If there was one thing the Milford Buccaneers did not need this past Thursday as they hosted Indian River, it was to get off to a slow start. Unfortunately for them, that is exactly what happened as a hand ball call in the box against Milford gave the Indian’s a penalty kick just one minute and thirty seconds into the game. With IR converting the kick, it put Milford in exactly the position they did not want to be in.
“We get a call, a handball about two minutes into the game, it’s kind of unfortunate,” coach Todd French continued “We didn’t pick it up after that, for the next 15-20 minutes and that cost us.”
By the time the time Milford had regained their composure against the defending Division II State Champions, the damage was already done. Just 16 minutes into the game, Milford found themselves in a 3-0 hole, that would become 4-0 by the end of the half.
The second half would be much better for Milford as they played better defensively and refused to throw in the towel. As a result senior Matt Mitzel would end a Buccaneer scoring drought that had lasted almost two games. While the score would not alter the eventual 5-1 Indian River victory, it was important that Milford continued to battle.
“The thing with our team is, and it’s been like this, we don’t quit. My guys will continue to play,” French said. “Unfortunately again, not starting the game we want to, we’ve been a second half team for the past two years now. But it shows that they have heart and it’s going to be a positive for us going forward this season.”
The loss was the second of the week for the Bucs as they had fallen at home to Polytech on Tuesday by a score of 1-0. Milford had won their previous to games by that same 1-0 score line and have a record of 2-3. When asked about the lack of offense, French believes that Milford may be about to turn the corner on that account.
“I would say it’s more on our shoulders. We haven’t found yet the correct rotation up front,” French stated. “We have some new guys starting tomorrow and they come with a little bit of a pedigree from other schools. So hopefully our new players will continue to upgrade this team.”
While 2-3 might not sound like a great record, it can also be looked at rather optimistically. “I just told these guys that our first third of the season’s over now, the tougher part and we came out with a better record than we did last year at this point,” said French. “So for the next two thirds of the season, we should be able to put some goals on some teams that we play in the next two, three weeks.”
Milford will take to the road this week, with a 5:30pm start at Dover this Tuesday, while the Thursday game at Lake will kick at 4pm.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.