By Kevin Eickman
The Milford field hockey team’s season got off to a slow start this year with the main culprit being a lack of finishing in the circle. Last week, the Bucs produced a solution to those problems as they played three games and came away with a 2-1 record. While it wasn’t perfect, it was progress. “The girls really responded this week, they stepped back, took a deep breath and remembered how to have fun,” Coach Andrea McPike said.
The week started off against a fast-paced Dover squad who entered the contest with a 3-2-1 record, and up until that game Milford had not defeated a winning team all season. That all changed on Tuesday, as Milford handed the Senators a 6-3 road defeat. Milford started the scoring early as junior Lila Megner scored less than five minutes into the opening quarter. Milford would double its advantage in the second quarter as senior Beau Davis scored the Bucs’ second goal with 8:39 left in the half. The half’s only blemish was when Milford surrendered a goal with just over a minute remaining before the half. The Bucs would have to settle for a 2-1 lead at the half. “We have been trying to get out to quick starts all season, and to take the early advantage was very big for us. It gave us confidence going forward,” McPike said.
The confidence would be key for Milford as Dover equalized early in the third quarter at the 3:34 mark. MHS would regain the lead just a minute later as sophomore Madisyn Hitchens found the back of the net. Dover would answer with another goal in a wild third period, tying the game for the final time with what looked to be the quarter’s final goal. The Bucs had other ideas however as sophomore Erin Dunlap found the back of the net with just five seconds left giving Milford a 4-3 entering the final stanza.
Davis and Dunlap would each tally their second goals of the game to seal the Milford victory as the team rejoiced at the ending of its losing streak.
The Bucs would win a thriller on Thursday against archrival Lake Forest, with the game’s first goal coming at the very end of the first half. Davis would score with just four ticks left on the clock to give Milford its 1-0 halftime advantage. Mergner would score with under two minutes remaining in the third giving MHS its final 2-0 margin of victory.
The week’s final test would come against a very game Caesar Rodney squad with Milford looking to sweep the week. The Riders had other ideas however as a very physical game took place with both sides playing an intense game. After a scoreless first half, CR would finally score with just under three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Things went from bad to worse for Milford as CR was awarded a penalty shot, which it converted with just over seven minutes left in the game. The Bucs were not done however, as they peppered the Riders’ goal with shots, finally breaking through with 5:23 left in the game. While Milford had several more chances, it was turned away each time. The result would be a heartbreaking 2-1 loss. “This was a very tough game, very physical on both sides of the ball. I am so proud of how my girls fought until the end. They showed tremendous heart today and should hold their heads up high,” McPike concluded.
Milford will host Saint Mark’s at home Tuesday at 4 p.m.
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