By Kevin Eickman
After two successive State Tournament appearances, last season’s 5-10 mark was a bit disappointing for Milford filed hockey. While it was a tough season, it was not without its benefits according to head coach Andrea Fleming. “Last season wasn’t easy, but I believe we will benefit greatly from it,” Fleming stated. “The playing experience that our younger players got, can’t be duplicated. While it was a tough process, we expect to benefit from it.
Talking about this year’s squad, Fleming is optimistic about this year’s team. “This group has a tremendous work ethic, we saw it last year and it has continued during camp this year,” said Fleming. “While we may be a bit young, we are looking at that as a positive.”
For leadership Fleming will look to her seniors, including Kayla Brennan and Kasey Fry. “Kasey is a great leader by example and I expect her to provide more verbal leadership on the field as well,” commented Fleming. Looking at the returning sophomores, Fleming believes there are some leaders in that group as well. “Margaret Solie, Kate Melvin and Rajene Bowe are a dynamic group of players who we believe will take the next step this season,” Fleming stated. Talking about Bowe, Fleming believes she has the makings of a special athlete. “She is such a competitor and leader, it’s absolutely fantastic to watch how much she continues to improve,” Fleming said.
Milford will be looking forward to returning to the State Tournament again this season. “Our goal is definitely to get back into the tournament and continue to grow the program as we have been,” Fleming said. “We believe we are on the right track and expect this program to improve.” One of the aspects Fleming points to as a key indicator are the individual skills that her players possess. “The fact that we didn’t have to spend camp learning basic skills is huge,” she stated. “We had no regression in our skills this year, so instead of going back and learning things over again we have been able to focus on tactics.”
Speaking about the team as a whole, Fleming has been impressed with the work ethic that they have demonstrated. “Every practice the girls have come ready to work, they have a fantastic attitude and I know that will serve us well down the road,” Fleming stated. “The fact that they have demonstrated so much commitment despite such a hard season last year, tells you that this is a team made up of character.”
Milford will start the season at home, against Seaford on Tuesday, September 9. The game will start at 4 pm.