By Kevin Eickman
In the end it was just too much for Milford to overcome. After having reeled off four consecutive wins, the Buccaneers came out flat against their rivals from Harrington. Of all the things that coach Andrea Fleming dislikes, lack of intensity is probably at the top of the list. “We got out-hustled today. That’s really what happened,” Fleming stated. “We got out-worked, we got beat to the ball, we didn’t finish our plays and we were just too inconsistent today.”
Particularly at the start of the game, Milford could get little going offensively. Unable to get the ball out of their defensive zone, the Buccaneers faced constant pressure from Lake. While they fought on valiantly, it was simply a matter of time before the defense yielded a goal. With 17:59 remaining in the first half, senior Joy Springer tipped in a shot by sophomore Kaitlyn Stahre for the opening goal of the game.
Being behind 1-0 appeared to wake up the Buccaneers as the offense began to find a rhythm. Milford began to work the ball up the field, as junior Rajene Bowe was able to find space as she made several runs up the middle. Milford would continually apply pressure in front of the Lake goal, but could never get it past the keeper. “We had a lot of opportunities to score today, but we just didn’t finish our plays,” Fleming said. “We just can’t shoot the ball directly at a goalie of that caliber, we have to make the extra pass and get it past her.”
Trailing at the start of the second half, Milford once again would come out on the attack. Time and time again, the Buccaneers would let opportunity slip from their grasp. Milford would end the game with 11 shots and 11 penalty corners, but zero goals.
With time passing and Milford being unable to score, you could sense that Milford was growing increasingly frustrated. With each passing failed opportunity, Milford was turning from optimistic to despondent. Eventually giving up the goal that would seal their fate. “As time was winding down and we hadn’t scored we were not staying with the play, we were losing focus and eventually desire,” Fleming said. “That is not the kind of field hockey we ever want to play.”
Milford will have just a single game this week, but it will be a big challenge, as the travel to face off against a 5-3 Caesar Rodney squad. Fleming believes that this Milford squad has what it takes to get the job done, it is up to them to accomplish it. “After today, this game is over, it’s out of our heads,” stated Fleming. “We need to be very focused at practice and we need to bring that focus to the game that we are going to play.”
The game at Caesar Rodney will be Thursday at 4 pm.