By Kevin Eickman
Last season it took the Buccaneer field hockey team three games until they found themselves on the winning side of the ledger. This year it came much quicker with a 3-0 defeat of Saint Georges. Launching off a solid first half defensive showing, and with sophomore Ashley Bullock providing a Milford score in the seventh minute, the Bucs controlled the game for the entire first half.
“It was really important for us to come out strong from the start,” Coach Andrea McPike said. “We have worked very hard this off-season and want to take advantage of that.”
While Milford controlled possession and created multiple scoring opportunities in the first half, they still only led 1-0 into halftime. “We missed some chances were we really could have taken control of the game but we didn’t,” McPike stated. “We got away with it today but we are going to have to finish our chances as we go up against much stiffer competition in the future.”
Following the halftime break, Milford seemed a little complacent as the visiting Seahawks tried to work their way back into the game. While the Buccaneers only conceded two penalty quarters in the first half, they came in droves during the second half. It looked as if it was only a matter of time before the Seahawks leveled the score. At one point, Milford conceded three consecutive corners in a row. “When you start giving up corners like that usually you find yourself in trouble,” commented McPike. “Our defense stood tall though and we kept them off the board.”
After stopping yet another penalty corner, Milford was able to clear the defensive zone. Junior Samantha Jacona took the ball and sprinted up the right side. As the defense collapsed on her in the Seahawks end, she connected with sophomore Beau Davis who doubled the Milford advantage to 2-0 with 21:37 remaining in the game. “That was a real big change of play there. We had been getting pressured and good passing and stick play got us the second goal that we were looking for,” McPike said. “That’s what we are looking for this year, team play. Everyone doing their rolls and the team improving because of it.” Davis added a second goal on a similar play with the assist coming from sophomore Karena Sollie.
Milford Captain sophomore Olivia Muir commented on the first match of the season. “I think we played really well together today. There was a great deal of energy and we were all pulling for each other. We need to keep building and getting stronger as the season goes on to get to where we want to be,” she said.
Captain senior Sara Wallace was thrilled with the victory. “It is really exciting to come away with the win. Our energy was very high and everyone did their job today. That is what we are looking for as a team.” When asked about the number of players and the amount of substitutions that took place during the game, Wallace responded plainly, “We have complete faith in our coaching staff to make the right decisions and give us the tools to make us successful.”
Milford’s next game will be on the road this Tuesday. The game is set to start at 4 PM.
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