By Kevin Eickman
There is one thing that every student finds out about high school, it’s amazing how four years can go by in the blink of an eye. Saturday was a special day for Milford lacrosse and girls soccer players, as they took the field for their final home appearance in a Buccaneer uniform.
The Lady Bucs battled a thin but determined Red Lion Christian Academy team in a game they would end up winning by a score of 7-0. On the surface, the game might have been what you have come to expect from Milford, as Rebekah Yanacek posted yet another hat-trick. However, some creative lineup changes by coach Keith Short gave some unexpected players a chance to shine.
One constant in Milford soccer has been the solid play of Brooke Hughes. The Milford goalkeeper has always been reliable and often times spectacular over her career with the Bucs. On this day however, she was afforded a special chance by coach Short as she played a large portion of the game at forward. “Brooke has done so much for us over the years, it was great to give her a chance at a possible goal today,” stated Short.
Hughes responded with a solid game up front and had a few chances but had a hard time connecting, even bouncing one off the crossbar early in the second half. Finally in the 49th minute, Hughes launched a free-kick from 22 yards out that found the back of the net; the celebration was on. “It was great that my teammates were passing me the ball, and I was just happy to able to score a goal,” Hughes said.
Every senior was given a chance playing forward. Some scored and some did not, but in the end it was a chance for Short to extend a thank you to his players for all of the hard work they have done over the years. “It has been an honor to coach this group of girls, it has been a great joy for me,” commented Coach Short. “We had a chance to get some people who don’t often score, a chance to thank them for all their hard work.”
This is a group of seniors with a great deal to be proud of, they have posted a winning record all four seasons they have been at Milford. The season is far from over as Milford still has a chance to make the State tournament. With a 7-4-1 record Milford will need to win their next three games, all on the road, to have a chance at the playoffs.
The Lacrosse team closed out their entire season on Saturday, hosting Indian River. In a game that saw the Buccaneers fall behind early, it demonstrated the same never give up attitude the team has demonstrated all year long. Falling behind in the first period 3-1, Milford responded with better passing and shooting on their way to a 5-4 halftime lead. The Bucs didn’t let up, taking the game by the throat as senior Hunter Robinson recorded a hat-trick. “It was great to end my career with a win, it was great how well the team played today,” Robinson stated.
Talking with Coach Joe Vavala after the game, he shared his thoughts on his seniors. “Those guys never gave up, they did everything we asked of them.” The victory gave Milford a final record of 6-9 on for the year.