By Kevin Eickman
There is little doubt that the future of Milford field hockey is looking up. Coming off a 9-6-1 season, that resulted in a playoff spot, the Buccaneers took the opportunity this past Wednesday to celebrate their accomplishments at their annual awards banquet. During the course of the evening, two things became abundantly obvious. This is a program that had a very successful season, despite only having one senior and this is also a team loaded with talent that thinks they can be a force in the very near future.
While the first round exit in overtime to Wilmington Christian Academy was heartbreaking, it was used as a measuring stick of just how good this team could be. That along with another loss towards the end of the season, this one to eventual State Champions Cape Henlopen, were mentioned by coach Andrea Fleming as she addressed the squad. “You guys got it, by the end of the season you were playing the best hockey of your lives,” Fleming said. “That was the step you guys needed to make in order to be a force in the future. With that type of work next season, there is no telling how far that we can go together.”
One of the things that is seldom seen in a team awards ceremony is the accolades that the players received. Every member of the team was recognized individually for their contributions this season. “With such a small group of players, we had the opportunity to recognize everyone as an individual,” Fleming commented. “This is an indication of how much effort each and every one of you put in this season.
Some of the key awards presented by Fleming are as Follows:
Courtney Lingo, senior, The Coaches Award. Presented to the player who dedicates themselves to the team mission that the coaches are trying to apply. “We gave her a plan of what she needed to work on and she did it,” said Fleming. “It was her hard work that paid off, she did everything we asked of her and made herself and the team better as a result.”
Deja Rodriquez-Santiago, junior, The Unsung Hero Award. “Deja was a beast on the defensive line, I was really surprised she did not receive All-Conference recognition,” Fleming stated. “The ability she gave our defense to dominate was incredible. Think about it she shut down the whole right side of Cape.”
Leah Barnett, sophomore, Leadership Award. “Leah is the type of player that leads both verbally and by example,” Fleming said. “It wasn’t just when she was on the field, she was motivating JV when they were playing there game. She wasn’t off to the side, she was watching them and supporting them when they were playing there games.”
Margaret Sollie, junior, Defensive MVP. “Margaret was such a consistent player, without her on our defense we would not have been in half the games we won this year,” commented Fleming. “I am really excited about how good our defense can be next season.”
Megan Fry and Rajene Bowe, juniors, Offensive MVP’s. “There was no way to separate what the two of these girls did. Each one of them played of the other and as a result we were a force up front,” Fleming stated. “Playing together, unselfishly, they made each other as well as the team better.”
Darby Brennan, sophomore and Kate Melvin, junior, Team MVP’s. “If a football team had two quarterbacks, these two players were our quarterbacks. The skills and leadership that these girls bring to the team is amazing, they have been instrumental in helping this program achieve what we have,” stated Fleming. “They are always encouraging and motivating their teammates, it is amazing all the things that these girls do.”
Milford players received the following All-Conference awards:
Rajene Bowe, first team offense.
Darby Brennan, first team midfield.
Kate Melvin, first team defense.
Megan Fry, second team offense.
Hayden Shockley, second team midfield.
Margaret Sollie, second team defense.
Daphne Leighty, honorable mention.