By Kevin Eickman
The Milford field hockey team knew it was going to be an uphill battle to make the State tournament. In a week in which the weather played havoc with the athletics schedule, the Lady Bucs started off with a victory on Tuesday, as they hosted Indian River. The game was probably the most dominant outing for Milford this year as they put up three first half goals, and never looked back.
Junior Jasmine Passwaters, freshman Katelyn Melvin and freshman Rajene Bowe were the goal scorers for the Bucs. The game saw Milford record a remarkable 28 shots, as well as 20 penalty corners. With the 3-0 win, Milford kept their playoff chances alive.
Milford was originally scheduled to face Caesar Rodney on Thursday, but the game was pushed back to Friday due to the weather. Milford again continued getting key contributions from their first year players, as Freshman Megan Fry opened the coring with 18:50 left in the first half. Milford played solid hockey the first half taking the 1-0 advantage into halftime.
In the second half Milford looked as if they might just make the 1-0 lead stand up, as the defense held firm. Caesar Rodney would turn up the pressure as time wound down however, and would finally equalize with just over six minutes remaining in the game. With Milford still trying to steady themselves, Caesar Rodney wasted little time getting out in front as they scored less than a minute later to take a 2-1 lead.
The last five minutes saw the Bucs regroup, unleashing an unrelenting attack where they had two very good chances to score and send the game into overtime. Milford was unable to put the ball in the goal and as they saw their chances for victory vanish, so too did any chance of making the playoffs.
While it is a disappointment that Milford will not be in the tournament this year, it has been a season with a glimpse into the future. This young and gritty squad has improved leaps and bounds over the course of the season, learning from their mistakes and getting better with each passing game. Talking with Coach Andrea Fleming after the game, she was disappointed with the result but was not disappointed with the effort.
“I thought this was the best the team has played this season, they were playing very composed, they weren’t panicking,” Fleming stated. “This was the first game all year that we really put it together for two halves. While I’m disappointed with the result, the effort was there the entire game.”
Taking a look at where this team started, and where they are now, Fleming has been pleased with how the team has progressed over the course of the season. “Having a losing record is not fun, and they have continued to work hard,” commented Fleming. “They never get down on themselves, they never get down on themselves. It’s why they have continued to improve, they continue to give it everything that they have.”
Milford has a tough week ahead of them as they will travel to Delmar on Tuesday to face a 10-1 Wildcat team. Then on Thursday they will face 5-4 Sussex Tech. Both games start at 4 pm.