Short’s 4-goal game gives Ravens first girls soccer win over Indians in four years

GEORGETOWN — Every time the Sussex Tech High girls’ soccer team puts the ball in the back of the net within the first 10 minutes of a game, the Ravens come away with a victory.

Tech freshman Lilly Short (14) leaps up to head the ball against Indian River. Short scored a game-high four goals. Delaware State News/Ben Heck

That trend continued Tuesday night as the Ravens defeated Indian River High, 6-2, to improve to 8-3.

“After one goal our whole team opens up and does phenomenal and that’s what we were able to do today,” said freshman Lilly Short.
It was Short who led the scoring, netting a game-high four goals to put her season total at 24 in just 11 games.

It marked her fourth four-goal performance and eighth multi-goal game.

“You don’t see many kids like that, she has a gift to put the ball in the back of the net,” Tech coach Carlos Villa said of the freshman forward.

Tech edged Indian River, 15-14, in shots.

The win comes exactly four years to the day since the Ravens last defeated the Indians, with the Ravens earning a 3-1 win over IR on April 30, 2015.

IR’s Brynn McCabe and Tech’s Emily Laz battle for possession of the ball.

After a 6-0 loss to Caravel Academy just 24 hours earlier, the Ravens wanted to be sure they had a fast start against the Indians (6-3).

“We just came off Caravel, which wasn’t the best result, so we came out today stronger like we did against Cape [earlier in the season] and we just tried to push it,” said Short.

“We weren’t real happy with our energy and focus yesterday, but today they came out here focused,” said Villa.

Junior back Kayla Brady added two first half goals, scoring both times off a free kick.

Senior goalkeeper Val Whealton turned in a strong performance in front of the net, registering nine saves for the Ravens.

IR’s Isabella Keith (4) dribbles the ball down field while Tech’s Alicia Eguiluz (10) tries to chase her down.

“I really believe most of it was on the defense, because they cut off angles, they pressured the ball and they held them so other people could come back and protect me,” Whealton explained. “It’s scary facing them, because they’re coming in fast and I know they’re good.”

“Val had a very, very good game,” said Villa. “She was just right there. She played the angles right, came out on balls. She’s a tough player. That’s probably the strongest game she’s had this year.”

In the game’s 10th minute, Brady scored her first free kick goal to put the Ravens ahead 1-0.

“The goals were great, but defensively she did a lot of things,” Villa said of Brady. “I give her more credit for her defense on IR’s [Isabella] Binko – because Binko is really, really good.”

She wasn’t initially going to try to score on the free kick, but things changed once she lined up to kick it.

Tech senior midfielder Nikki Phillips attempts to weave through a pair of IR defenders.

“My first plan was to hit the back post, because I told them to crash the net, and then I was like, ‘you know what, maybe I can hit this?’ So, I took a shot and I scored right over the goalie,” Brady explained.

Short extended the lead just four minutes later with her first goal.

Another Brady free kick in the 19th minute put the Ravens ahead 3-0. Short’s goals in the 25th and 31st minutes gave her a first half hat trick and handed Tech a 5-0 halftime advantage.

Grace Engel broke up the shutout by scoring on a penalty kick in the 45th minute, while the sophomore Binko netted a goal in the 66th minute to cap IR’s scoring.

It took just 19 seconds for Short to respond, capping Tech’s scoring with a goal in the 67th minute.

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