By Kevin Eickman
This past week, the Milford girls’ soccer team had a chance to gauge where they are in their quest to make the State Tournament, as they traveled on Tuesday to face a 5-1 Sussex Tech team. It was a game that may have looked close, with a 2-1 final score, however it was a game that Coach Keith Short believed demonstrated just how much work Milford has ahead of themselves. “We gave up 31 chances against Tech, that is something we simply can’t allow to happen.” he stated. “We have had some breakdowns in mid-field, it is a problem we have been working to correct all season.”
The problem plagued Milford again on Thursday, as Cape Henlopen traveled to face the Buccaneers. Sophomore Stephanie Mendez scored just 13 minutes in, and senior Destany Woodward scored the second Cape goal at the 21 minute mark of the first half. It looked as if Milford was about to come apart at the seams. “Falling behind like that was exactly what we didn’t need to happen,” commented Coach Short.“Cape is a good team, and to fall behind so quickly was a real problem for us.”
Milford found a way to stop the bleeding, getting to halftime, without allowing Cape to cause anymore damage. Short changed to a more attacking formation to start the half and it paid dividends almost immediately. Sophomore Angela Gleysteen hit the back of the net for Milford, just six minutes into the second half to put Milford back in the game. The pressure continued from the Buccaneers and again paid off, as the Buccaneers drew a a penalty kick just three minutes later. There was little doubt as to who should take the kick for Milford, senior Rebekah Yanacek. Yanacek calmly struck the ball, and just like that the teams where knotted at 2-2.
What followed over the next 30 minutes of soccer, was nothing short of thrilling. Both teams had chances, Milford early, and then Cape later on in the half. While neither team could put the ball in the net, it was not due to a lack of chances. Each time it looked as if a team might score, the opportunity would pass; either due to the defense, the goal keepers or just bad luck. Extra time was even more exciting, but neither team could score. The key moment for Milford came when senior Brooke Hughes, made a sprawling save towards the end of the contest. In the end Milford came away with a tie and more importantly an understanding of what they can do when pressed.
“While we wanted the win, coming back like that for a tie is important,” Coach Short said. “This was a game between to evenly matched teams and it was fun to watch.” Milford finds themselves at 4-2-1, at the same time last year the Bucs held a 3-4 record. Milford will travel to Polytech Tuesday, April 30 before hosting Lake Forest on Thursday, May 2.