By Kevin Eickman
As Milford Lacrosse coach enters his fifth season at the helm, he is looks to keep the program on an upward trajectory. With a mixture of youth and experience, the Buccaneers look to take put an end to an otherwise successful season that ended in a first round playoff loss in front of the home crowd.
“We came out really slow in that game and by the time we got our act together,” Faulkner stated. “Like everything else we do, we try to use it as a lesson to make ourselves a better team. Every game, every practice, that is what we are looking to do.”
At the very top of the list is replacing Shane Gaglione in net. With Gaglione gone, the goal keeper position is in question for the first time in a long time. “For the last five years we have had a clear standout at the position, so it was really something we didn’t have to worry about,” Faulkner said. “We have three players competing for the starting spot and at this point the competition is wide open, these guys are out there competing for the job every day.” In no particular order, the three candidates are Ryan Frost, Brody McMillen and Gaij Copes.
The good news for Milford is that they lost only two seniors to graduation, leaving Milford with a solid foundation to build on. Coming back for his senior season will be Jon Gaglione, who has committed to Capital University where he will be playing both football and lacrosse in college. “Jon is the type of player you love to coach, he just goes out there and executes. Whatever we ask of him, he is able to get the job done,” Faulkner stated.
Another player who has always been dependable is junior Alex Herka. “Herka has been constantly improving each and every year, I think this year we anticipate that he can bring his game to the next level,” said Faulkner. Another player to keep an eye out for is junior Conor Christie.
In a change for this season, the captains will be selected by the team rather then the coaching staff. It is a change that Faulkner believes the players have earned. “This is a group that has been together for quite a while. They know each others strengths and weaknesses so the players will choose who leads them on the field,” Faulkner said “This is about the players taking more ownership in the process, it’s about us getting better as a team.”
While Milford has made the playoffs the last two seasons, they exited in the first round both times. There is a gap between the top teams in Delaware and where Milford is. It is a gap that Faulkner believes they can close. “With Milford now having a solid youth program and the Central Academy starting a program at the middle school level, it adds numbers to the program,” Faulkner commented. “We are closing the gap incrementally and we hope to take another step in the right direction this year.”
The goals for Milford remain the same, win and improve. As the reigning Henlopen South Champions the Buccaneers are looking to repeat and finally make some noise in the playoffs.
Milford will open their season at home on March 27 as they host conference rival Delmar at 7 pm.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.