By TJ Millman
Weeks ago Milford Field Hockey Head Coach Andrea Fleming told reporters that she was looking for hustle, communication, and leadership in her players. Her team put all three of those qualities on display this past Friday on their way to a 2-1 victory over Appoquinimink High School. Goals were scored by senior Anna Sollie and junior Jessie Donovan.
The Bucs went on attack early, with senior Darby Brennan pushing the offense forward into the attacking zone. After a few close scoring chances, one off of a corner, the Bucs pressure stagnated. Appoquinimink pushed the ball deep into the Milford zone and was able to score a goal off of a rebound at 15:55 left in the first half.
At this time, Fleming called a timeout to wake her team up and get them back to the pace that they had started the game with. The Bucs still played a majority of the first half on the defensive end, but the defense stood strong and was able to survive the Appoquinimink onslaught. A trio of defensive players really stood out during that first half, as they were challenged the most by the opposition.
Freshman midfielder Summer Davis was constantly near the ball and always in a position to make a play. She consistently stalled out an Appoquinimink drive by getting in front of her opponent and tying them up until her team could support her. Even when she missed a play, Davis would hustle back and get ready to go again in what ended up being an impressive Varsity debut.
Senior Brea Wells anchored the Milford defense, cutting off many long passes, and kept the area in front of the net clear for her goalie. Wells jumped in front of a lot of long balls from Appoquinimink midfielders and had a good presence of mind to clear the ball out to her teammates quickly.
Senior goalie Leah Barnett provided 9 saves on the 10 Appoquinimink shots that she faced, and kept her team alive throughout the day. Barnett played loose and fast, diving out of cage to stop shots and literally throwing herself in front of anything that Appoquinimink had to offer.
One area that Milford struggled in the game was clearing the ball. While the defense stood strong, a lot of the Bucs attempts to flip the field were cut short due to an errant pass or a turnover of some sort.
Milford finally had things go their way late in the first half, when a combined Bucs effort got the ball all the way down in front of the Appoquinimink goalkeeper. The ball seemed to sit forever as senior Anna Sollie and junior Jessie Donovan both made a mad dash to chip the ball in. Sollie won the race, beating the Appoquinimink goalie and defense as well, and knocked the ball home with 1:29 left in the half.
The second half was a back-and-forth affair until Donovan was able to add a goal of her own off of an assist from Brennan with 9:34 left in the game. The Bucs team closed out the game from there, notching their first win of the year and getting out to an early 1-0 start. Milford’s next game is away, against a tough Poly Tech team that went 10-4 last year. The game is set for Tuesday, September 12 at 4 PM.