Indian River reaches Division II soccer quarterfinals

DOVER — Indian River High sophomore Willem Lambertson couldn’t have picked a better time to score his first career playoff goal.

His goal in the 60th minute put the finishing touches on the Indians’ 2-0 win over Glasgow High in Wednesday night’s DIAA Div. II boys’ soccer state tournament first-round showdown at Dover High School.

“The field just opened up,” Lambertson said. “I was over there in front of my defender, Jared [Cordoba] saw me and he slid it over to me. I was just in the right place at the right time.”

It was just his second goal of the season.

“It was very cool to see Willem score that goal,” IR coach Steve Kilby said. “He’s very confident on the ball and he makes good decisions so it’s nice to see him get rewarded like that.”

It was Cordoba’s first-half goal that opened the scoring for the No. 5 seeded Indians, which ended IR’s two-game scoring drought.

“I saw the goalie was coming off his line and I just toe-poked it,” he said. “I didn’t know if it was going to go in or not, fortunately it went in.”

The first-round win sets the Indians up in Saturday’s quarterfinal match-up with No. 4 Brandywine.

Senior goalkeeper Zach Neal recorded the shutout in goal for IR, making six saves to turn in his sixth shutout of the season.

“I think that the whole game was due to the defense,” Neal said. “They really showed some class and they dominated. All of their counter-attacking stuff was just cut off immediately by our defenders. I wouldn’t have had a clean sheet without them.”

After being out-scored 5-0 in the last two games, the Indians’ offense peppered Glasgow’s goalkeeper with 20 shots.

“Every game is going to be hard, every game is going to be different, so we came out with a positive attitude and tried to score as many goals as we could,” said Cordoba.

“It hasn’t been a fun past two games, but I think tonight was a turning point for us because it shows we’re up there and that we can put them away. We’re playing better than we were and that’s all I can ask,” added Neal.

The last time Indian River faced Brandywine in the state tournament was 2015, which resulted in a 6-0 first-round shutout win for IR on its way to a Division II state title.

“Right now, we’re in a four-game season and we have to take care of our business every time we go out there,” Kilby said.

The No. 9 seed Sussex Academy fell, 1-0, in overtime to the No. 8 seed Conrad School in Div. II first-round tourney action.

Conrad senior Brenden Haywood scored the game-winning goal just 1:53 into the 10-minute overtime period to lift Conrad to Saturday’s quarterfinal round against No. 1 Caravel.

Senior Diego Figueroa assisted Haywood on the play.

The RedWolves outshot the Seahawks, 9-4.

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