By Sean Marraffini
In the hunt for a playoff berth, Milford traveled to Bear to take on Caravel Academy. Coming away with a 1-0 win, it was a game that ended in the most dramatic of fashions.
It took almost no time for Milford to get on the board. A little over two minutes into the game Peyton Shockley got one past Caravel keeper Maura Jegerski. For much of the first half, both teams spent equal time in the opposing end, Caravel searched desperately for the equalizer but were unable to find it.
Despite Carvel outshooting Milford 14 to 7 and having a far greater advantage in penalty corners (14-3), Milford keeper Rebekah Yanacek stood strong and the defense chased away all other attackers.
At halftime Milford had a 1-0 lead.
“I’m very proud of our team,” head coach Andrea Fleming said. “We played Milford field hockey for the full 60 minutes, they kept their heads in it and kept composure.”
Proving they would not go quietly, Caravel came out with a strong attack, with a shot in front nearly trickling past Yanacek a few minutes in. The two teams traded time in their opposing zones which continued until Caravel head coach Susan Wiley called a time out with 10 minutes left.
While Caravel planned on how to tie the game, Milford planned how to keep the lead, with Captain Savannah Becker becoming the vocal leader for her team.
Her words in short, “Keep hustling.”
When the time out was over, Becker proved she was going to also lead by example. She controlled the midfield, helping to repel the Caravel attack, insuring that her team walked away the victors and more importantly in control of their own destiny regarding a playoff spot.
As time wound down there would be a turn of events that would put even the healthiest of spectators on blood pressure medication, Caravel was awarded numerous corners, relentlessly attacking the Milford goal.
“I trusted my girls, and that they were going to play to the last minute.” Yanacek said. “I also trusted myself that if anything happened we could handle it, and we pulled it out.”
As if that wasn’t enough of a spectacle, with under a minute to go, Caravel was awarded a penalty shot.
Goalie Yanacek proved why she is one of the best keepers in the state, immediately going to her right, dropping her blocker and raising her stick, blocking the shoot seemingly as soon as it left the attackers stick.
“We practice those every day.” Yanacek said. “I’ve learned to read them very well; I know where the shooter is going to go.”
In jubilation the team stormed the field to congratulate their keeper.
When play quickly resumed Milford used that remaining minute to drive down field in an attempt to get one more before time expired.
Milford finished the season at 9-5-1. They are the lower seed and will travel to play St. Marks in the first round of the tournament on Tuesday November 8. Game time is 2:30pm.