stayed further back with our center backs,” said Morgan. “Our outside backs pushed forward, which created space in the midfield, so we were able to connect passes and that ultimately led to our goal.”

Milford out-shot Indian River 8-7 and tallied nine corner kicks to IR’s four.

“I give a lot of credit to our back line, to Luke and Erick (Aguilera) our two center backs especially,” Kilby said. “Josh Bird has done a wonderful job as a sophomore and then Jhony (Ortiz) out on the left. They’ve all been super-solid.”

Goalkeepers Neal and Milford’s Jaxson Turner each made four saves.

“Zach’s pretty smart, I think he had to make two save saves tonight, but his game management — when to pick up the ball, when to distribute — was very solid tonight,” said Kilby.

With the Southern Division title wrapped up, the Indians will use their final two away games, at Holly Grove Christian School today and at Wilmington Charter on Thursday, to prepare for Saturday night’s Henlopen Conference title game against Caesar Rodney.

The game will be played at 6 p.m. at the DE Turf Complex. IR beat the Riders, 4-2, on Sept. 25.

“We’re trying to keep guys healthy because we have to play Saturday for a championship, so we’re trying to actually look at the next two games and dole out a lot of minutes to other guys,” Kilby said.

“We’ve played really well the last five or six games, so we really have some momentum and we just want to keep that rolling into the state tournament,” Morgan said.

“We have to rest a lot of good players for the big game on Saturday and hopefully we come out with the win,” said Cordoba.

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