DOVER – Consistency is key when it comes to athletics.
Milford’s boys’ lacrosse squad demonstrated this idea over the weekend by collecting victories with back-to-back 14-goal games.
Ever since the team’s 18-8 loss at Indian River March 29, Milford lacrosse has been on a roll.
The team entered the weekend with a 14-10 victory over Smyrna in front of the home crowd Friday, April 7.
“It was just about going out and playing our game,” said Bucs’ head coach Blake Faulkner. “When we play our game – especially on offense – and we get everybody involved, we’re a very tough team to contend with.”
Freshman Conor Christie had the biggest game of his young high school career, scoring a game-high five goals against Smyrna.
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity since I was a little kid. I’m living the dream right now, and that’s all I can ask for,” Conor said of starting for the Bucs’ in his first year of high school. “It feels good to get the win. I don’t care if I have five goals or zero goals, as long as we get the win that’s all that matters.”
In the win over the Eagles, Milford spread the ball around offensively and had six different players score goals.
Sophomore Jonathan Gaglione, typically Milford’s leading scorer, had a hat trick against Smyrna while senior Cohen Bonneville and freshman Alex Herka had two goals each. Seniors Dallas Rhodes and Donald Scott had one goal each.
Despite the 14 goals, not everything went swimmingly for coach Faulkner’s crew.
Milford led 6-2 at the end of the first quarter, but surrendered three unanswered goals to begin the second quarter. Smyrna brought the score to within one goal, 6-5, halfway through the second quarter, but the Bucs’ managed to head into the break with a four-goal advantage.
In the team’s 13-10 win over St. Georges a week prior, Milford had struggled to finish the game strong. Coach Faulkner wanted to avoid making that same mistake again this time around.
Luckily, three Christie goals in the third quarter, a late fourth quarter goal from Gaglione and a strong effort from the defense helped the Bucs pull through for the four-goal victory.
“We needed to finish the game,” coach Faulkner said. “We were a little shaky last game in trying to finish out St. Georges and we didn’t want to make that mistake this time. We just did a better job of playing our brand of lacrosse, and when we do that, move the ball on offense, our defense is talking and communicating, everything just plays out the way it should.”
Just over 12 hours later, Milford turned around and played a game against Newark High School at Wesley College Saturday, April 8. With an 11 a.m. start time, Milford didn’t get much rest between games.
It didn’t matter, the Bucs’ enjoyed similar success with spreading the ball out on offense.
Another five-goal game from the freshman Christie propelled the Buccaneers to a second victory in less than 24 hours, defeating Newark 14-7.
Herka scored a hat trick; Rhodes scored a pair of goals; senior Jase Meredith, freshman Bevensky Augustin, Bonneville and Scott each added one goal in the win over Newark.
Junior goalie, Shane Gaglione, made 24 saves in Friday night’s victory and added another 15 saves in Saturday morning’s victory.
At 4-1, the Bucs have put themselves in a good spot heading into a Wednesday, April 12 match-up at Delmar (5:30 p.m.).
Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at email@example.com.