By Kevin Eickman
This past week was a challenging one for Milford field hockey, as they faced last year’s State title runners up, Delmar. They would also face off against highly regarded but under preforming Sussex Tech.
Traveling to Delmar on Tuesday, Milford was up against it from the start as the host Wildcats applied pressure to the Buccaneers all game long. Freshman goal keeper Bri Cahall had a stellar game however, turning back 22 Wildcat shots. When you have keeping like that you certainly give yourself a chance for a positive result. Milford seemingly took advantage of their chance, as sophomore Daphne Leighty recorded the games opening goal just four minutes into the second half.
The Buccaneer lead would be short lived however, as Delmar responded just 30 seconds later with the equalizer. From there Cahall would continue to turn back the Wildcat chances, maintaining her clean sheet as regulation came to a close. With a scoreless overtime, Milford would earn a tie and with it a key playoff point; that was the good news.
Hosting Tech this past Thursday, Milford had what was arguably their worst showing of the year. From the opening whistle, nothing seemed to go right for the Buccaneers, falling behind early and offering little resistance en route to a 8-0 defeat at the hands of the visiting Ravens. It was a game unlike any other Milford had played this season. They fell behind early and simply had no answers for the Ravens.
Talking with coach Andrea Fleming following the Sussex Tech game, she shared her thoughts following the tough defeat. “We got a little down on ourselves today and we lost our drive and intensity and couldn’t get it back,” Fleming stated. “When you a play a team like Sussex Tech you have to bring your A game, we didn’t bring anything near that today.”
The Buccaneers record currently stands at 6-5-1, leaving this young Buccaneers team little margin for error if the are to qualify for the State Tournament. Fleming knows that her team will need to put the tough Tech game behind them if they are going to make a run towards the playoffs. “While we had several mistakes out there, they can all be corrected,” said Fleming. “This group has always been willing to do the work, I have no doubt they will do what it takes going forward.”
Milford has just three games left in the season and this Tuesday will be the first of their must win games. The Bucs will be hosting 8-3-1 Woodbridge this Tuesday at 4 pm. It will be interesting to see how this young team responds to the challenge.