By Kevin Eickman
At first glance a 1-3 start might not be something to celebrate, but if you look a little deeper the start is quite impressive. In an effort to ready Milford for a tough Division II Henlopen South schedule, all three losses have come at the hands of Division I State tournament qualifiers from last season.
On Tuesday, Milford hosted their first home game of the season as they hosted Delaware Military Academy (DMA). The game did not start well for the Buccaneers as an early foul in the box set up a penalty kick for the Seahawks. With DMA converting the penalty kick, Milford was forced to play from behind. Despite the challenge, coach Todd French was not worried. “I told the guys, we were better than them, all we have to do is play our game and we will win.”
Milford equalized matters when sophomore Darkenson Berrette scored in the 32nd minute off a pass from junior Ducla Estime. In the second half Milford dominated play as senior Peterson Mondelus scored a pair of goals to give the Bucs their 3-1 margin of victory. “Peterson was very big for us on Tuesday, he played the way will we need him to as the season goes on.”
This past Thursday, Milford hosted Cape Henlopen, the game featured hard physical play that eventually ended in a 2-0 Viking victory. The game however was far from one sided as Milford played to the very end of the contest. Starting the second half trailing by a goal, the Buccaneers continually pushed the play, constantly attacking and demonstrating a passing ability that was missing from last year’s squad.
Milford had several key chances to equalize, they just could not get the ball in the net. Due to pressing up so high, the Buc defense found itself in some precarious situations during the second half. Time after time Milford’s junior keeper Chase Taylor was on hand to provide some spectacular saves. “Chase and the rest of the defense have been very solid in the back,” French said. “The defense has been put under a lot of pressure because we have been playing from behind, they have really com up big.”
Talking with French after the game, he believes that finishing has been the biggest issue for the Buccaneers this season. For their opener Milford traveled up to Appoquinimink, last year’s Division I runner-up. The result was a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the highly regarded regarded Jaguars. On Saturday Milford fell on the road to yet another Division I tournament team from last season, as Saint Mark’s defeated the Buccaneers by a score of 4-2.