Young Bucs Still Growing

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By TJ Millman

The Milford Field Hockey team took their lumps this past week, losing both of their games by one goal each. The Bucs dropped a 2-1 contest to Smyrna at home and then lost 2-1 on the road at Lake Forest. Milford’s two goals were scored by senior Anna Sollie and freshman Samantha Jacona. Both goals were assisted by senior midfielder Darby Brennan.

Against Smyrna, Milford outshot their opponent 8 to 5 and had 15 corner opportunities compared to only 4 corners for Smyrna. Still, the Bucs went down early in the game and went into halftime down 2-0. The Bucs rallied with 6:00 left in the second half off of a goal from Sollie, but in the end they simply could not get the job done. Milford failed to capitalize on their offensive chances and dropped a game that they controlled for much of the day.

The game against Lake Forest had an energy in the stadium that was different than that of a normal game. The Milford/Lake rivalry has been around for ages, and neither team was ready to lose. Milford jumped out to a strong start, driving straight down into Lake territory, but fell behind early due to a lapse in transition defense. Lake countered Milford’s pressure with a long breakout pass, and the Spartans outran Milford’s defense en route to an early goal with 25 minutes left in the first half.

“I thought the first six minutes of the game were a very explosive start for our girls. We were aggressive all over the field, pressuring every ball and every pass. The fire was there. The energy was there. Everyone was just in tune with each other, and then Lake scores and we mentally broke down,” Milford Head Coach Andrea Fleming said.

The game stagnated for the next twenty minutes before Lake capitalized on another transition opportunity, scoring with 4 minutes left in the half. Again, it was a long ball for Lake that beat the Milford defense and put the Spartans up 2-0 before the half.

 

Photo by TJ Millman

Photo by TJ Millman
Picture 1 of 8

 

“A lot of our problem with those goals is that we are playing reactive, rather than playing proactive. We are watching the play happen, instead of just busting it back on defense and getting set. Honestly, it’s just a learning experience for our girls. We have some players that are good players, they just lack experience. We just have to work harder to make the corrections that we need to make,” Fleming said.

At halftime, Fleming told her team to get back to how they started the game, and the Bucs came out firing to start the second half. Milford controlled the second half, and freshman Samantha Jacona brought the Bucs within one with 19 minutes left in the game. Milford had more opportunities to tie the game, but they never did capitalize, and for the second time in a week they were left with a loss in a game that they could have won.

Regardless of the final scores, Milford showed that they have what it takes to be a good team. When they are on, they control the field. They play fast, and they pressure every ball. If this team can continue to grow, and learn to sustain their energy for an entire game, they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Milford’s next game is away at Caesar Rodney on Thursday, October 5 at 4 PM.

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