By Kevin Eickman
Things were looking good for Milford lacrosse this past Wednesday as the hosted Henlopen South rival Delmar. In the first half, Milford moved the ball well and constantly applied pressure to the visiting Wildcats. There was just one problem, they could not score. Time after time they managed to hit the post, only to have the ball bounce off instead of in. As a result Milford would face a tough to swallow 2-0 deficit as the first half came to a close.
“I think we hit post maybe 10 or 12 times it seemed like,” coach Blake Faulkner would say after the game.
Milford would score quickly to start the second half, with senior Mark Henderson providing the first of his two goals on the evening. The score would come just one minute in and looked as if it might just buoy the Buccaneers to overcome their halftime deficit. Much like in the first half though, Milford would fail to convert their scoring opportunities while Delmar took advantage of the chances they were provided.
In the end, Milford would find themselves on the wrong end of a 4-2 score. While the win was disappointing, Faulkner could find little fault in the effort of his squad. “I’ve never seen a better effort from our boys, they came out ready to go,” Faulkner said. “It’s just one of those things, they just didn’t fall our way this time.”
Searching for a way to finish off the opportunities that have been presented, Milford is still waiting for players to step up and embrace the moment. “We can give them all the wisdom, all the plays in the world, all the things to run. At the end of the day, it’s on them to want to step up and actually be that guy,” stated Faulkner.
Milford would travel to Wesley College on Saturday, to face off against Newark, in the Dave Reynolds Lacrosse Festival. In advance of the game, Coach Faulkner stated that he expected a challenge from his upcoming opponents. “From what I hear and from what I have been told they are playing some good ball,” Faulkner said. “We just gotta come out and keep working, we’re getting better. I know that the record doesn’t seem to show that, but every week we just seem to get stronger and stronger.”
Saturday would prove to be quite a challenge for Milford, with Newark coming out quickly and unleashing an offensive onslaught. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Milford found themselves behind, and as the first quarter came to a close the Buccaneers found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-1 score.
While the Buccaneers would be able to slow Newark to some extent in the second quarter, they were still outscored 2-1. Going into the half with a 7-2 deficit and staring a record of 1-3 squarely in the eye.
Playing from behind, Milford would not give in. Digging deep, they managed to find a way back into the game. Junior Dallas Rhodes would lead the way for Milford as he scored four goals for the Buccaneers in the game. He was followed on the score sheet by fellow junior Cohen Bonneville, who would record three goals of his own. Senior Mark Henderson, who has been playing his way back into shape following injury, would spark the Milford play with three assists. The result would be a come from behind 10-8 Buccaneer victory.
Milford will travel to Smyrna for a 4 pm start this Tuesday. On Friday, Milford will be looking to avenge their opening game loss, as they host Lake Forest at 7 pm.