The swarm of Cape Henlopen blue circled Indian River’s net all evening.
But the Vikings never found it.
Despite being out-shot and out-possessed, the Indians found a way to score the only goal of the game.
Junior Mikie Mochiam fired home a counter-attacking goal with 2:11 left in the first period of extra time to give the Indians a 1-0 win in the Henlopen Conference Championship game Tuesday night at Milford High School.
“I didn’t even know what to do at first after I scored it. I was just so happy,” Mochiam said.
Junior Johan Cordoba settled on the ball outside the box and fed a well-paced ball to Mochiam.
Cape Henlopen goalkeeper Brent Hochrein charged out to cut off the angle, but Mochiam’s shot caught a piece Hochrein’s hip and went into the net.
The white jerseys of IR moshed Mochiam on the sidelines, celebrating the game-winning goal.
The Vikings had 17 shots to IR’s six, but forced 13 saves out of goalkeeper Ian Walls.
Cape certainly had the better opportunities, as the Indians shot total only forced three saves out of Hochrein. Cape also produced nine corners to IR’s three, with many more free kicks as well.
But Walls kept IR in the game, head coach Steve Kilby said.
“The difference in this game is Ian Walls,” Kilby said. “He made five or six saves in the first half that kept us in it. At halftime, we made a couple of adjustments that helped us out a lot. We were looking for the one counter-attack that would give us the goal that we would need to get through this.”
It was a clinical game from Cape in all aspects but one.
They defended well, pressed high and created plenty of opportunities, but the finishing was not at par.
The 14-1 Vikings will certainly be a team to watch in the division I playoffs, as well IR in division II, but the lack of scoring will be of concern for Cape heading into the following weeks.
“Soccer is a funny game,” Vikings head coach Patrick Kilby said. “You can completely outplay a team and lose, and that’s what happened tonight.
“Far more scoring opportunities for us, the shot count was overwhelmingly in our favor, it’s just one of those things that if you let a team hang around like we did tonight, you might end up paying the price.”
Patrick Kilby described the feelings from this game as pretty “raw,” and the Vikings will be looking to refocus their playoff aspirations with a scrimmage against Delaware Military Academy on Saturday before the first round of the playoffs the following week.
As for the Indians, who finished the year 10-5 with all five losses to D-I teams, this will be the momentum-building win heading in as a likely high seed into the playoffs.
“We’ve been trending in the right direction,” Steve Kilby said. “Our mantra has been to improve every game. Our checklist has three items on it. We’ve got two, so now we have to continue this through the state tournament.”
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