For the Indian Creek boys’ soccer program, the grass on the Eagles’ pristine Bermuda fields has never been greener.
After reaching the quarterfinals of MIAA C Conference playoffs each of the past two seasons, the Eagles have established themselves as legitimate contenders for the conference championship this fall. At 12-1-1 overall and 11-1-1 in conference play through October 29, Indian Creek boasts the league’s top defense, having allowed just 18 goals on the season, and the Eagles have outscored the opposition by a whopping 62-goal margin, by far the league’s best (Key School is second with a +28 goal differential).
On October 18, Indian Creek notched an impressive win over previously undefeated Mount Carmel. A hat trick and an assist by sophomore Mario Carneiro and a late goal by freshman Patrick Fleming gave the Eagles a 4-3 win over the Cougars (14-4-2 overall, 11-1-1 in MIAA C), who likewise figure to be legitimate contenders for the conference crown.
Third-year Head Coach Conor Porter says the 2013 Eagles have moved the program forward in multiple respects.
“They’ve been very impressive this year,” said Porter in late October. “I think this is the first year everybody’s really bought into the system, the formation, the way we play. We’ve had a very good winning mentality where they’ve expected to win every single time they’ve gone out there. They’ve translated that onto the field. They’ve played with a lot of confidence. Their work ethic has been very strong.”
Powering the success of the Eagles has been the strong play of Carneiro, Fleming, Ryan Church, Brandon Lacey, Jerrell Harrison, Derron Morgan, Robert McGurrin, Ian Parker, Keion Ulmer, Mitchell Love, Alex Carneal, Riley Walzer, Maximo Janson, Josh Critcher, Jackson Mullin and goalkeeper Cameron Johnson.
Nearby rival Key School (12-1-1 overall, 11-1-1 in MIAA C) seems to offer Indian Creek the stiffest resistance as the Eagles shoot for an MIAA title. Indian Creek earned a notable result against the Obezags on October 21, drawing, 1-1, despite playing a man down for 58 minutes after a red card. In that matchup, Indian Creek outshot Key 17-6 with just 10 men, a testament to the squad’s potent offense.
The Eagles suffered their first loss of the season at Key on October 21, 2-1, in a very evenly played match.
Other than the two matches against Key, Indian Creek’s record has been perfect, and the future of the program looks bright. Porter, a native of Ireland who played for his country’s U16 and U18 national teams before a standout college career at Villanova, says the advancement of the program has gained momentum with the addition of talented newcomers coupled with the team’s performance so far this season.
“I think the program is growing,” said Porter. “It’s getting very strong, and we’re starting to attract some really good soccer players, which shows where we’ve come over the years here. Players who might normally look at other schools and not look at Indian Creek because they didn’t think the soccer program was strong enough are definitely taking a long hard look at us right now.”
The Eagles know they must keep their focus on the title if they hope to bring it back to campus for the first time.
“The goal is absolutely to win the championship,” said Porter. “We have a nice balance on the team. Five seniors, a bunch of juniors and four or five sophomores…We’re building for the future here, but I think if we can regroup and refocus [after the loss to Key], we still give ourselves a pretty good shot no matter who we play in the playoffs.”