By TJ Millman
The Milford Buccaneers Lacrosse Team beat Delmar this past Wednesday by a score of 18-11. This was a big game for the Bucs, as they went 0-2 against Delmar just a year ago. “It feels really good to get this win after losing both games to Delmar last year. Even better than that, I think tonight we may have started to hit our stride,” said Head Coach Blake Faulkner.
Milford jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the first quarter, scoring a majority of their goals on fast break opportunities. For reference, a fast break in lacrosse is similar to a fast break in basketball in that the offensive team moves towards the goal with an advantage in numbers. Though Milford’s attackmen scored all of the goals, a majority of the dirty work was done at the faceoff x by sophomore Jon Gaglione. Gaglione generated each of the teams’ fast break opportunities by dominating his opponent on the faceoff.
After the faceoffs, Gaglione passed the ball to senior Cohen Bonneville who point guarded the offense for a majority of the game. Bonneville had 5 assists on the game, making many key passes to his fellow teammates. He also added a goal of his own.
While each of Milford’s players were a large factor in their win, the two players who stood out on the scoring end of the field were freshman Conor Christie and senior Dallas Rhodes. The two combined for 16 of Milford’s 18 goals, scoring 9 goals and 7 goals respectively. Rhodes used his powerful shot to rocket the ball past the Delmar goalie, whereas Christie relied on his quick hands to finish goals around the crease.
For Christie, being only a freshman, a 9 goal game is a sign that Milford Lacrosse is going to be in good hands for the next 4 years. He was all smiles after the game, and when asked about his 9 goal performance he simply grinned and said, “I’m just really excited for the rest of the year.” He also credits his success to being able to play on an offense with two seniors. “Cohen (Bonneville) and Dallas (Rhodes) really help me when I’m out there. Their experience bails me out when I make a mistake, and they help me to stay calm whenever I get upset with myself. It’s really nice having them be there for me,” he said.
Milford went into a lull during the third quarter, which is something that their coaches have yet to figure out. “I’m not really sure what it is, but when we put together a full 48 minutes our team is going to be something to deal with,” Faulkner said. The Bucs still escaped that quarter with only giving up 1 goal, thanks largely in part to a stout defense and their reliable goalie. Milford’s defense worked hard all game against a very fast Delmar team. The defense also slid well, always picking up each other’s slack, and offered Delmar very few quality shots.
Milford’s team has been trending in a positive direction, looking better and better as the season moves on. The defense looks more comfortable playing together, the offense is scoring at a high rate, and Milford’s midfielders are playing with great effort on both ends of the field. The Bucs head in to their Spring Break with a record of 5-1 and play their next game on Friday, April 28 against Lake Forest. The game is going to be played at DE Turf Complex, and the opening faceoff is set for 7 pm.