By Kevin Eickman
With time winding down in regulation this past Thursday the goal was simple. Keep 10-1 Sussex Central from finding the back of the net and Milford would have their biggest win of the season. On a senior night that had started in the rain and wind, the Milford soccer team was on the verge of something big. All evening long the Buccaneers had played at a level that deserved a victory. On this night however, it was just not meant to be.
After falling behind early in the contest, Milford would benefit from a penalty call in the box and be awarded a penalty kick in the games 20th minute. Senior Zachary Domercant would convert the opportunity to level the score at 1-1. From that point on the teams would have their chances, but neither could convert to get ahead.
The teams would begin the second half all square and it appeared that it might just stay that way until Milford was able to break the deadlock. In the games 68th minute, sophomore Davidson Marcellus would be streaking down the right side of the field with a path to the ball. While Central was initially able to pass the ball to safety, Marcellus kept after it and was able to gain possession and get a shot off to put Milford ahead for the first time of the night.
With the 2-1 advantage and just 13 minutes remaining, Milford just needed to hold out to ensure the victory. Fortune would abandon them however, when a golden opportunity to score a goal with just under four minutes remaining was ended by a save from Central. With Central fighting for their lives, they amped up the pressure on the Buccaneers. Milford would finally crack with just one minute remaining in the game, surrendering the equalizer after committing a foul in the box and allowing Central a penalty kick. When central converted, the game was headed for overtime.
In the extra stanza both teams would have chances to find the back of the net, though it was obvious that both sides were starting to wear down. Late in overtime however, Central would have one final rush at the Milford goal. When trying to pass back, the ball would deflect off a Milford defender and right on the waiting foot for Central’s Dalendy Dupervil. Dupervil collected the gift and promptly deposited it to the back of the Milford goal, handing the Buccaneers a crushing defeat.
While the loss may have been tough to swallow, the effort of his squad was not lost on Milford head coach Todd French. “We knew Central was a good team, one of the best teams in the State right now. We didn’t let up, we had a game plan,” French stated. “My guys showed that the have a huge heart tonight.”
Putting together a big effort on senior day was important for Milford and French was thrilled with the effort. “It means a lot, my group of seniors all year long have fought and fought. They have come back all year and I really thought this was for them,” said French. “I really thought they were going to go out with something special.”
Milford would come back on Saturday with a big win at Sussex Academy to improve their record to 7-6-1. The Bucs will travel to Lake Forest on Tuesday afternoon with a win all but guaranteeing them a playoff spot. The game begins at 3:30.
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