By TJ Millman
For the fourth time in the last five seasons, Milford Lacrosse is going to the state tournament. Milford will be hosting their second home playoff game ever, playing against ninth-seeded St. Andrews, and continues to build upon the growth of the Milford Lacrosse program.
“It’s obviously a step forward for our program, and that’s what we have always tried to do. We use each season to take a step forward and progress in the right direction. This program has come a long way over the years, and we just want to continue to move in the right direction. Hosting the game is nice too. It’s always a little more comfortable to be able to play at home from a preparation standpoint,” Milford Lacrosse Head Coach Blake Faulkner said.
Milford has yet to win a game in the state tournament, and this year looks as good as ever for the Bucs. Milford has lost their previous three tournament matchups to Appoquinimink, Dover, and Caesar Rodney. Going up against St. Andrews is a bit of an unknown for Milford, as both teams have zero common opponents on the year.
“We try to scout a team as best as we can, but this is definitely a team that we have not seen much of. Still, it’s exciting to play against a team that we don’t normally get to see. They made the tournament for a reason, and they are going to come ready to play. Our goal is to work hard in practice this week and play the most complete game that we can,” Faulkner said.
Milford is coming off of a brutal loss in the Henlopen Championship game to the Henlopen North representative Cape Henlopen. Cape beat Milford by a final score of 23-2 in a game where the Bucs looked off-kilter from the opening faceoff.
“We just have to accept that we did not play a fundamentally sound game against a very good opponent. At the end of the day, we still have some games left this season, and we can’t dwell on what happened. All we can do is try to fix our mistakes and get better each day to get ready for the next game,” Faulkner said.
The Bucs are also going into this matchup without one of their top scorers in sophomore Alex Herka. Herka has been one of Milford’s mainstays this season, hardly ever leaving the field, and was injured in the Bucs regular season finale at Sussex Tech.
“I’m not going to sugar coat anything. It’s tough losing a kid like Alex Herka. He is such a hard worker and a big part of the team. The energy and spark he brings is big for our team. We looked at possibly moving some pieces around, but at the end of the day, the best thing for our team was to stay the course of who we are and the next man steps in. We have good depth this year, and we are going to use it,” Faulkner said.
Milford hosts St. Andrews on Wednesday, May 23. The opening faceoff is set for 7 PM.
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