Lake soccer team blanked by rival Milford

MILFORD – Ending a postseason drought is Milford’s long term goal for this soccer season.

But through their first seven games, the Buccaneers boys are likely at best a fringe Division II playoff team.

Lake Forest senior defender Joseph Sharp dribbles up field. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

Lake Forest senior defender Joseph Sharp dribbles up field. (The Journal/Jeff Mitchell)

Fortunately for the Bucs, who moved back above .500 on the season after wins over Dover and Lake Forest last week, there is still plenty of time to improve their standing. They will, however, have to do it without senior leader Evenson Dieudonne, who suffered a season-ending injury in the 4-1 victory over the Senators last Tuesday.

“We’re at a good stretch in our schedule where we feel confident we can run through some teams and get our record up where we want it to be,” head coach Todd French said after his team defeated rival Lake 3-0. “You can’t replace (Dieudonne). Captain, all-state, he would have had a really good year, but these kids will rally and that’s what makes us as a coaching staff proud.”

Versus Lake on a windy Thursday evening, Milford took a 1-0 lead on a goal by senior Derrick Bogan off junior Ricardo Florestal’s assist 14 minutes into the match but didn’t put the contest out of reach until Darkenson Berrette and Esneider Mondestin found the net midway through the second half. Milford, however, controlled the ball for most of the game, out-shooting the Spartans 14-2 and holding a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.

“It wasn’t necessarily a pretty win but I thought we played well,” French said. “(Playing in the conditions) isn’t ideal, but I was happy we could get the game in. We were playing the wrong style in the wind, playing balls over the top. In the second half we played balls on the ground and we have more speed up top than (Lake Forest) so that worked.”

After Saturday’s contest versus Laurel was postponed due to inclement weather, Milford will play again Thursday, 6 p.m., at home against Sussex Academy.

French is hoping his team will not kindly welcome Sussex Academy into the Henlopen South by letting the conference’s new addition hang around early in the match.

“The way we come out at the beginning of a game, we have not scored in the first eight minutes of a game yet,” he said. “Our mentality to start a game hasn’t been there. Even against the lesser teams they don’t have that killer instinct and that’s something they are going to have to develop if they want to make the tournament.”

Lake Forest, which lost its fourth straight, is back on the pitch Thursday at home versus Henlopen South frontrunner Indian River at 4 p.m.

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