By Kevin Eickman
Saturday is usually a light practice day for the Milford field hockey team. This past Saturday was rather special however, as past players gathered to face off against this year’s squad in a scrimmage with some extra special significance. The first of what many hope will be an annual event, came about on short notice as Coach Andrea Fleming had been contacted by numerous players wanting to do something special during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. “Lots of people thought it would be a good idea, and it all came together very quickly,” said Fleming.
Under a rather unforgiving October sun, the two teams staged a spirited contest. The returning Milford players had the better of the play in the early going as this year’s squad had difficulty getting the ball out of their own part of the field. With a mix of recent Milford graduates and others who had seen their playing days end more than a few years ago, the returning players put on a clinic of possession hockey through much of the game.
With the constant pressure being applied to this year’s team, it was just a matter of time before the ball found the back of the net. The first goal of the contest came courtesy of Fleming herself, as she ripped a shot from the top of the box with 6:33 remaining in the first half. The Past Players would take the 1-0 advantage into the half as this year’s squad was unable to answer the goal.
In the second half, this years team was able to apply some pressure, forcing graduate Rebekah Yanacek to make several saves. The Past Players’ defense held firm, despite the improved attack of this year’s squad in the second half. “I was actually pleased with how our current players preformed in the second half,” commented Fleming. “It was pretty hot out here today, and since they had half a practice before the scrimmage, I was proud with how deep they wouldn’t quit.”
The Past Players would close out the scoring, as another 2013 graduate put her stamp on the game. Destiny Sivels scored with 8:25 left in the game, providing the Past Players with their 2-0 margin of victory.
While the game itself was fun, the reason for the gathering was designed to raise awareness and money for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, in the hopes to put an end to breast cancer. “This was the first, of what we hope will be an annual event here at Milford,” Fleming stated. “It’s an important health issue that we want to do our part to fight.”