One would expect this time of the year for the weather, either rain or snow, to cancel a spring high school sports event. But the varsity baseball and softball teams fell victim to a once in a lifetime problem. High winds caused both the bridges across the Rappahannock River to close on game day. So, both teams will open their season this week without a scrimmage game.
The soccer teams had better luck with both the guys and girls getting in two scrimmage games. The girls won both theirs, the varsity winning 5-0 over West Point on Monday and 1-0 over Northampton on Friday. The guys lost both to some excellent competition, 2-1 at West Point on Monday and 2-1 at Caroline on Thursday.
One the ladies side, West Point came out strong according to Indian Coach Mark Fridenstine, but, “The Indians started connecting good passes and moved the ball to the attacking one-third of the field.” Cameron Lewis scored the first of her three (hat trick) goals early in the opening half of the play. She scored again during the opening half with Northumberland taking a 2-0 half-time lead.
Fridenstine noted the West Point defense was quick and the Indians had to rely on their passage attack to move the ball. Tahi Wiggins scored the next Indians goal on a feed from Lewis. Lewis scored once more for her third and then forward Hannah Loving moved the ball up field and when her shot was blocked, Trinity Taylor was there to boot it in. Goal tenders Addie Swisher and Jean Jett both contributed to the team’s first shut out over a regional power house team. “This was a total team win,” stated Fridenstine, “The Indians have a strong offense and solid defense.”
That same evening, Monday, the Indians JV girls tied W&L, 1-1. Jessica Lee scored the Indian goal.
Friday’s match up was a much tougher test against Northampton. “They have a very strong team,” said Fridenstine, adding, “We kind of controlled the game even though they kept five defenders back at all times.”
Late in the game under two minutes left, Lewis broke up the field and went one to one with the Northampton goalie. A left footed kick by Lewis went into the nets. Fridenstine noted the play on defense of Erin Burgess, Grace Emminizer, Lauren Suchan, and goalie Addie Swisher.
Next week, the Indian ladies are on the road before returning home and a March 19 date with King William. Please check with the school on cancelations.
The guys didn’t pick any easy teams for their scrimmages. They lost to perennial Region 1A power West Point 2-1 there Monday.
“A freezing night,” explained coach Sterling Harris. “Overall, we played fantastic.” The Pointers scored first with Northumberland tying the game on an Austin Evans goal with an assist going to Jesus Acosta. West Point scored later to break the tie on a breakaway. Harris had special praise for the play of the Indian’s goalkeeper Joe Schindler. “He is as good as or better than any goalie I have ever coached.”
Thursday it was on the 4C Caroline High School and another freezing night. According to Harris, game officials saw this as the strongest Caroline team in fifteen years. The Cavaliers scored in the opening seconds of the game and it was catch-up most of the night. “We dominated forty percent of the game,” said a very pleased coach Harris. “Good passing and good defense.”
The Indian’s lone score came on a set play; Acosta shot the ball through several Caroline defenders to Evans. Evans led Kobe Wiggins with a pass and Wiggins used his speed to “rip past the goalie.” Nathaniel Long had a good shot that just missed for a tie.
Harris added this assessment of the 2018 season, “I’m really excited. We have worked, both parents and kids, to turn this thing around. This year I hope for ten wins, that’s my goal, to reach the final four in the region. We have the culture of winning, of being an Indian family. We have laid the foundation for success.” Harris still sees Rappahannock as the team to beat, but plans on challenging them this season.