By TJ Millman
It was Senior Night for the Milford Girls’ Soccer Team this past Thursday, and the Bucs beat Laurel by a score of 5-1. Milford dominated the game, outshooting Laurel 12 to 4, and Laurel’s only goal came off of a penalty kick at the end of the first half. The win moves Milford to 7-7 on the season, already up 2 wins from last year’s 5-10 finish.
Milford spent the early stages of the game attacking, but it took until 10 minutes before the Bucs were able to score their first goal. Senior Tovah Crawford carried the ball into the attacking third, down the right side of the field, and scored on a strike that sailed just over the head of the Laurel goalkeeper. This was the first of two goals for Crawford, who scored again at 24 minutes into the game. Anna Sollie also added a goal in the first half, scoring at the 23 minute mark.
In the second half, senior Daphne Leighty and junior Melina Hudson each scored a goal, giving Milford their fourth and fifth goals. Defensively the Bucs played a strong game with seniors Megan Wolfe and Deanna Maloney locking up the middle of the field. They consistently stopped the through ball, allowing Milford’s outside backs to play more forward and help out the offense.
Milford Head Coach Donovan Howard attributed his team’s success to the hard work and effort of his senior class who he referred to as the, “building blocks of the program.” “Our seniors are the reason that we are close to a playoff spot right now. As a team we are indebted to their hard work day in and day out,” Howard said.
Senior Night is always an emotional experience for the athletes playing their last game at home, and this night was no different. Tovah Crawford said that she felt the emotions come over her when she scored her first goal of the night. “As soon as I scored that goal I was in tears because I was so happy, but I also knew that this was our last game together as a family here at home,” she said.
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Senior Daphne Leighty echoed Crawford’s sentiment, saying, “It’s sad because we have been playing together for so long. We have grown into a family, and it’s sad to think that I won’t be playing soccer this time next year.” Leighty has scored 13 goals so far this season, but is actually going to be playing field hockey in college, another sport that she excels in.
Both Crawford and Leighty felt that this year’s team was special because they played together as a family. In previous years they felt that the team had been more about the individual, but this year they all truly cared for and supported each other throughout the season. “It doesn’t matter who scores or who gets the assist. We aren’t worried about personal achievements. We just want to win as a team,” Leighty said.
The full list of Milford’s seniors who were honored is Brianna Blessing, Tovah Crawford, Daphne Leighty, Deanna Maloney, Hailey Morgan, Deja Rodriguez-Santiago, Amanda Sauer, Margaret Sollie, and Megan Wolfe.
The Bucs play their last game away at Delmar on Tuesday, May 16. The game is set to start at 5:30.
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