By Kevin Eickman
Despondent. If there was one adjective to describe the mood of the Milford boys soccer team on October 15, that would have been it. On that evening, the Buccaneers had dropped a 1-0 decision to a Woodbridge team that would conclude the season with a 5-10 record. At the time it was a devastating blow to the Buccaneers’ tournament aspirations, they looked to have once again missed their goal of qualifying for the Division II State tournament.
Just to make things a little more difficult, Milford was in line to take on two DI tournament qualifying teams, Polytech 12-3 and Cape Henlopen 14-1. Needless to say it did not go well for the fledgling Buccaneers. With two more losses and in possession of a 5-7 record, there was only one thing Milford could do and that was to leave it all out on the field.
That is just what Milford did over the final three games of the season, they earned three consecutive victories over that time. The key win came in a test of character against a Delmar squad who would have wanted nothing better than to eliminate whatever slim playoff hopes the Buccaneers had. It was a game that would test the mettle of the depleted Buccaneers as Delmar was able to tie up the score in the games 80th minute. This forced the contest into overtime with Milford needing a playoff victory to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
In overtime the Buccaneers were able to respond one final time, stand up when it looked as if the only thing they were playing for was pride. That is just what they did, Milford dug down deep inside themselves one last time as freshman Davidson Marcellus was able to net the goal that would keep the Buccaneer playoff hopes alive. With a win to close out the season against Laurel, there was little to do but wait.
When the tournament seeding was announced last week, Milford had qualified as the number nine seed. “Making it into the tournament for us was always the goal, but I honestly am surprised we made it in,” coach Todd French said. “But it’s all due to the team not quitting, it would have been so easy to pack it in, but they didn’t.”
Milford will travel up to Dover this Tuesday, where they will face number eight seed Archmere Academy, with a 6 pm kick-off. Milford will be facing off against a talented squad and will have their work cut out for them if they hope to advance. With two All-State selections on the Archmere squad, French knows it will be a tough assignment.
“Archmere is a very talented squad and we are going to really have our hands full with them,” French stated. “Our goal all season has been to play our best and that is exactly what we will have to do Tuesday if we are going to have a chance against a team like Archmere.”