By Kevin Eickman
With only one game on the slate this past week, Milford field hockey looked to get back on the winning side of the ledger. The Buccaneers hosted Smyrna this past Thursday in a game that featured an ebb and flow, with Milford falling on the wrong end of a 2-0 final.
The Buccaneers defense was placed under a great deal of pressure early on, with the defense doing a solid enough job to keep the Eagles off the scoreboard. While the Bucs were successful early, their passing and ball handling was lacking “We had a great many chances to make plays, we just didn’t get it done,” Coach Andrea McPike said. “We really need to work on our ball control and making sure we make the right decisions. If we had made the plays we had available to us, I think the result could have been different.”
Milford was not without their chances however as they squandered several scoring opportunities during the game. Beginning in the game’s 10th Minute, it looked as if the Bucs had found their footing. Milford had two chances to score, failing to connect on a pair of passes that could have provided the game’s first goal. In addition, Milford had difficult on penalty corners with cohesion still being an issue in that facet of the game.
Smyrna finally opened the scoring as they broke the Milford pressure and headed up the field. With the Buccaneers defense on the back foot, the Eagles aggressively played the ball into the Milford end. Eagles senior Jessica Bergold took the ball unassisted down the field, leaving Milford freshman keeper Eve Sekscinski helpless to stop the blistering shot with 16:38 remaining in the first half.
While Milford controlled the ball for the majority of the remaining time in the first half, they were unable to find the back of the net. “We had our chances but just couldn’t make the big play when it counted. It is something we have been working on and will continue to do so until we get it right,” commented McPike.
A determined Smyrna team came out flying in the second half, looking to extend their 1-0 advantage. The Buccaneers weathered the early onslaught and even worked the ball into the Smyrna end at times. While the kept the Eagles off the scoreboard, they never really looked to have a chance at an equalizer. One thing that looked a little different for Milford was their energy level, it looked a bit off.
“We certainly did not play our best hockey today, not even close to it,” McPike stated. “There were times when we looked ok, but a lot of the time we were just flat. We’re a young team and that happens sometimes but at this point in the season we should really be past that.”
Smyrna settled any doubt as Bergold scored her second goal of the contest all but dashing any chances of a Milford comeback. Following the game McPike was philosophical about the contest. “It wasn’t our best effort but we have to put it behind us. We practice tomorrow and start getting ready for next week, that’s all we can do,” she said.
Milford will be on the road next week as they travel to Sussex Academy on Tuesday before heading to Caesar Rodney Thursday.
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