The Milford lacrosse season came to an end, as they fell to the visiting Dover Senators this past Wednesday 8-7. It was an unfortunate loss for the Buccaneers, who were seeking their first ever tournament victory. What made it all the more difficult was that this was the type of game that can haunt you, make you wonder what might have been.
The Bucs got on the board quickly and looked to be dominating Dover in the first quarter, as senior Matt Viramontes opened up the scoring just 40 seconds in. Milford continued the offensive onslaught as senior Ring Lardner netted a pair in the first quarter as well. Things were looking up for Milford and then it happened. It did not look like a big deal at the time, but it was an omen of what was to follow for the Buccaneers. With Milford threatening to score a fourth goal, Milford let a shot go from 10 yards out that hit the post. It was the first of three shots that would hit the post for the Bucs, scoring chances that would hit the pipes.
“We had a few breaks that we would have like to have gone our way,” Coach Blake Faulkner said. “Just a break here or there tonight and we easily could have won this game. It was a tough way for the season to end.”
While bad breaks were part of the difficulty Milford faced, Dover awoke towards the end of the first quarter and the Buccaneers committed some errors that contributed to the tide of the game turning to the advantage of the Senators. Dover began to chip away at the Milford advantage, scoring their first goal towards the end of the first quarter. With the Milford advantage narrowed to 3-2, sophomore Dallas Rhodes made it look as if the Bucs would take a 4-2 advantage into the locker room as he scored with just over two minutes remaining in the half. Dover would answer however, closing to within one with just under a minute to go in the half.
As the third quarter got underway, Dover wasted little team squaring the game at four goals each just 30 seconds in. From there the Senators began to assert themselves, scoring two unanswered goals to take a 6-4 lead.
While the Buccaneers were far from inept, their offensive chances were met with fierce resistance from Senator goalie, senior Detoine Jones who had a big game between the pipes. “Their keeper was huge for them tonight, he made some really big saves.” Faulkner stated.
Milford may have been down, but they were not out. The Buccaneers once again found their rhythm as Rhodes, along with senior Matt Viramontes would score a pair of goals to tie the game at six when the third quarter came to a close. Milford would take a lead early in the fourth as senior Zach Heesh scored for Milford. The goal would be the last for Milford as Dover quickly equalized with just over eight minutes left in the game. The final dagger came with just 1:51 left in the game as Dover scored to take the 8-7 lead that they would protect for the victory.
While it may not have been the way that Faulkner wanted the season to end, he was still thrilled with the way his Buccaneers battled all year long. “These guys refused to quite all year and tonight was no exception,” Faulkner stated. “This season was another step forward for the Milford program and we are going to continue to improve going forward.” The Buccaneers closed the season with a 15-3 record, qualifying for the State tournament for the second year in a row.