By Kevin Eickman
Any first year program is bound to have its up and down periods. With this year being the first year for Milford girls’ lacrosse, the learning curve has been steep. Playing strictly a Junior Varsity schedule, Milford had 43 girls come out to play this season. With such a huge number and a lack of experience things have been difficult at times for the Lady Buccaneers.
“It really has been a learning experience for all of us,” first year coach Amanda Frampton commented. “We only had about six girls who had any kind of experience in lacrosse so this has been quite a challenge in so many respects.”
Frampton, who had no prior lacrosse coaching experience prior to this season, has been learning alongside the players themselves. “I played field hockey when I was an athlete. While my daughter played lacrosse this is the first time I have done it,” said Frampton. A graduate of Ohio State University with a masters from Westchester University, the challenges this season have been immense for her.
The decision was made to cut no players at all, whomever came out made the team. With only 25 minutes per half the learning curb is not only steep, so is the battle for playing time. “It has been very difficult trying to get a look at players and stay competitive at the same time,” Frampton said.
When asked how players earned their playing time Frampton responded, “It’s about what we are seeing in practice really. We are looking for players that hustle and have skill. Next season will be a little better and a little worse at the same time. We will have Varsity and Junior Varsity so everyone will be able to get quality playing time. Up to this point it really has been difficult to evaluate everyone.”
With next year as the goal, this year has been about building an understanding of the game and basic skills for the players. Milford will play a nine game schedule this season and at this point they have a 2-4 record against similar competition. While winning would be nice, it is the experience that the program hopes to gain which will serve them going forward.
“Every day we get a little bit better and we grow a little more confident,” Frampton commented. “We knew from the start that this wasn’t going to be easy but we are getting better and that is what really counts.”
One area of growth that Milford has experienced is that of bonding. As the season has gone on they have grown closer together. “The girls have been great. Even though this has not been the easiest of undertakings, the are really becoming closer,” said Frampton. “You can see that we are becoming more like a family every day and that will help us going forward. This game is about teamwork and sacrifice and these girls are learning it every day, we just want to continue growing as a family.”
Milford has three games remaining this season with all three contests scheduled for on the road. Their opponents will be Stephan Decatur, St. Georges Tech and Smyrna.
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