By TJ Millman
The Milford Boys Soccer Team started their season this past week with home games against Caesar Rodney and Delmar. The Bucs dropped their game to CR by a score of 3-2 and bounced back with a 3-1 victory over Delmar two days later. Over the two game stretch, Milford had two goals from junior Lensky Legros, one from freshman Aaron Sollie, and one from freshman Emanuelle Carranza.
Milford’s first game against CR was definitely meant to be an uphill battle. Caesar Rodney went 12-3 last season, and is already out to a 3-0 start for this year. Milford’s young team stood up to the Riders, battling back from being down 2-0 and 3-1, and Milford Head Coach Todd French was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We started three freshman and two sophomores against a top-tier opponent in CR, and our guys played like they had been playing together for years. We were very happy with how our team fought, and how much heart they showed in that game,” French said.
The script was flipped against Delmar, and this time it was Milford who was meant to have the upper hand. Milford came out firing, pushing the tempo of the game and possessing the ball in the attacking third of the field for the first twenty minutes. Delmar attempted a few long balls, but Milford’s defense quickly cut them out and sent the ball the other way. Finally, in the 29th minute, the Bucs’ pressure paid off as junior Lensky Legros snuck a back-post header by the Delmar goalkeeper.
The Bucs scored again, only nine minutes later on an aggressive throw in by senior Kyle Strassle. Strassle picked up an assist on the play, delivering a perfect ball to freshman Aaron Sollie, and extended Milford’s lead to 2-0. The scoring stagnated for a while, and eventually Milford would get their third goal on a goal from a Delmar backwards pass. Delmar scored in the 78th minute on a ball that was originally saved by junior goalie Jaxson Turner, and the game finally ended at 3-1 in favor of Milford.
Even though Milford had the game in hand, the Bucs still showed some room for improvement in closing out the game. Milford’s offense slowed down, and the Bucs found themselves on defense more in the second half. Thankfully the Bucs had Turner in the net, as he made multiple athletic stops, including back to back saves off of a Delmar penalty kick.
“Jaxson is an all-state caliber keeper. He’s one of the most athletic kids that you’ll see all year, and he keeps us in games. We put a lot on Jaxson, but he is a leader on this team and he never lets us down. His teammates see him laying it all out there for saves, and it makes them play harder as well,” French said.
Outside of Turner, Milford gets a lot of leadership from their defensive center backs, senior Khiry Hovington and junior Stone Davis.
“Hovington is a leader for us on and off the field. Everybody respects him, and he has a loud voice that our younger guys listen to. I also give a lot of credit to Stone Davis, our junior center back who wins everything that comes his way. He is quieter than Khiry, but he has stepped up and shown his teammates that he will do whatever he can to win the ball,” French said.
Milford’s next game is Tuesday, September 19 at home. They play Sussex Central, and the game is set to start at 6 PM.
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