By Kevin Eickman
It was a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon at Briggs Stadium as The Milford Buccaneers hosted the Laurel Bulldogs. Once again, Milford got off to a slow start and had difficulty getting anything going in the first half. All season long Milford has been trying to get off to quick starts but have been unable to generate much offense in the first half
“We practiced real well this week and warmed up very well before the game started. We just came out flat again and could not get anything going,” Milford coach Todd French said. “I don’t know, maybe we just aren’t a first half team. We have really tried to get off to quick starts, we just haven’t had much success.” The result of the slow start would be a 0-0 tie at the end of the first half, with Milford once again searching for answers.
Luckily for Milford once they seem to get into rhythm, they really get into a rhythm. That was just the case on Saturday as the Buccaneers would come out on a mission to start the second stanza. From the opening whistle, Milford placed an enormous amount of pressure on the visitors. No matter what Laurel tried to do, they were having very little success getting the ball away from the Buccaneers and getting it out of their own end of the field.
“We made a few adjustments after the first half and it was like hitting a light switch,” said French. “We were able to apply the kind of pressure that we felt we were capable of.”
While Milford may have been applying pressure, they were having difficulty finding the back of the net. Despite several tantalizing opportunities, Milford looked as if they might never score a goal. The drought would not last forever however, with sophomore Miguel Morales-Lopez providing the games first goal at the 55 minute mark. The goal came on a clean strike from the top of the box and immediately set everyone at ease.
“Once we get that first goal, we really seemed to relax,” French commented. “When you are pressuring like we did and the ball is not going in, it’s about believing in what you’re doing and knowing that eventually the goals will come.”
Following the goal, Laurel would see some brief opportunities but Milford would never allow them to get completely comfortable and it always looked as if more goals would be coming in the direction of the Buccaneers. The next score would come as senior Sametone Convil would score in the 70th minute, doubling the Milford advantage to 2-0. The scoring would be closed out in the 75th Minute as Alexis Torres-Fargoso would find the back of the net and the Buccaneers would walk away with a 3-0 victory.
While Milford has had some difficulty finding the back of the net to this point of the season, they have been able to do just enough to win some soccer games. The victory of Laurel was their third consecutive and advanced their record to 5-3 as the season has reached its midpoint. With seven games remaining, French believes his team has what it takes to earn a playoff spot. “You can see that each game we are getting better. We had a tough start to the season, but you can see that the guys are putting in the work we need to be successful,” French stated.
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