Indian River won the first-ever DIAA Division-2 championship with a 3-0 victory over St. Elizabeth's in a game played at Smyrna High School. Senior Sam Izzo netted two goals to lead the tenacious Indian attack.
"This was unbelievable. I've been waiting a long time for this," said an elated Izzo. "Getting that first goal for us was huge. It's especially huge since we lost this game last year. I was glad to help the team tonight," he said.
Indian River opened the scoring in the 16th minute on a goal by Izzo. The goal came off a corner kick and Izzo's goal was headed in off a deflection.
Both teams had several scoring opportunities, but IR had a close call in the 36th minute when Luis Cruz header blasted off the crossbar and out of harm's way.
Indian River kept up constant pressure in the second half and doubled their advantage to 2-0 in the 44th minute on a goal by Daniel Garza with the assist going to Cruz.
Izzo netted his second score of the night, in the 64th minute. The goal was unassisted to add insurance to the lead, and essentially ice the victory.
As the second half unfolded, Luis Sales made a great shot from in close, but St. E's goal keeper Justin Bajek made a nice save in the 67th minute.
IR kept up the offensive pressure in the last ten minutes, not giving the Vikings much opportunity to get back into the game.
"It's a great feeling," said Indian River coach Steve Kilby. "We had a clean sheet in the tournament. We didn't give up any goals. We talked about when you don't give up any goals; it's easier to win a soccer game."
Indian River was the runner-up last season in the last unified championship game, falling to Salesianum 4-0 at Smyrna High School.
Indian River defeated Delaware Military Academy in Wednesday night's tournament game with 5-0 victory, while St. Elizabeth's beats St. Andrews 1-0 in double OT in the other semi-final.