Riders nip Indian River 2-1 for Henlopen girls soccer title

GEORGETOWN — A 40-second span in the 16th and 17th minutes of Thursday night’s Henlopen Conference girls’ soccer championship game at Sussex Academy yielded a pair of Caesar Rodney goals.

The two goals proved to be all the Riders would need to defeat Indian River, 2-1, and take home the 2017 conference championship trophy.

“It was a really good match to get ready for the state tournament,” Riders head coach Darrell Gravatt said. “IR is a quality team, obviously, so we were real pleased with the result. We felt like we played well.”

The first goal came off the foot of senior back Maci Aglio in the 16th minute of the match.

“We were telling them to shoot from 30 yards, and she was about 30 out,” Gravatt said of Aglio’s goal. “She just hit a great shot.”

Caesar Rodney’s Maci Aglio is congratulated after scoring a goal against Indian River during Thursday night’s Henlopen Conference title game. (Special to the Delaware State News/Chuck Snyder)

Not even a minute later, junior center back Kimberly Glasser netted the team’s second goal with a header off a corner kick attempt.

“One of the best header goals I’ve seen, I think she got two feet off the ground on that play,” Gravatt said. “It was just a great serve by Megan Powers, too.”

IR’s #11 Margaret Ford and CR’s #15 Sarah Palmer battle for the ball.

“We’ve been working on it a lot in practice — trying to get me in the box — so I saw it coming and I just tried to get as high up in the air as possible to get a head on it,” Glasser said of the goal.

Indian River took a devastating blow when all-time leading scorer Maddie Hogsten went down with an apparent knee injury with just over 13 minutes to play in the opening half. She sat out for the entire second half while she iced the injury.

With Hogsten on the sideline, CR’s game plan remained the same throughout the second half — just play like they’ve played all season.

IR’s #5 Grace Engel and CR’s #9 Jessie Prillaman go after the ball.

Indians junior goalkeeper Fabrea McCray kept her team in the game with a handful of game-saving stops in front of the net.

With McCray keeping CR off the scoreboard in the final 40 minutes, IR sophomore Isabella Keith cut the Riders’ lead in half with a late goal at the 6:40 mark of the second half. It was too little too late, as the Riders’ played a clean six minutes to seal the victory.

As the No. 3 seed in the Division I state tournament, Caesar Rodney will play No. 6 Concord in the opening round next week.

As the No. 3 seed in the Division II state tournament, Indian River will enjoy a first-round bye and face the winner of No. 6 Tower Hill and No. 11 Friends in the second round.

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