By Kevin Eickman
On Friday evening, the 10-3 Milford lacrosse team concluded what has been a productive 2014 regular season, as they hosted a 6-6 Polytech squad. In addition to being the Buccaneers’ final home game, it was also senior night. While Milford may have entered the game with a superior record, the schedule that Polytech has faced has been much tougher. The game was a mirror into how far this program has come, but also how far they have to go.
Falling behind early in the game, Milford would hang in there through the first half. After falling behind 2-0, the Bucs would work their way back into the game. Milford would eventually tie the game up 2-2 as the first quarter came to a close. While the game stayed close through most of the second quarter, Polytech would take control with a 6-3 halftime lead.
In the second half Tech dominated Milford on their way to 12-4 win. Talking with coach Joe Vavala after the game, he felt that his team just made too many mistakes to win the game. “When you play against the better teams your errors are amplified,” Vavala stated. “This is the next step in the learning process of the program, we aren’t going to beat the better teams unless we demonstrate that we can master the mental aspect of the game.”
In addition to Senior Night, Milford had two other key games this past week. The first was a huge 10-7 road victory at Caravel this past Monday. It was a win that Milford had to have if they planned on making the State tournament. Talking with Vavala about the contest he was thrilled with how the team came out in a pressure situation.
“The way the guys were ready to play was fantastic. It was a game that the guys knew we needed to have to have any chance of making the tournament.,” Vavala stated. “I think that was our best effort of the season, to go up there and beat an 8-2 team was great.”
For all the good on Monday, there was loads of bad on Wednesday as the Bucs traveled to Delmar to face off against an 8-3 Delmar team. Milford was slow from the start and never had a chance as they fell to the Wildcats 14-1. Vavala thought that the game is just another lesson that this developing program needed to learn. “After a big win like Monday’s, to go down to Delmar and get beaten like that was difficult,” commented Vavala.“I think we just were flat coming off a big victory and we just never got it going.”
Milford will finish the season with an 11-4 record, and will wait to see how the season plays out to see if they make the tournament. “We don’t know how everything will work out, all we know is that we have a chance to make the playoffs,” Vavala stated.
No matter if Milford makes the tournament or not, this will go down as the best season in Milford lacrosse history. With Vavala in his fourth season as coach, this year’s seniors will always have a special place in his heart. Seniors Lucas Needles, Evan Becker Justino Cosentino, Jeremy Redlich, Logan Torbert, Carlos Hernandez and Juan Gonzales all played their final home games at Milford
“These seniors have been huge for this team. I can’t thank them enough for all the hard work they have put into making this a better program,” Vavala stated.