By Kevin Eickman
This past Thursday, in the cold, rain and wind, Milford hosted their county rivals Lake Forest. It was a game that played almost opposite of what you would expect under adverse conditions. While Milford was solid and managed a goal in the first half, there was some worry as to how they would do playing into the wind in the second half trying to protect their 1-0 advantage.
With the visiting Spartans back line pressing forward all game long, it was presenting a problem for the Bucs, perseverance would pay off however as junior Darkenson Berrette would find some space down the right side of the field, able to strike the ball past the outstretched Lake keeper. The goal came in the games 50th minute and all but sealed the fate of what would be a 3-0 Milford victory.
“We were playing kind of wrong styled with the win, we were trying long balls over the top,” coach Todd French said. “In the second half we scored both goals on passes low to the ground and we have more speed up top, so that worked for us.”
With the Milford soccer season nearly halfway complete, they have managed to climb over .500 after a tough start against some tough competition. With losses to highly regarded Appoquinimink and Sussex Tech, Milford found themselves in a quick 0-2 hole to start the season.
However, slowly and surely Milford has begun to recover from a rough start to the season. Their only other blemish this season has been a 3-0 defeat at the hands highly regarded Indian River. The result has been wins in four out of their last five games and a 4-3 record, with some very winnable games ahead of them. “We are at a good stretch where we feel confident that we can run through some teams here and get our record up where we want it to be,” Todd French stated.
Speaking about his impressions of the team to this point, French really likes this year’s team. “Good group of guys, easy to coach, anybody could coach these kids,” French stated.
The season has not been without adversity for Milford however, as they recently lost senior Evenson Dieudonne this past Tuesday. “You can’t just replace a player like that. A captain, all-state, who would have had a really good year,” French said. “These kids will rally round and that is what makes as a coaching staff proud.”
One area of concern that Milford has is how they have started games, it is an issue they hope to address going forward. “The way we come out in the beginning of a game, we have not scored in the first five to eight minutes of a game,” said French. “It’s just a mentality to start a game hasn’t been there and they are finally starting to get aggressive.”
The goal for Milford is to make the State tournament and it is going to take a lot of wins to do it. The Buccaneers will return to the pitch this Thursday at 6pm as they host Sussex Academy.