By TJ Millman
The Milford Girls’ Soccer Team recovered from a narrow loss at the hands of Cape Henlopen with back-to-back wins this past week. They did so playing both of their games on back-to-back days as well. Milford beat Poly Tech on Wednesday and then turned around to beat Seaford on Thursday.
Poly Tech came into Milford with a 1-0 record and started the game off fast. Poly pressed forward and Milford’s defense consistently cleared the ball, but was never able to set up much of an offense past the midfield. Head Coach Donovan Howard used Poly Tech’s strategy against them and allowed Poly to press forward. He trusted in his defense and eventually Milford was able to sneak a ball in behind the Panthers back line. Junior Melina Hudson sent a long ball down the outside to Senior Margaret Sollie, and Sollie was off to the races. She moved in to the attacking area and was able to find junior Anna Sollie for the goal.
The second half was much of the same, with Poly pressing and the Milford defense standing strong. Senior Megan Wolfe played a great game on the back end, clearing away many through passes by the Panthers. Again, Milford was able to sneak a long ball in behind the Poly Tech defense and this time Margaret Sollie was able to score the goal for herself. With time winding down, Howard made the decision to take forward Daphne Leighty and move her back on defense.
“Megan and Daphne have played defense together in the past, and I knew that with their combined ability they would be able to help us keep a clean sheet,” Howard said. Milford finished the game with a 2-0 win.
Senior Goalie Amanda Sauer gets a shutout for the game, and she earned every second of it. With Poly Tech constantly attacking, the senior was instrumental in Milford’s victory. She had 11 saves, and even stopped a penalty kick. “The worst part about PK’s is the nerves. It’s just you and the person kicking the ball. I was able to calm myself down, and when she kicked the ball to my right corner I was able to make a dive save. Thankfully Coach Evans drills those dive saves which made it feel like it was just us at practice,” Sauer said.
Sauer has only been playing for two years before this year and has really stepped up this season to earn the starting job. She played aggressive, constantly cutting out crosses, and even played through an injured knee after being illegally knocked down by a Poly Tech player. “Part of my aggressive play comes from comfortability. I feel much more relaxed this year, which helps me to make quicker and better decisions. The other part comes from my defense. They are my backbone, and I rely on them to help me out whenever the situations get sticky. Silvara (Santiago) even saved a shot on goal today with her stomach when I went out of goal to try for a stop,” Sauer said.
While Wednesday’s game was played on Milford’s defensive end, Thursday was the complete opposite. Milford hosted Seaford and opened the game with a goal in the first three minutes of the game. Milford would continue to score, scoring 8 goals on the day, with senior Daphne Leighty leading the way. Leighty scored three goals and added an assist, picking up the hat trick for herself. Sophomore Silvara Santiago scored two goals. Junior Melina Hudson, junior Anna Sollie, and senior Margaret Sollie each added one goal. Freshman Alicia Strack had seven saves in goal as Sauer sat out to rest her ailing knee. Strack played well and earned herself a shutout as well.
The Bucs move to 2-1 on the season and are in a good position to finish stronger than last season. This coming week will be a test for the Bucs as they play games against Newark Charter School, Indian River, and Dover. The only home game is against Indian River on Thursday, April 6 at 4 PM.
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