By Kevin Eickman
Prior to her inaugural season as the Milford Buccaneers girls soccer coach, Allie Ford knew that there was lots of work to be done. “We knew from the start that nothing was going to come easy this season, but that if we stayed with it we would improve,” Ford stated. While the final record of 4-9-1 might not look all that impressive on the surface, the fact that Milford continued to improve as the season went on was.
In their first five games of the season, Milford was able to to get just one win, the 8-0 victory coming against lightly regarded Sussex Central. Things began to turn around however, when the Buccaneers battled a Delmar team that would finish 10-4-1 to a 3-3 tie. It was a game that Milford could point to, knowing that they could compete against quality teams .
“The result against Delmar was important, it showed that if we played like we were capable of, we could do big things,” Ford said. “We didn’t get off to the fastest of starts and our conditioning wasn’t where we wanted it to be, but we defiantly became stronger as the year went on.”
Looking back at how the team progressed, Ford was happy with the continued effort that her players gave throughout the year. In particular she offered high praise for her seniors. “This group of seniors, all of them, brought something to the table,” said Ford. “The fact that none of them gave up served as an example to the younger players about what it takes to improve.”
One of the seniors that performed at a consistently high level was Patty Delva, who played up front for Milford and was a constant threat to score. “The speed and grit that Patty has was a real blessing for us,” Ford stated. “Her speed was such an asset for us, every time that she touched the ball she was capable of scoring.”
Milford would win 3 of their final four games, with a big win coming on the road against Dover high school on their senior night. Ford was a four year starter for the Senators and said the game meant a lot to her. “It was real special to get that win, any time you can beat your old team it’s a lot of fun,” Ford stated.
Looking towards the future, Ford hopes that next year’s returning players continue to improve during the off-season. “It is important to work on your conditioning all year round, the better shape that you are in the more easily you can concentrate on the tactical side of the game,” Ford said.